Book Review: And the Ocean was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

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Blurb (as on Goodreads):

With harpoons strapped to their backs, the proud whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt, fighting in the ongoing war against the world of men. When they attack a ship bobbing on the surface of the Abyss, they expect to find easy prey. Instead, they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself…

As their relentless Captain leads the chase, they embark on a final, vengeful hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of both whales and men

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Did I feel for Bathsheba? Yes, I did. She is brave, lonely and has a story to tell. A story about the devil himself, a story where there is a prophecy and there is death.

‘And the Ocean was our Sky’ is a retelling of the classic ‘Moby Dick’ from the whale’s perspective and I don’t think any other author could have achieved that with perfection other than Patrick Ness.

“Maybe it takes a devil to fight a devil,” I said.
“But at the end of that fight, Bathsheba,” he said, “don’t only devils remain?”

Ness is known for his atmospheric writing, that also evokes a sense of grief and loss. Bathsheba is a part of a hunt that is determined to hunt and kill Toby Wick. But as they move towards their final hunt, she asks certain questions about monsters and dangers in the sea, about how whales should judge men for hunting them and killing them mercilessly, for they have families and emotional attachments too.

The characters in this story are different and varied, They are brave and dedicated to the hunt, riding in the open ocean with harpoons on their back and daring at heart.

The narration is flawless, with stories of loss and triumph and a human who engages Bathsheba into thoughtful conversations. The writing, however, is contemporary making it a lot easier to navigate through the prose. And there are these stunning illustrations that support the stories, and I must say this, these pictures made me curious initially and later, I found myself staring at them, with words by Bathseba ringing in my head.

ratings

4.5

Purchase Links:                                |Amazon Paperback |

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