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And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of A Monster Calls comes a richly lyrical tale, one that asks harrowing questions about power, loyalty, obsession, and the monsters we make of others.

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.

This remarkable work by Patrick Ness turns the familiar tale of Moby Dick upside down and tells a story all its own with epic triumph and devastating fate.

©2018 Patrick Ness (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, beautiful, not just a unique retelling

Amazing narration - calm, smooth voice of the narrator conveys both the youthful striving and weighed-down weariness of Bathsheba at different ages, and gives a different voice to each character, from the childlike Wilhemina to the ambitious Treasure to the prophetic, commanding, grandmother to the steely captain, Alexandra. The worldbuilding is excellent - the whale society has developed in parallel with our own, and wars and hunts are fought for survival between men and whales - always in fear of the other striking first. The whales have a fully developed military system, the author describing in detail how the hunting pods work, how the whales use both their biological technology (echolocation, etc) and their created technology (harpoon firing systems, invented themselves, weaving, learned from men, and the creation of underwater air bubbles to sustain prisoners, learned from puffer fish and coral and adapted to suit their needs) to fight, and the different roles of lead hunters, subordinates, and sailors. The humans who are slain are used in every part by the whales, (ex: flesh as bait for the fish they eat, teeth as jewelry for the rich) just as humans use the whales' parts "in the abyss" (the human world). Bathsheba, the protagonist, is prophesied at a young age to be a huntress, which she dutifully becomes, but wonders what could have been if she had been allowed to choose her own path. This book explores deep questions of the cost of war, the necessity or not of violence, justice, vengeance, intercultural understanding, point of view, relativism - and all within a story as captivating as the best kind of adventure tale.

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quaint

the story was concise. the imagery was very good but I do feel like the characters were a little too thin.