Susan B. Wile

Author

Twelve-year-old Luki Sloan is a gifted animal communicator growing up on the Bering Strait in desolate Wales, Alaska.

When her scientist-detective parents mysteriously vanish pursuing ruthless animal traffickers from the Red Dragon gang, distraught Luki activates Tuk, an android. He persuades her to set out on a dangerous quest to find them, masquerading as traffickers to ensnare White Wolf, infamous leader of the gang, by collecting endangereds to offer as bait.

As the stakes get higher, they confront a series of shocking discoveries and must outsmart White Wolf and his android henchman to bring them to justice, save the cargo of endangereds on White Wolf’s superyacht and rescue her parents.

Reviews

“…action packed…this eco-adventure will likely educate and inspire young readers.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A thoroughly good read for young environmentalists! A great present idea for all those aspiring to be an activist.”
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Lilly Platt of Lilly's Plastic Pickup

“Original. Fun. Exotic. Action-packed. Educational. Inspiring.
And Tuk is a great character.”

Kate Klimo, Author
Hop on for an exciting sci-fi adventure featuring futuristic androids and a varied cast of endangered animals with Extinction Warrior. Author Susan B. Wile weaves a fast-paced plot full of action, humor, and intrigue, complemented by some absorbing character work that keeps you hooked. The narrative tone reminded me of the hit Hollywood movie franchise Spy Kids. Luki is a protagonist who is a blast to follow. Her ability to form an instant connection with animals makes you want to root for her. I also enjoyed the characters of Tuk and Mig. All in all, an entertaining sci-fi adventure with an important message about protecting endangered species.
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Bio

I was born in Liberia, Africa because my father was a diplomat. We lived there only two years before we moved back to the U.S. When I was five, we moved to Holland where I went to a Dutch school and learned to read, write and speak Dutch. I didn’t learn to read or write English until I was eight. The first book I could read on my own was Dr. Seuss’, The Cat in The Hat, which I loved. I have always loved animals too, and just about anywhere outside in nature is my favorite place to be.

I’ve always been a writer and pretended to write when I was three, scribbling lines on paper with a pencil, which felt like writing. I’ve written many different things professionally, but EXTINCTION WARRIOR is my first novel.

I love to travel to explore new environments and experience other cultures. At home, I love growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. I also love ice cream, desserts in general (!) and the color turquoise. I am married and live with the sweetest rescue dog, three cats, four ducks and thousands of honeybees in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Excerpt

Virtual reality is the only way I’m free to escape the tundra and explore different worlds. In the worlds of my creation, I command the weather, control day and night, the seasons, the animals, the rivers, the mountains, the meadows. I can be away from the Arctic, the wind, the water, and this barren, boring, treeless place. Wales, Alaska—the westernmost place on the North American mainland is where I call home. It’s frozen most of the year, almost always smells like snow, and the two months that everything thaws, it’s nothing but a massive wet sponge. Okay, a lichen, berry-filled sponge, but a sponge!

On the edge of my bed in my underwear and long sleeve t-shirt, I’m pushing my bionic foot through the leg of my haptic jumpsuit. With it, I can feel everything in the virtual game I co-create with my best friend, Korave, who lives in Russia. In the SOS Island adventure we started last weekend, we created a huge wild dog and released it on the savanna with miniature animals. Korave said I should be the one to talk to the elephant matriarch because I talk to animals with my mindsight in the real world. I can see what they’re thinking in images they send me and feel what they’re feeling and I let them know what I’m thinking by sending my pictures. Anyway, I’ve got to tell the elephant queen something that will let us progress to the next level, to a new ecosystem.

Migalik, Mig for short, is curled asleep on my bed. He’s my pet arctic fox. His name means slush ice and his gray summer fur is coming in already, super early. I wouldn’t have a single friend if it weren’t for Mig. There’s no one here my age. All the villagers are old, and if I didn’t have Korave and VR, I might as well live on an exoplanet.

My parents crack the door open—Mom’s petite and Dad’s over six feet tall so his head sticks up above hers. They’re peering at me in their uniforms. On a Saturday? Dad’s lab day? Weird.

“Sweetie, we looked at drone video this morning, and the scant ice in the Strait melted earlier than ever.” Dad frowns, shaking his head.

“Climate change.” Mom nods.

​Dad adds, “The big boil.”

As if I didn’t know. You’d think by 2155 we would have done everything possible to control climate change, what Dad calls the big boil, but we haven’t because basically, humans are so stupid. And greedy.

“That means spring migration is earlier too.” Mom’s southern drawl comes through on ‘migration.’

​They’re both scientist-detectives—agents for World Endangered Animal Police Protection—WEAPP for short. They patrol the Bering Sea and the Strait to monitor the thousands of belugas, bowheads and gray whales that swim north in the spring to feed in Arctic waters. They’re all endangered, along with pinnipeds, and what’s left of the birds that migrate here too.

​“Red Dragons?” I ask, knowing the answer and my skin crawls with goosebumps, even though it’s warm inside.

​They nod, watching as I squeeze my real foot through the other pant leg, stand, shove my arms through the sleeves, and pull the zipper to my neck. The stretchy, skintight black suit almost makes me feel like a superhero. Almost.

​“Hunting bow heads and belugas, no doubt.” Mom sighs, her mouth drooping.

​“And walrus,” Dad adds.

​“Hunting the endangereds that migrate through the Strait to the Arctic Ocean.” Mom squints, her mouth pursed.

​Flattening my braid for the helmet, I blurt, “I hate Red Dragons!”

“We hate the worst international trafficking gang, too,” Dad sighs.

​Red Dragons specialize in endangereds. They come in their monstrous boats as soon as the ice melts. There’s nothing more dangerous than hunting them, especially during migrations, and it’s why we live in the most desolate village, a hundred miles below the Arctic Circle, with just forty-eight Inupiaq neighbors.

“We’ll meet our Russian WEAPP friends off Little Diomede and head north as a team into the Chukchi,” Dad explains, then changes the subject to make me feel better. “Hey, thanks for helping load the android’s mindfile yesterday. Let’s fully activate him tomorrow to experience his humanness, huh?” He grins hard with a nod.

– Chapter One Excerpt

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January 10, 2024

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October 14, 2023
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