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Deeplight  By  cover art

Deeplight

By: Frances Hardinge
Narrated by: Joshua Akehurst
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Publisher's Summary

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure.

The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? 

When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to a friend who’s becoming a monster - and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?

©2019 Frances Hardinge (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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fantasy & quest lovers of all ages will enjoy!

Come to Myriad, where the sea gods are revered even though they ceased to exist decades ago. They harvest pieces of the gods (godware) themselves from the sea as their industrial world develops.

Meet 15-year-old Hark, an orphan who scams tourists to keep his belly full. His best friend, Jelt, offers him a lucrative gig that lands him in trouble. In fact, Jelt often gets Hark in trouble. This time they discover an usual piece of godware that will lead Hark on a perilous journey. He will have to save not only Jelt but the world.

Sacrifice, growth and heroes emerge as Hark begins his quest to save his friend, but his quest is weighted by decisions that will affect all.

This was my first experience with Hardinge and I loved the vivid, unique world she created. The tale unfolds smoothly without information dumps. We learn through Hark’s voice and alongside him as he learns more about the Gods, the Priests and the world he thought he knew.

Secondary characters were well-developed, intriguing and added to the tale as Hardinge ramped up the suspense and danger in the second half. Her prose brings this world together in vivid 3-D, so much so, that I could taste the salt air and feel the wind blowing my hair.

Joshua Akehurst narrates as the voice of Hark. This was my first experience with Akehurst and I enjoyed his unique voices, both male and female. From his tone I could desertion age, sex and emotions.

1 person found this helpful

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First Frances Hardinge is a success!

My first Frances Hardinge book is a smashing success. I admit it, the cover is what initially grabbed my eye, but the synopsis held it, and the story clinched it.

The story follows Hark, an orphan, who lives on an island which is just one of a large cluster of islands making up a nation of sorts. The background is a cataclysmic event in which sea gods killed one another, causing death and mayhem to the islands. Now, several decades later, a lucrative business has emerged where relics of old sea gods (pincers, tentacles, etc.) are harvested from the sea and sold. Mostly trinkets, they don't tend to have any power... until Hark finds a god's heart. *dun-dun-DUUUUUUN*

The setting is ah-may-zing. I applaud the author for coming up with such a unique story setting and not milking it for a trilogy. That's. 👏 How. 👏 It's. 👏 Done. 👏

Also, the story seems to be geared more towards middle school as the main character is fourteen, which means the story veers away from love and angst and more towards friendship, mentorship, and coming of age. The pace stayed brisk throughout. And did I mention that worldbuilding? Mm-hm.

I can't say I'll likely remember much about this book in a couple years other than, perhaps, basic plot. For that reason, I gave it three glorious entertainment stars.

"We are what we do and what we allow to be done."

I'd rate this book a PG-13 for action/adventure, mild cursing (mostly made up for the invented setting), and some scary creatures.

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Absolutely Amazing!!!

I can't stop telling people about this book. It is now in my top 10 favorite books.