**A National Post Best Book of the Year**
In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Mord once prowled the corridors of the biotech organization known as the Company, which lies at the outskirts of the city, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly and broke free. Driven insane by his torture at the Company, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers like Rachel.
At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a Company discard. The Company, although severely damaged, is rumoured to still be making creatures and sending them to distant places that have not yet suffered Collapse.
Borne somehow reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. When she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, the Balcony Cliffs, she convinces her lover, Wick, a former employee of the Company, not to render Borne down to raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.
Wick is a special kind of supplier; the drug dealers in the city sell tiny creatures that can be swallowed or stuck in the ear to release powerful memories of other people’s happier times, or to pull forgotten memories from the user’s own mind, or to just produce beautiful visions that provide escape from the barren, craterous landscapes of the city.
Searching Wick’s apartment one day, Rachel finds a burnt, unreadable journal titled Mord that cryptically references the Magician, a rival drug dealer, and the Company building. What is Wick hiding? Why won’t he tell her about what happened when he worked for the Company?