Drawing heavily from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, Patrick Ness has given a famous antagonist a voice through this retelling that transports readers into a foreboding underwater realm where whales hunt seafaring humans.
These whales have formed their own civilization with hierarchies that mirror the human social structures above the surface. The most fearsome hunter whale, Captain Alexandra, obsessively pursues the devilish, deadly human of lore known as Toby Wick. As Alexandra and her apprentice, Bathsheba, search for Wick, they come across an abandoned human ship with a sole survivor whom they take captive. As Bathsheba and the captive human discover their similarities, they learn how their fears have set their species against one another.
Touching on themes of faith, prophecy and destiny, And the Ocean Was Our Sky is an otherworldly myth—beautifully illustrated by Rovina Cai—that feels eerily real.