Thursday, September 20, 2018

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

Title: And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen

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.
Review by Nara

I feel like Patrick Ness likes to be quite experimental with his writing, and I'm sure any readers of books like More Than This would agree. And the Ocean Was Our Sky certainly pushes the limits of suspension of disbelief as its told from the point of view of a whale, in an alternate reality where whales hunt humans (apparently they have some sort of harpoon that they attach to their fins that can be used to attack humans and other whale pods, which I get that they can fire it off with their fins but how did they actually get them attached to the fin in a position to be able to trigger it, it's not like you can be particularly dextrous with fins and who actually made the harpoon in the first place and man I am way too preoccupied by this mystery and should probably get on with the review, my bad).

The book is a retelling of Moby Dick, which I have to admit I have not actually read. But basically Bathsheba, our whale narrator, is one of the apprentice hunters looking to capture a famous whale hunter named Toby Wick. As always, it feels like Ness is trying to metaphorically explore contemporary issues in the book, and unfortunately, as always, it felt like they went way over my head. I think if the book was studied at school perhaps those issues would be more easily dissected.

I liked it overall because it was interesting, and because it was short. I feel like if it was even a little bit longer I most certainly would have been bored and would have rated it lower. Give it a try if you like slightly (by which I actually mean very) weird novels.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 4/5