And The Ocean Was Our Sky (Hardcover)

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And The Ocean Was Our Sky Cover Image
By Patrick Ness, Rovina Cai (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

“Whales and their precious prophecies. ‘We must do this. It has been prophesied.’ You relieve yourself of choice. Relieve yourself of consequences. Torture me, harm me, kill me. Do all these things, but do not pretend here is a must. That is how evil is rationalized.” In this beautifully illustrated retelling of Moby Dick, Patrick Ness tells the well-known tale from the point-of-view of Bathsheba, a whale whose entire existence is hunting the vicious humans that have murdered whales for millennia. Recounting her pod’s ill-fated hunt for the mythical killer of whales, Toby Wick, readers are treated to an exploration of the prejudices and assumptions we inherit, the stories we tell ourselves to justify othering and violence, and the far-reaching consequences of war. Timely and resonant, Bathsheba’s bloody tale will stay with readers long after the final pages: “For there are devils in the deep, but the worst are the ones we make.”

— From Sara

Ness writes in a way that reinvents the language. His stories are powerful and unique, beautiful and terrible. His prose is perfect. In this incredible reimagining of Moby Dick, the world is, quite literally, turned upside down. The hunter becomes the hunted, and truths are discovered to contain lies. Imaginatively told from the point of view of the whales, Ness creates a world that is simultaneously familiar and alien.

— From Bob

Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List

“I love Patrick Ness's writing. He generates great tension and his words resound with authority and weight. This story—a Moby Dick tale told from the viewpoint of the whales--follows the apprentice hunter Bathsheba and her pod as they swim down (that's right, down) to the ocean surface to hunt the very men who hunt them. In the process, they find something even more terrible than men. This novel reads like mythology and the theme is a marvelous one, delivered masterfully.”
— Brandon Breen, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR


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.

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of ten novels, including his New York Times bestselling The Rest of Us Just Live Here, the Chaos Walking trilogy, More Than This, A Monster Calls, which was made into a major motion picture with a screenplay adaptation by Patrick himself, Release, and And The Ocean Was Our Sky. Born in Virginia, Patrick lives in London.

Rovina Cai draws from a studio in a nineteenth-century convent. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and Spectrum Fantastic Art and the Children’s Book Council of Australia. She has illustrated And The Ocean Was Our Sky, by Patrick Ness, and the picture book Tintinnabula. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Praise For…

“Wrenching, dark, and powerful.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In his latest, the critically acclaimed and wildly divergent Ness, never one for convention, takes the story of Moby-Dick, pares it down to its basic parts, and quite literally inverts it... Ness’ writing—spare, thought provoking, and already dramatic—is utterly enhanced by Cai’s breathtaking artwork.”
Booklist (starred review)

“An excellent, stirring counterpoint to the original text, rife with questions about the inexorable nature of belief and violence.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)

“The whale epic, particularly Bathsheba’s discussions with the human hostage, mounts an exploration of inherited prejudices, violence justified, and the far-reaching consequences of war.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Fans moved by the author’s A Monster Calls will be especially gratified to see Ness revisit this type of mythic, philosophical storytelling artfully complemented by powerful illustrations.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“Bathsheba’s story has heft, even though Ness’s book is significantly shorter than Melville’s... Rovina Cai’s illustrations are detailed and dream-like, her gray-scale with splashes of color depictions of the fathomless world an additional source of intensity in this already fierce tale.”
— Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062860729
ISBN-10: 0062860720
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Pages: 160
Language: English
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