Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “And The Ocean Was Our Sky” as Want to Read:
And The Ocean Was Our Sky
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

And The Ocean Was Our Sky

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,859 ratings  ·  847 reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a richly illustrated and 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 attac
ebook, 160 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by HarperTeen
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about And The Ocean Was Our Sky, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about And The Ocean Was Our Sky

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,859 ratings  ·  847 reviews

Sort order
Emily May
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
'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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
'scuse me all I wanna say is OH MY GOD THIS COVER OH MY GOD thanks for your attention.
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
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
Elise (TheBookishActress)
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
Dec 06, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
*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.
Heidi The Hippie 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
Plot ~ Concept: ★★★★★
~ Execution: ★★★★☆
Pacing: ★★★☆☆
Writing style: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
World: ★★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★☆
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 styl
Whispering Stories
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
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Erik Fazekas
Najťažší okamih v mojej editorskej kariére nastal, keď som si prečítal email, v ktorom stálo: "Patrick (Ness) a jeho agentka Michelle (tá, ktorá je vo venovaniach) by radi vedeli, čo si myslíš o ATOWOS."

Zamysleli ste sa niekedy, čo povedať autorovi, ktorého ako jedného z mála obdivujete, o jeho knihe? A napísať to tak, aby to neboli prázdne reči, ktoré sa hádžu na obálku kníh, že to povedal New York Times alebo niekto podobne anonymní?

Zavrel som dvere, oči aj uši pred svetom a napísal som to,
joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
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

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
Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
*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
Keď Erik zverejnil svoju recenziu, pýtala som sa, či môžem ešte pred vydaním niečo napísať aj ja. A on že: "Až keď to preložíš."

TAK SOM TO PRELOŽILA, OKEJ? A som rada, že som to spravila. Lebo keby som niečo písala bezprostredne po čítaní, vyzeralo by to úplne inak. Mala som totiž nesprávne očakávania: je to krátke, má to obrázky a je to o veľrybách, takže to isto bude metaforický doják ako Sedem minút po polnoci. CHYBA.

Každá. Jedna. Nessova. Kniha. Je. Úplne. Iná.

Táto je o húfe veľrýb, ktorý
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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 th
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
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
“The great trick of the devil is to make you want to see him. But it is only when you see him that you fear him. And by then, it is too late.”

Patrick Ness is an author who likes to take risks. He dares to tackle some less obvious subjects. Even in YA books Patrick Ness talks about subjects that are not often explored in YA literature. And the Ocean Was Our Sky is one of those books. It's a retelling of Moby Dick but to be honest, to me it became a story that references to Moby Dick but can't be
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting and unique take on Moby Dick, from the whale's POV.
Anne ✨
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ellen Gail
Moving day is finally almost here (this Thursday!) which is why I am 15 books behind schedule and haven't read anything in ages. Sometimes I'm still awake at 3am and I decide to try to read after packing for hours and it doesn't work.

This is not relevant to this book at all, just me making excuses for being super tired and stressed and oh dear lord packing 10,000 boxes of books is this literal worst.

Anyway. And the Ocean Was Our Sky was thankfully brief enough for me to have a second to read it.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.’
This was my 6th book I read this month and it sadly is my least favorite book of the month. I'm sad to say that because I was highly anticpating this novel. But it didn't live up to my hype!(:
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gorgeous-covers

I know this was short but I literally just read that in one sitting. Patrick Ness can somehow turn a whale story into something deep and thought-provoking. Dang.

My Thoughts
Okay first of all, let me tell you that the illustrations are gorgeous. And it's not even a finished copy!
The world-building is okay, it doesn't feel info-dumpy.
Because the whales call our sky the Abyss, and from their perspective, they swim down to meet the surface?
It's so interesting but SO WEIRD
It's a
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
. : ☾⋆ — 5 ★


“For who needs devils when you have men?”

I truly think Patrick Ness assumes his ultimate form as a writer when he writes short books like this one. also when he writes about weird stuff. you know, like talking whales.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky is a one-of-a-kind book. barely 160 pages long, but manages to portray and convey a powerful and thought-provoking message in a one-sitting read, and it does so ALMOST disguised as a Middle G
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Tales from the Inner City
  • Dig
  • Blades of Spring (Ashfall, #4)
  • The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
  • Rotkäppchen muss weinen
  • Slog's Dad
  • The Otherlife
  • Girl at the Bottom of the Sea (Chelsea, #2)
  • Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers and Magical Rebels on Summoning the Power to Resist
  • Girls I've Run Away With
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 9: On a Roll
  • Ghosting
  • Henry Aaron's Dream
  • Neversink
  • Leoniderne (Spektrum, #1)
  • Just Between Us
  • Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners
  • Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers
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 Co
“Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or because there will be those who believe it so strongly they will make it so?” 8 likes
“For who needs devils when you have men?” 7 likes
More quotes…