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The Light at the Bottom of the World

(The Light at the Bottom of the World #1)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean's surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that hu
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
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London Shah Hi there! 'The Light at the Bottom of the World' is Part 1 of a duology. The story was simply too long to fit into one book. Thank you :)

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4.50  · 
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 ·  88 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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This is a really cool science fiction world. Leyla and every other human being live under water, the world having been engulfed by the sea a long time ago. Her futuristic world includes cars that work under water and lots of interesting gadgets that made me want to take an actual leap into the future. Not that I wish to one day live among sea creatures, but you know. It could be an experience.

Another cool fact is that Leyla is a racer who has the chance to compete in the biggest race there is.
My demands have been met!
((wink wink))

Thank you so much, Disney Book Group, for my ARC!
This sounds amazing and I am so happy to have a copy.


Ohhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy


Elise (TheBookishActress)
Dec 14, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
"Set in a future where the Earth is underwater, the book follows 16-year-old Leyla McQueen, a British Muslim submersible racer, who must navigate the treacherous abyss to find her missing father." this is such a fantastic and creative premise and I can't wait! [also, the author is such a sweetheart. oh my god.]
London Shah
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hiiii :-) Can't wait to welcome you guys into my submerged world, and to introduce you to Leyla McQueen. Join her on her underwater adventure as she navigates the eerie and exquisite deep to solve the ever-growing mystery of her missing papa—and discovers along the way that they're all basically drowning in lies... I'm so incredibly excited for you to enter this world!

Gentle Reminder: The arcs—both physical and e-arcs—are pre copy edits. Thank you :)


“A work of fathomless imaginatio
Samantha Shannon
I have thalassophobia. Consequently, I've always found the the sea – particularly its abyssal zone – to be a source of both fascination and extreme fear.

Debut author London Shah illuminates the abyss in The Light at the Bottom of the World. It's a fast, accessible and high-concept adventure, driven by the determined and optimistic Leyla McQueen, who is willing to risk anything to save her beloved father from imprisonment. It's also an unapologetically British story, with plenty of slang and reg
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I was one of the lucky few who got to read and fall in love with this book. Yesssss!!!

This book is insanely good. The characters aren't your typical YA characters, rather all have their own back stories and needs and goals. Plus Leyla, the protagonist, is a British Muslim girl of Afghan descent, and being both South Asian and Muslim myself, I related in so many ways to her.

This book will knock your socks off, world!
As Taylor Swift said,
"Are you ready for it?" ;)
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: This review will contain ocean puns!

I was both excited and nervous to dive into The Light At The Bottom Of The World because it’s one of my most highly-anticipated reads of the year so there was always that fear of “what if I hate the book?”

It’s needless to say that this book exceeded all of my expectations. Shah’s writing is captivating in a way that allows the reader to fully submerge themselves in the underwater world and be swept away by their emotions and the story. Leyla McQuee
Feb 02, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
I love me some sci-fi

| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this book
Laura Weymouth
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Light at the Bottom of the World is a gorgeous, hope-filled underwater adventure that always leaves room for wonder.

Leyla McQueen makes a refreshing change as a YA main character--she's unquenchably optimistic, and driven by her love of family. Her world is an absolute delight to explore--author London Shah does a brilliant job of portraying a submerged London, along with all the extraordinary and mundane aspects of life below the sea. The story is pacy, the setting lush and original, but i
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are so many things I loved about this book, I don't really know where to start!!

So it's set in the future where the world is underwater because climate change has rendered the surface unlivable - which, first of all, is an amazing concept. It's also executed absolutely brilliant. The world-building in the book is fantastic, both futuristic while tethered to old-world nostalgia, with great commentary on how nostalgia can be destructive and harmful to us, if we can't look past it for long en
Rachel Strolle
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-publication
i can't think about McQueen without being reminded of Lightning McQueen.


Anyway. I'm excited about this!!
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The Light at the Bottom of the World will sweep you away in its powerful current. It's a wild world underneath the waves and Shah tells a story of nostalgia, conspiracy, and the need to move forwards. The Light at the Bottom of the World is a story about family, the pursuit of truth, and the depths of darkness. Leyla is a character that is easy to root for - her desire for family, for
Feb 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: coming-soon-19
The world deserves more young adult submarine-related fiction.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read an early version of this manuscript and loved it! I can't wait to see how it has evolved!
S.K. Ali
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blurbed
I'm so excited for everyone to get to know Leyla McQueen!
Here's my official blurb:
Riveting and exciting, LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a heart-racing adventure that reveals compelling and necessary truths about several critical issues of our times, while delivering all the thrills and twists of an epic quest. A stand-out, must-read book that engulfed me in its enthralling world and characters. Leyla McQueen is queen of the (under)seas!
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Light at the Bottom of the World is literal magic.

I'm humbled and honored to have been an early reader. These characters and their hearts still live with me. Leyla is what the world needs, especially now.

The SETTING is so entirely cinematic--immersive, stunning, gorgeously detailed, and joyfully imaginative.

Everything about this book will sweep you away and fill you with hope.

The first of many beauties from the immensely talented and lovely London Shah.
Estella Mirai
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to be one of the earliest readers of this book, and ohhhh my goodness, readers, it is fantastic. The world building is fabulous—both in terms of introducing the speculative elements and in introducing London to this reader who has never been there (yet!).

Layla is such a fun, flawed, and nuanced character that you can’t help but feel for her, and I became invested in her story right away. The supporting cast is marvelous as well, and no spoilers, but there are some genuinely tear
Lindsay Galvin
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Light at the Bottom of the World is a thrilling underwater adventure set in the unique setting of a submerged London of the future.

Leyla McQueen is a captivating protagonist; determined, hotheaded and always driven by her love of her family. The relationships between characters are well drawn and moving, I really felt for Leyla and bought into her worldview, and she is the perfect pilot to speed the reader through the terrors and delights of a world submerged. The writing is as epic as the
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-releases
I was one of the few who was lucky enough to read a draft of this early on, and oh my word, can I just say, you all are in for treat!! Submersible racing in an alternate future Underwater London??? Umm yess!

Leyla is a devastatingly endearing character and her antics both on and off the racecourse will have you alternately giggling and in tears. And this is all to say nothing of the intrigue surrounding her Papa’s disappearance and the astonishing secrets she uncovers about her world while search
Monica Hoffman
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate to read this epic deep sea adventure before it even landed a publishing deal and I thought then as I do now, this is a out of this world story, unique in every way, and something YA has been missing! I can't wait to get my hands on the real book! Get ready for a thrill ride in a submarine!
Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
I really love a great sci-fi novel, and the submersible racing aspect has me very intrigued. The idea of a world that is underwater with a mystery to solve sounds super exciting. This is going to be at the top of my fall TBR.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the author and it doesn't affect my opinion of the book in any way.

The Light at The Bottom of The World by London Shah is definitely a unique read, it's unlike anything I've read before and I love it even more for that!

I don't even know where to begin but I'm going to say this: you have to add this book to your TBR right now! It's the kind of book that once you dive in you won't want to stop reading🙌.

London's writing style is amazing. She created a story that I'm sure
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The Light at the Bottom of the World" is a total page-turner!
In the year 2099, no one lives above the surface. An asteroid hit Earth, sending the world beneath the ocean. London still thrives, albeit with ruins of St. Paul's, Big Ben, and all the historical sites. The government promises Britons that they'll return to the surface soon. In the meantime, 16-year-old Leyla McQueen competes in the London Submersible Marathon in hopes of winning her prize of choice: freeing her wrongfully imprisone
Silver Petticoat
Review by Autumn Topping

It’s the end of the 21st century in this Sci-Fi adventure and the entire world lives underwater. Leyla, a British Muslim, lives in London. Her father’s been arrested and she will do anything to set him free. A submersible racer, Leyla gets her chance to race in the annual marathon. If she wins, she can free her father. Or so she thinks. Soon, she discovers the government is much more corrupt than she ever could have realized. She goes on a deep-sea quest to leave London a
The Kawaii Slartibartfast
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved this watery adventure. Leyla is a great determined character and the questions it raised about fear and bigotry were very well done
Nadine Courtney
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A page-turning, gorgeous read: Leyla McQueen is an incredible protagonist (hopeful, loving, and so easy to root for)!
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to be an early reader for this book, and fell in love instantly.

A true adventure, you'll plunge into a world that is both familiar and strange. Underwater London, with only submersibles for travel, combining the majesty of ocean scenes with a futuristic civilization.

Combine a gorgeous setting with a cast of characters that will draw you completely in, political intrigue, and danger on every side, and you, like me, won't be able to put it down. Although you, future readers, wi
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the distinct pleasure of reading an early draft of this novel and I can't wait to read it upon release. 'Early draft?' you say. 'It has to have changed! I cry foul!'

To you I say, there are some things that always stick with a book, no matter what draft it is.
In this case, readers can look forward to
1. A witty, compassionate, and strong main character. This is a girl taking charge of a submersible and risking everything to save her papa.
2. A gorgeous underwater world. This author has a ta
Rachel Sh
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading a very early draft of this quite some time ago now and all I can say is this book and author completely deserve the recognition - I am so, so happy it’s finally getting published! The world and storyline in Shah’s novel is unlike anything I’ve ever come across in YA fiction. Incredibly fast-paced and so easy and fun to fly through! I can only imagine how good it must be now if I read an early manuscript!
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Author London Shah is a British-born Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity. She has lived in Britain's capital city for most of her life via England's beautiful North. When she's not busy re-imagining the past, plotting an alternate present or dreaming up a surreal future, then she's most likely drinking copious amounts of tea, eating all the sweets and cakes, strolling through Richmond Park or along the Th ...more

Other books in the series

The Light at the Bottom of the World (2 books)
  • Untitled (Light the Abyss, #2)