And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Patrick Ness, Rovina Cai

And the Ocean Was Our Sky
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And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Patrick Ness, Rovina Cai

From the multi-award-winning author of A Monster Calls comes a haunting tale of power and obsession that turns the story of Moby Dick upside down.

‘Call me Bathsheba.’

The whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself…

With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.

Review

What if Moby Dick were told from the perspective of the whale? This is the question that inspired And The Ocean Was Our Sky, but it doesn’t nearly begin to sum it up. The story is told through the eyes of Bathsheba, the third apprentice in a hunting pod that searches for and destroys the ships of humans, as she tries to reconcile her pacifist desires with the war her kind have waged against humans for centuries.

As her pod sets off on its hunt, they quickly come across the trail of someone so evil, so bloodthirsty, that no whale has ever seen them and lived to tell the tale: the infamous Toby Wick. Chasing the clues he leaves behind for them, they lay bare their complicated relationship with the vast ocean, where they rule, and the fact that the air they breathe to stay alive is the same air the humans must breathe. After all, just how different can they be? And can one whale really end the war that has killed countless on both sides?

But as the whales come head-to-head with humans – and head-to-head with their own destructive nature, things only get weirder.

With And The Ocean Was Our Sky, Ness returns to the questions he raised in his ground-breaking Chaos Walking trilogy. Here again he looks at the duality of good and evil, how one can seem like the other, and how they can change and collide in dramatic ways.


Tom Davies works as a bookseller at Readings Doncaster.

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