And the Ocean Was Our Sky Book Review
When I first heard that this book was weird, I thought; y’know that’s pretty normal for Patrick Ness, they’re usually pretty cool and great even though they’re weird but omg, okay this book was weird XD and I still picked this bad boy up from the library.
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.
I don’t know why I find myself saying this often but can just every book Patrick Ness writes be on some kind of school list for what kids should read in high school? The number one things he always writes amazingly is the complex and in-depth concepts more of us should be discussing like morality, what’s right and wrong, and the meaning of violence and war.
This book is weird simply because the main character and his work companions are whales. Lovely massive whales which put the book’s title into perspective as in this world, whales are kind of upside down and look down onto human ships. The catch is, there are in an ongoing war and whales actually hunt humans. Bathsheba and her pod are part of a hunting party and find themselves in a wild goose chase for a supposed whale hunter that continues to destroy their people.
From reviews I’ve read, this book is apparently a unique retelling of Moby Dick. To be truthful, I have no freaking idea what Moby Dick is about so it was frankly pretty irrelevant to me but from reading this, I could understand its underlying message and how meaningful this story really is. It’s beautiful, creative and the writing was only enhanced by the beautiful illustrations that came with it.
Even though the concept was weird, especially since whales could apparently speak to humans, it was extremely impactful and more so realistic when I think of the recent news about Japanese ships beginning legal whaling again. Although I’m not sure if there are cases of whales hunting us in real life, it’s the idea that these two species are hunting each other and for what? In a similar fashion to the Monster’s stories in A Monster Calls, how the story is written, how it progresses and where it leads you more enjoyable and meaningful than expected.
While I appreciated the thought-provoking concepts within this book and Ness’ great penchant for storytelling that seems like a forgotten fairytale, it wasn’t particularly exciting. Rather depressing really but also important. I don’t know if I’d recommend this book to anyone even though it was enjoyable but I do think it’s important to read even though it did bore me quite a bit at times when things were still trying to get to a certain point. A short, quick read with mostly illustrations, I look forward to more short, quick reads with illustrations from Patrick Ness.
What do you think of Patrick’s work including or not including this one?
Until next time,