‘And The Ocean Was Our Sky’ by Patrick Ness [Spoiler-free Book Review]

“For who needs devils when you have men?”

And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness was very much inspired by Moby Dick, though you definitely do not need to have read the book or seen the movie to understand ATOWOS because it is a book in its own right.

The protagonist of the book, Bathsheba, is a whale. She is also a hunter; hunting humans, whilst they hunt whales. It has been this way for a while. This book follows her journey on the Alexandra (appropriately named after their captain) towards a goal that no whale or human has ever achieved before: defeating Toby Wick (yes, Toby Wick, great name, right?) despite the fact that they have no clue what or who Toby Wick is.

This book is also illustrated throughout — beautifully, I may add. The illustrations definitely add to the book and make the hard to imagine story just a little easier to envision.

ATOWOS is a very quick read, in my opinion. You should be done in a few days, if you don’t read it all in one go. Even though I finished it quickly, there is a lot of description that makes the world more real. I found myself trying harder to imagine a story than I ever have before (because how can you imagine whales going hunting?) but I liked the extra challenge. It made it all the more special when I did imagine it.

It’s a story not about friendship but about loyalty. The apprentices on the Alexandra will stick with the captain until the end. It’s pretty amazing what lengths they are willing to go to for the captain and I find myself envying such eternal loyalty. I’m not sure that many of us would be able to do what these whales did and not because we’re not whales but because of how much courage and determination it takes. Knowing that there’s a good chance you will fail, but doing it anyway because you believe in your captain.

If you read this book, I am sure that you will be mesmerised. It’s such an enthralling concept that you will not want to stop reading! Throughout the entire book, suspense will be at the forefront, as you race through the book to try and see whether they accomplish their goal or whether they fail. The hook will not leave until the last page.

I loved this book, and am an avid fan of Patrick Ness. Although it is not officially released yet, I really recommend you buy it when it is released in early September! You will not be disappointed.

 

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Q + A Answers

Note that not all of these questions were asked on the blog, some people preferred to message or email me the questions.  Here goes:

 

I like that you tagged this post with #lol – what is the craziest/funniest tag you’ve ever used?
I’ve used a ton of crazy/funny tags. I literally don’t care whether the tag is irrelevant. If I want to use it, I’ll use it. I pretty much use at least one irrelevant tag each time hahaha.

If you were to live in a box, what kind of box would you live in?
A big box. Like, the size of a house. It would also be so thick that rain couldn’t penetrate the walls. I would have a slightly smaller box as a garage.

Light or dark?
Dark because, if there is the slightest bit of light in my room at night, I can’t sleep. Also, I love the sky at night.

Favourite sound?
Music. Of course. If you’re referring to non-musical sounds, then I like the sound that you get when you wet your finger and put it around a wineglass, though that’s semi-musical. I think all sounds are kinda music in their own way.

If you were in the middle of a field and saw a lake, what is the first thing you’d do?
Look for ducks, duh.

If you had to live in one place for the rest of your life (real life and/or fictional), where would it be?
I’m tempted by Hogwarts but that’s a school so you can’t live there forever, you have to become an independent witch/wizard. So I’ll go for a real life location: France. It’s hot, but not as hot as places like Spain, and it has such a lovely language and it’s beautiful and I just would really like to live there.

Five people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with?
MyMindSpeaksAloud because she would have remembered her music when she got stranded, so we’d have some awesome tunes to listen to.
My mum because she’d make me feel calm when I felt lost.
It’s a shame that it has to be people because I know a few animals…
Patrick Ness so he can make a story about the desert island and I’d be a famous character.
Einstein, if he were alive, because, come on, the smartest man in the world. He’d get us out of there in no time.
Also a guy who has a sack of potatoes because potatoes are not only delicious, they are also very good conductors and you could start an electric supply out of potatoes.

Five people who you wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island with?
A serial killer. That’d be bad.
My dad because he’d tell me not to snack… on a desert island. Seriously!
A kid because I’d feel so sad that they’re all out her by themselves that I wouldn’t think about anything else and I’d just cry forever.
The prime minister. They’d tell me they were getting us off the island, but would never do it.
Donald Trump because, come on, it’s Donald Trump.

What made you start writing?
I started writing because I had a passion for it. There was no other reason. Nothing inspired me, I was a kid at the time, I just wanted to write, and I had a big imagination that needed to be let out.

Imagine you were a cat for the day, what would you do?
Sleep and not be judged. Also, express how I feel about people in meows and purrs so they think I’m being sweet when I’m not.

Do you belong to any clubs/groups?
At the moment, I’m part of a lady’s autism group. I don’t feel like a lady, I’m only eighteen, but that’s what it’s called. Because we’re all adults and female. I like it, though.

What is your favourite take away?
There’s this pizza place near me called Pizzaface and they do great take away vegan pizzas.

What is your favourite TV crime drama and why?
Probably Death in Paradise because it’s funny and cleverly written.

What is your favourite quote?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein.

If you could go back and relive your life from any point and still have your current memories but also have the ability to change what you originally did, would you?
I’d go back to when I was six and become a really smart child because I have all these memories. I’d be like a genius for a good few years. Also, I’d become more confident in myself and wouldn’t withdraw. I’d finally stand up for myself.

If your life was made into a movie, which actors would you want to portray you and your family members?
Hard question! I think Saoirse Ronan for me, Jennifer Aniston for my mum because she would love someone attractive to play her, Jude Law for my dad, and Chris Hemsworth for my brother. I know he’s over 30 but I mean, come on?? Like, I’d get to meet him on the set and everything…

If you could gain an ability/skill that you don’t have now, what would it be?
The ability to read minds. I really need to know what people actually think of me.

If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Oo hard. Maybe my writing?

What is your theory of how Game of Thrones will end/who do you think will sit on the iron throne at the end?
I hope it’s Daenerys, and that Jon Snow is her right-hand man.

Carpet or hard floor?
Tough one. Hard floor is cold but carpet collects dust… Carpet because, although bad for my asthma, it feels nice on the feet.

Thank you so much for all these questions! I hope you enjoyed the answers.
Lia