Afraid to die for his country and horrified by his brother's battle traumas, Finn decides to 'shaft the draft' and assumes the identity of a dead fisherman living on a remote island. But his bravery and desire for peace are severely tested when he falls into the hands of the dangerous Mr Skins. The contrast between tranquil island life and the tense, violent plot brings the themes of personal identity, freedom and courage into sharp relief.
The day the patrol landed, Finn had been on the island six weeks. He wasn't at home when the crew came knocking; he'd gone to the hives to work with Qway. That was what he was today: a trainee assistant bee-keeper. Other days he was learning to milk the goat, or picking fruit, or cleaning out hen houses, or gathering kelp, or sea fishing, or mending nets and pots, or helping fix the roof on Orr's place, or digging vegetable plots, or unloading the supply boats Skins sent across once a week ... he wanted to give something back to this place that was his adoptive home, and to these people who'd put themselves at risk to harbour him.