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And The Ocean Was Our Sky

Review

And The Ocean Was Our Sky

Written by Patrick Ness and Illustrated by Rovina Cai

Patrick Ness’ newest novel AND THE OCEAN WAS OUR SKY is his strangest yet. We follow our main character, Bathsheba, who is a whale and is currently at war with humans. In this world, humans and whales are fighting against each other for power. Bethesda, the third apprentice of the infamous captain Alexandra, finds herself questioning this war when her pod captures a human prisoner. Soon after, Bethesda and her pod of whales go on a journey to kill the one and only Toby Wick, only to realize that this journey will completely change the history of whales and humans.

"The writing in this novel is so beautiful! It fits perfectly with the underwater theme of the novel, and the exposition had me hooked from the very start."

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this one, but I was certainly surprised. First of all, the writing in this novel is so beautiful! It fits perfectly with the underwater theme of the novel, and the exposition had me hooked from the very start. Bathsheba's point of view is an interesting one since I’ve never read a book from the point of view of an animal before, let alone a whale. There were moments in the novel where I felt like I didn’t get to know her character as much as I wanted to. That being said, I think there are many different directions the author could’ve gone with our main character, and I am satisfied with the choices he made.

There’s also a bit of art every few pages of the book, which really added to the experience. It helped me better understand what was going on during the novel, and was just a nice addition overall. Without the art, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did, so I’m glad the art was added because it really is beautiful.

The plot itself was a bit lacking; it was too short for my taste. I really liked the way Patrick Ness played around with the novel MOBY DICK by reversing the roles in his own novel, but it wasn’t enough for me. The world that is AND THE OCEAN WAS OUR SKY is extremely interesting, and I think that there was a lot of it that needed to be explored a bit more. Even though the plot is weak, it is really interesting. The novel is only around 160 pages long, so this is definitely a book for those who enjoy more character-driven stories.

If there’s one thing that Patrick Ness should be best known for, it should be his talent for writing unique, creative stories no one knew they needed. My experience with Patrick Ness’ books has proven to me that he can write one of a kind stories that stand out from all the rest. From his suspenseful MORE THAN THIS to the calmer and out there AND THE OCEAN WAS OUR SKY, Patrick Ness is an author people should definitely give a shot if they haven’t already. Even though AND THE OCEAN WAS OUR SKY wasn’t as amazing as his other novels for me, it is one that won’t leave fans of his disappointed.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on October 16, 2018

And The Ocean Was Our Sky
Written by Patrick Ness and Illustrated by Rovina Cai

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062860720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062860729