And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

I have finally joined the local library. In fact, it was listening to the author Jan Carson that convinced me that I had to make use of my library, and so I did.

And the first book I took out: a YA graphic novel, one that had been on my wishlist quite some time – ‘And the Ocean Was Our Sky’ by Patrick Ness.

This book is absolutely stunning; the illustrations are truly beautiful and so clever. They are sybmbolic as well as supporting the story, and you are left with some of them to use your imagination to add more to the moment. They are, in every way, just enough to bring the story to life for the reader.

I guess I should talk about the story. Inspired by ‘Moby Dick’ (which I have not read, despite Mr Bookwormandtheatremouse insisting that I should), it is the story of the whales as the hunters of man, rather than the other way round. And what a powerful story it is. Patrick Ness has really flipped the tables on the classic, in such a sophisticated and meaningful way. This is not a gimmick of a story, but one that really makes you think about the impact of whale hunting on those beautiful mammals of the sea – and Patrick Ness really brings them to life for the reader.

However, this is not a tale that preaches to its readership; it makes the reader think. You will consider how not everybody that hunts supports what is happening, but there is also that survival instinct kicking in. It is fundamental to all to want to survive, even sometimes when the things that are needed for that to happen may not always sit comfortably with our ideology. So, on the pages of this book, we have quite a study of human and animal nature.

If you like a thought-provoking and powerful read, then this is a book I would suggest you pick up, I would love to know how other readers respond to this graphic novel. And always remember: YA books are not just for younger readers.

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