And The Ocean Was Our Sky is an extremely beautiful and somewhat odd story.
I do like how Patrick Ness’ books are rarely “the usual” because it’s fresh and different and unpredictable! And the illustrations of this one were just !!! That’s how you write a good review, kids. You say your opinion is “!!!” and pretend to be eloquent. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS TRUST ME.
This is definitely not like any of the other Ness books. I thought it’d be like A Monster Calls, considering it’s illustrated too, but…not really. It’s extremely metaphorical and basically a fable that talks about war turning people into monsters, and how sometimes you make monsters by forever pursuing justice through violence instead of choosing peace.
So good stuff. I like.
It’s also an upside-down retelling of Moby Dick!
I have nOT read Moby Dick and all I know is that there’s a whale. I’m…I’m a little ashamed of me too. (I actually looked up the wikipedia synopsis about this and gUESS WHAT IT IS ABOUT A WHALE.) However you need to know the original to appreciate this one! But it is upside-down so it’s (a) narrated by the whales, and (b) the whales are harpooning the men now. Which quite frankly makes sense. Men…I can’t even with them. So it was weird but I was onboard (LOL LOL SHIP PUN) for a bit of oddity. Although I’m still confused about how the whales had ships? I couldn’t visualise it and there wasn’t an illustration for it.
Also Toby Wick (VERY CLEVER) was on the evil-human side but I am still 0% sure as to what he was. A man? An actual monster???
As a black-and-white sort of person, I did struggle to read between the lines of all the allegories.
It feels like an Aesop Fable in style really and the writing has an old-fashion voice so I had to really focus to stay engaged. But the illustrations were GORGEOUS. And they got super dark (so um, yes, this is not middle-grade ok). I also want to raise my hands and just say: “THANK YOU. ADULTS DESERVE ILLUSTRATIONS TOO.” 10/10 would like all books to have more illustrations.
And The Ocean Was Our Sky feels like it’s full of questions and meanings and leaves you thinking. It’s beautifully put together too! Even if I was a bit confused how a whale had a narrator…my imagination got a work out haa ha ha.
THANK YOU TO WALKER BOOKS FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness is published September 2018.
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.