Review: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
There’s no question, Patrick Ness's narrative is one hundred per cent magnetic. I was drawn in from Bathsheba's first words so cleverly echoing another unforgettable classic, Moby Dick.
And The Ocean Was Our Sky is a magnificent example of fusing an acknowledged convention, as defined by classic tales of the past, with an equally formidable retelling. This time around, it is the whales, or rather one spirited conflicted whale, Bathsheba that voices this unique saga.
The prose is easy to read, the premise made apparent through Bathsheba's descriptions and internal thoughts, opinions she is reluctant to share because they describe a differing of beliefs.
This tale of two worlds continually at conflict, warring and waging revenge is as old as the seas, yet this time we are experiencing the hunt from a dramatically different point of view, from the gigantic eyes of the masters of the oceans, the whales.
In their world, ours is literally upside, in an abyss that is both despised and ironically misunderstood. The misreckonings work both ways however, for man is ignorant of the ingenuity that floats above him (below the whales as it were). The whales are much more than just the largest creatures on the planet. They are giants of industry and technology and yet like us, they are subject to myth and legends born from fear and hatred; the worst devils those the ones we make...
Gripping and thought provoking, And The Ocean Was Our Sky is a brilliant, savage plea to live and let live. A silent scream to keep hearsay in check. A caution that the only hunt worth embarking on is the one for truth.
Interspersed with stunning monochromatic sketches by the equally talented, Rovian Cai, this is a novel to experience and ponder over long after the end. And like, A Monster Calls, this is a story that speaks powerfully to adults as well as young readers.
Title: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness
Illustrator: Rovian Cai
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.99
Publication Date: September 2018
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Grade Illustrated Fiction
Buy the Book: Walker Books Australia, Boomerang Books