Icarus Down

Icarus Down

by James Bow
  • adventure
  • english-from-canada
  • fiction
  • from-ontario
  • sci-fi-fantasy
Three generations after the crash of the colony ship Icarus, Iapyx is barely hanging on: it is one of thirteen cities suspended down deep chasms. The sun above can kill a man in less than five minutes. The ticktock monsters in the fog forest below are vicious. An electromagnetic wash has disabled computers, radios, even lightbulbs. It’s the steam and clockwork age reborn in a highly disciplined society. Which suits Simon Daud just fine. Simon likes rules, and he knows his place — in the shadow of his older brother, Isaac. All he wants is to earn his wings as an ornithopter pilot. But on his final test flight, something goes wrong. Isaac is killed and Simon is burned. His body will never be the same. Neither will his world. After his recovery, Simon falls into the middle of a conspiracy that brings everything he’s ever known into question. The search for answers takes him to the forest where the monsters await, as does the truth . . . if Simon can survive long enough to find it.


James Bow, author

James Bow is the author of three young adult fantasy novels and several science books for young readers. He works as a consulting writer and editor, and writes for the Kitchener Post newspaper. His interests are eclectic — he studied urban planning while editing Dr. Who fan fiction magazines, and he edits the Transit Toronto blog. James lives with his wife, author Erin Bow, and their two children. www.bowjamesbow.ca.


  • By creating a cosmological allegory of settlement and occupation, with a thrilling adventure of intrigue and treachery, carried out by good guys and bad guys and a few playing both sides, James Bow has made Icarus Down a turbulent bit of travel into an unsettled future, perhaps a little too much like some historical disgraces from which we’ve yet to learn. - CanLit for Little Canadians blog Link to review
  • James Bow has written a fast-paced sci-fi adventure with a good dollop of steampunk flavor…. An enthralling read that incorporates weighty ideas such as genocide, environmentalism, truth and reconciliation, history and responsibility within a blockbuster of a story. - Canadian Children's Book News Link to review
  • "Icarus Down" is a great novel and one that will be of interest to lovers of science fiction, alien stories, and tales of the interstellar. - CM: Canadian Review of Materials Link to review
  • Gorgeous, creative and thrilling, "Icarus Down" is a must-read for fans of science fiction and steampunk. - Quill & Quire magazine of the Canadian book trade Link to review


  • Winner, Aurora Award for Canadian Science Fiction, 2017
  • Shortlisted, Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice), 2017
  • Starred Selection, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 2017
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Children’s Book Panel “15 great book recommendations for young readers,” 2016

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Scholastic Canada Ltd.

email: mmaclagan@scholastic.ca

website: www.scholastic.ca/rights

rights sold: Australia, New Zealand

rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: 13 and up

number of pages: 352

publication date: 09/01/2016

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book

Additional Materials: Discussion guide