Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.
Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.
Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!
Title: And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness
Length: 160 pages
What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):
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 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.
With the lush, atmospheric art of Rovina Cai woven in throughout, 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.
How and when I got it:
I treated myself to the hardcover edition when it was released in 2018.
Why I want to read it:
I’ve read several Patrick Ness books by now, but not nearly enough! I think I have at least two more of his books sitting on my shelf, still to be read (maybe future Shelf Control books?). I was drawn to this book for a few reasons:
- I’ve never not liked Patrick Ness’s writing, even if the book’s main topic isn’t of huge interest to me. Can’t say I’ve ever been let down.
- It’s illustrated by Rovina Cai! She also does the illustrations for Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children books, and I love her artwork.
- I’ve seen this book described as telling the story of Moby Dick from the whale’s perspective, and what’s not to love about that?? I actually read Moby Dick a few years ago (yes, really), and I think experiencing an “upside down” version of the story would be fascinating.
I really do intend to read this book soon… or as soon as I can remember which shelf I left it on, last time I came across it.
PS – The opening line of this book is:
Call me Bathsheba.
How awesome is that?
What do you think? Would you read this book?
Please share your thoughts!
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18 thoughts on “Shelf Control #277: And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness”
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I’ve seen this book around but never really read the synopsis before. It sounds amazing!
I’m glad I reminded myself that I actually own a copy of this. I really do have to read it! (I just have to locate it now… silly me, reorganizing my books!)
What an interesting premise!
I agree! I think it sounds terrific, and I know the author always puts a cool spin on whatever he writes about.
This sounds really good–I like the idea of flipping perspectives; I’ve been meaning to read Patrick Ness for a while but haven’t gotten down to it yet.
I think I’ve read 2 of his books so far, but have at least three more on my shelves!
I’ve been wanting to get to A Monster Calls.
It’s so powerful. Highly recommended!
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I hadn’t heard of this book. I agree with you on the quality of Patrick Ness’ writing, I’ve been blown away by the level of writing in all of his books that I’ve read (several yet unread). Looking forward to your review when you do read it especially as you’ve read Moby Dick!
Which of his books have you read? I’m always looking for recommendations. 🙂
Hi Lisa, I’ve read More Than This and listened to the audiobooks The Crane Wife, and The Rest of Us Just Live Here. All excellent!
Awesome — I’ve read The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and would like to read the others!
Now that I’ve gotten all my books in order in my new flat, I should do this. There are books on those shelves that I’m not sure I read, that maybe I should.
Please do join in! I’d love to see what’s lurking on your shelves. 🙂
Okay… I’ve scheduled a post for this coming Wednesday!
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