In this twisted parody of Herman Melville’s epic Moby Dick, esteemed author Patrick Ness of A Monster Calls fame weaves a fascinating new tale. And the Ocean Was Our Sky is the perfect read to curl up with on these nippy evenings if you’re in the mood for a dark adventure.
The Story: Bathsheba may have once enjoyed the hunt of her whale pod into the Abyss Above, but life has tired her and reduced her to merely relating the sorrows of her youth. For the truth is, it was her fault that her pod died. When the whales heard tell of the devil himself, Toby Wick, their Captain led them on a hunt to find the enemy. Bathsheba and her pod find a young man with no desire to hunt and even less desire to be killed in the pursuit of Toby Wick. The prophecy that surrounds their trail may be clear to their Captain, but she is hardly certain about the path that they are taking. Death is in their future and Bathsheba is uncertain of whether she wants to join her pod in their fate or turn tail – before she’s too far gone.
My Thoughts: Patrick Ness wrote a thought-provoking beauty with A Monster Calls, and he continues writing in the same vein with And the Ocean Was Our Sky. Bathsheba is a main character whose world weariness is haunting. I really found this weird parody of Moby Dick to be an interesting novel that made me look at the original in a completely different way. The illustrations, with their smoky not quite concrete quality, lent themselves perfectly to the text. I highly recommend this picking up, regardless of whether you’ve read Herman Melville’s classic.
Parental Advisories: Though this may be a YA read, it’s surprisingly clean!