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And the Ocean Was Our Sky
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And the Ocean Was Our Sky

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  6,686 ratings  ·  1,593 reviews
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
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Walker Books
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 ·  6,686 ratings  ·  1,593 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
An interesting message but, unfortunately, it seems no amount of interesting messages can make a story about a pod of whales not boring. Sorry.

I've definitely said this before but I'd like to stress it again: I love that Patrick Ness gets creative. He thinks outside of the box. He doesn't care for tropes or trends; he simply looks to tell an interesting and unique story. That's why I will keep reading his books. And The Knife of Never Letting Go is still one of my all time favourites.

That being
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
'for there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make.'

there is no doubt that patrick ness is gifted when it comes to writing. every word he puts to paper is a thing of beauty, if not poetry. the way he tells stories is unparalleled and this book was no exception.

this was a uniquely told reverse retelling of moby dick, where the whales hunt humans. and even though i admire the creativity that went into creating this story, im not sure the content matter was for me. if i had prior ex
C.G. Drews
This is an extremely beautiful book and the illustrations were just !! Which is how you write a super good review, kids, by saying your opinion is "!!!" ahem. Anyway. This isn't really like any of the other Patrick Ness books I've read. I thought, since it had illustrations, it was going to be like A Monster Calls, but eh? Not really. It's extremely metaphorical and basically a fable that talks about war turning people into monsters, and how sometimes you make monsters by forever pursuing violen ...more
Dec 06, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: owned
'scuse me all I wanna say is OH MY GOD THIS COVER OH MY GOD thanks for your attention. ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

🌟 This is a short story by Patrick Ness, in under 160 pages, we have a kind of “Moby Dick” re-telling. It also has great illustrations which helped understanding the quirkiness of this story. If you are already familiar with Patrick, then you know that he has the strangest ideas and I am always rooting for creative authors! I like that this was from Whales POV because it is all about the symbolism. The story is confusi
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars!

This was my ninth Patrick Ness read and I sure wasn’t disappointed. Usually his books are a hit or miss for me but that still keeps him as one of my favourite authors of all time. I also got my copy personally signed by the author as I was very lucky he toured near me and I got to meet him!

I love how each and every book he writes explores different genres and ideas making each one unique in its own way. And the Ocean was our Sky has definitely done just that.

This was a retelling of M
Elle (ellexamines)
This is a lovely illustrated graphic novel about the need to analyze war beyond simple prophecy. Patrick Ness really shines when given a basic thematic core to live off of; even a simple story like this feels super engrossing in the context of the gorgeous art.

So what I like about this story is the commentary on war and prejudice. Within this story, the primary dynamic is between the whale world and the human world - the human world resents the whales as killers, and the whale world resents the
vatana 🍂
Dec 06, 2017 marked it as to-read
*whisper* patrick ness is writing a new book.
*jump on a table* Patrick Ness is writing a new book.
*bang pots and pans* PATRICK NESS IS WRITING A NEW BOOK.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Whoever sets out to fight the Devil will eventually find him - inside!

Monsters are Patrick Ness' expertise. And they come in various shapes, and tell stories from different perspectives. In this novel he lets the whales tell the story of hunting and vengeance that we all know from the unforgettable Captain Ahab. There is a Moby Dick in each society if there are people who believe in his power and are willing to turn into a mirror of him in order to fulfil the prophesy of hatred, fight and exclus
Plot ~ Concept: ★★★★★
~ Execution: ★★★★☆
Pacing: ★★★☆☆½
Writing style: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
World: ★★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★☆½
Illustrations: ★★★★★
★★★★★★★★★★ (yes I just did that)

Note: I haven’t read Moby Dick and only have a vague idea of its plot, so I had no true point of reference while reading this book.

○ The writing style is so completely unique and one of the biggest highlights for me. Writing from the perspective of a whale allows Patrick Ness to get creative with his prose and st
Elizabeth Sagan
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Books are so weird. Art in general is like that. I loved this one to pieces. And, as I sometimes do, after I finished it I went straight on Goodreads to read both the positive and the negative reviews. Especially the negative ones. The 1 stars. Because, of course, "how could someone rate this less than 5 stars?". Well, I believe you, people. I do believe it was a strange concept. But boy I loved it so much. I feel like it was so much more than just the story of some whales, than just a re-tellin ...more
Heidi The Reader
"But now, here, once and for all, I set down my tale. I am not who I was then. I said I was ignorant, and I am not wrong, though by that point I had learned that men lived upside down from us, that for them the ocean was below, the Abyss above, our gravities only meeting at the surface." pg 15

Patrick Ness weaves a re-telling of Moby-Dick, or, the Whale from the point of view of the whales. It falls some what short of his usual magic.

I think the trouble with re-telling major stories or fairy tale
Whispering Stories
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Nia on

I’m not going to analyse this book too hard in search deeper meanings beyond a vague ‘enemies aren’t always who/what you expect’ and ‘war sucks’ because it’ll only give me a headache and I always wonder if authors are really putting that much thought into subtext when they write or if they’re just enjoying spinning a good yarn for readers to enjoy at face value (I have no definitive answer to this, I just prefer face value).

The story is a switched
Claude's Bookzone
3.5 Stars

CW: (view spoiler)

Well Patrick is certainly a remarkable writer!

This is literally an upside down reimagining of Moby Dick. The whales are hunting the elusive human, Toby Wick, and the whale captain's obsession with fulfilling the prophecy of killing him, mirrored that of Ahab's in the original story. The images are darkly beautiful as they follow the path of blood and destruction brought abou
joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review
Holy fuck, whale feels are real feels.

This is like a second coming of A Monster Calls, except not. The art, the themes, the collision of everything at the end to give us Ness' usual one-two punch of truth. My goodness are the visuals in this book is stunning. I may have been iffy with "Release", but damn it all, Ness has brought the good stuff in this Moby Dick re-telling.

(Also a non-review but sea otters are still my fave.)

thoughts prior to reading:
yes, i hope the whales win. humans suck.

- Full
Retelling of Moby Dick with a twist.

Not a full length novel in either page count or ambition but it's nevertheless well written and illustrated book. A good showcase of Ness's magical realism side of writing.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it

It was Okay, but seriously?? This is not a retelling of moby dick. The only similarity is.... you guessed it, WHALES.And whatever that creature called toby wick that i wont even talk about cause its name is way too extra.

It could've been better if
A) It had nothing to do with moby dick.
or B) It had everything to do with mobydick, they could've stuck with the name and everything but the only difference is that it would've been from the whale's perspective (I would totally dig that even though i
Renee Godding
‘’For there are devils in the deep
But the worst are the ones we make’’

3.5/5 stars

As with most of Patrick Ness' books, I'm not sure if this premise spawned from the mind of a genius, a mad-man, or perhaps a little bit of both...
And the Ocean Was Our Sky is a sort of flipped Moby Dick retelling, from the perspective of the whales, and it's as original and bizar as that sounds. I'm not even sure how best to review this, as it's a book that is best experienced, instead of talked about. So I guess
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reads-of-2018, arcs
*Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!*

"Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or becasue there will be those who believe is so strongly they will make it so? In the fear that I always try to hide in my heart, I wonder if there is even a difference."

This was a complete whirlwind of a novel. I have no idea where Patrick Ness's book ideas come from, but there was no way his previous novel, Release, could have prepared me for this one
Hannah Greendale
DNF at page 56.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
"For who needs devils when you have men?"

holy shit.
i really need to make a 'goddamn intense' shelf on goodreads, because this book didn't fit into any others.
i haven't read the original moby dick, so i don't know how similar this was, but let me tell you that it was definitely different to anything else i've ever read. as per Patrick Ness, it was full of stunning writing and deep meanings, and it really hit hard. it was beautiful and it was horrible and it made me wonder if humans aren't just
Dannii Elle
This beautiful book contained abstract imagery, depicted with vivid strokes and a muted colour palette, that was a perfect accompaniment to Ness' similar writing style. These two mediums worked together to portray a well-known story from an entirely new perspective.

Moby Dick as told by the whale was every bit as harrowing as I had anticipated. I adore Ness for the emotion his writing exudes and for the chances he takes with his work. Both worked in tandem here, along with the accompanying artwor
“For there are devils in the deep but worse are the ones we make.”

4.5 🌟

Patrick Ness is something else.

I had no idea what this book was about. All I knew is that it was written by Patrick Ness and that was all the information I needed.

Little did I know I was entering a story of whales and symbolism and poetry. It was dripping with meaning. There was depth packed in it alongside the simplicity of it all.
I could literally write an essay on the themes it touched upon, i.e. war, morality, huma
Rusty Grey
2.5 stars

I'm gonna keep it short . I didn't like this very much . But the beautiful illustrations were exceptional . And I've given half stars for the illustrations alone .

And the Ocean Was Our Sky is Moby Dick's retelling . If I say anything more than this , then it would be a spoiler . There is a lot of symbolism , and I get the message what the author wants to convey . But for the most part this book was dull .

Patrick Ness' writing style is captivating . And the atmosphere created is fantas
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought it was such a unique retelling of Moby Dick (also grateful for the SMALL version of the story).
This is from the point of view of a whale (not going to lie, it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize this) who is part of a hunting crew trying to find Toby Wick (ha ha).
I thought this gave us a great glance into the life of the whales, a nice mixture of fantasy and reality blending. To see how the whale began to understand the human was gre
Tom Quinn
May 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Moby-Dick is impressive as an unfathomable force of nature, not as an angsty moralist with a melodramatic backstory.

2 stars. Mercifully brief. Recommended to nobody but Melville scholars and completionists with time to spare.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
T/W- Scenes of Drowning, Blood

Having read and hated the original Moby Dick novel a few months ago, I went into this with somewhat high expectations. This is a re-imagine from the POV of a whale. I like reading stories with animal POVs, however, this story didn't grasp me as much as I thought it would. Patrick's writing style is something I've experienced before and was left unsure whether I was interested in reading another one of his books. The saving grace for me was the beautiful illustration
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
this book isn't just about whales and men fighting each other. it's about a whale realising that nothing is completely written, that you can always rewrite the story, even a few pages before its end. it's about peace, it's about devils, and how we make them. (4.5)

‘For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make.’
Anne ✨ Finds Joy
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Patrick Ness! I admire that he's not afraid to probe the darker side of human nature, and that his books really make you think. On the surface, you might think you're reading a simple fable with beautiful accompanying illustrations. But you soon start to see the darker aspects peek through. You're impressed with how cleverly it's presented, but you're not quite sure if you're feeling comfortable or not. And that's ok. I think it's a sign of a really great writer who can accompl ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Full Review Posted 🐋

This book is a mixture of Finding Nemo and Moby Dick with blood, philosophy and talking whales as protagonists.

Will there be a time when a man is prepared enough to review a philosophical book about whales and devil, created by the same human who wrote “A Monster Calls”?

This is a very difficult book to rate. How am I supposed to rate the story of a talking whale, of a world where whales hunt humans the same way humans hunt t
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the C

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“For there are devils in the deep,
but worst are the ones
we make.”
“For who needs devils when you have men?” 23 likes
More quotes…