And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness – Book Review

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness – Book Review

And the Ocean was our Sky by Patrick Ness

And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Author – Patrick Ness
Illustrator – Rovina Cai
Publisher – Walker Books
Pages – 160
Released – 6th September 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1406383560
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
Reviewer – Nia
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
This post contains affiliate links.


“Call me Bathsheba.” The whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt. Led by the formidable Captain Alexandra, they fight a never-ending war against men. Then the whales attack a man ship, and instead of easy prey they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself… With their relentless Captain leading the chase, they embark on the final hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of whales and men.

Review new 2021

I’m not going to analyse this book too hard in search deeper meanings beyond a vague ‘enemies aren’t always who/what you expect’ and ‘war sucks’ because it’ll only give me a headache and I always wonder if authors are really putting that much thought into subtext when they write or if they’re just enjoying spinning a good yarn for readers to enjoy at face value (I have no definitive answer to this, I just prefer face value).

The story is a switched perspective version of Moby Dick where the whales have their own advanced civilisation and form hunting pods to do battle against humans. I have never read the original, though I somehow doubt the whales were scientifically advanced, so I can’t comment on how this book ties in to the original. All I know if that this book is a weird and wonderful read that made me sad, thoughtful and warm on the inside.

What I can say with a degree of certainty is that the hardback edition, illustrated by Rovina Cai, is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever held in my hands. It has bold monochromatic artwork that perfectly captures the essence of the book and makes it a more immersive experience.

As long as you can sink into the vague world building without asking too many questions and enjoy the story for what it is, And the Ocean was our Sky is a beautiful and melancholy take on how whales might feel about whalers, it’s something well worth experiencing.

Reviewed by Nia

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About the Author

Patrick Ness Photo and the ocean

Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

Goodreads And the Ocean Was our sky

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20 Responses

  1. Megan says:

    I went to a book event for the release of the book and it was interesting hearing Patrick Ness talk about it. Your review has made me want to read it even more! Happy new year! 🙂

    Megan @

  2. DJ Sakata says:

    this sounds quite unusual

  3. Thanks for a great review. I love Patrick Ness’s books and found early on that it’s best to just dive in and not ask too many questions for max enjoyment. I can’t wait to read and HOLD this one. Sounds like it’s worth the money for print.

  4. Christina says:

    Fab review! I’ve only read one Patrick Ness book but I loved it.

  5. The cover sure is gorgeous!

  6. Stormi says:

    This sounds like a very unique read. And that cover is so pretty!

  7. Karla Strand says:

    Interesting! I like strange books like this. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Melissa's fandom world says:

    Great review! Glad to see you liked it!
    I’ve been wanting to read Patrick Ness for a while now but still haven’t gotten around to it yet.
    Your review makes me really curious about this one!

  9. Heidi says:

    Great review! It sounds kind of interesting!

  10. I hated this book. Probably because I listened to the audiobook, so it really didn’t make a ton of sense. Now, I’m going to have to pick up a hard copy to see the illustrations, and see how that changes my opinion.

  11. How fantastic. The book is great.

  12. His books normally are.

  13. His books are all a little ‘out there’ I find.

  14. It’s a gorgeous as the images on the inside.

  15. It really is unique and pretty.

  16. Thanks for reading.

  17. His books are different if you are looking for something unique.

  18. Thank you. It is.

  19. I think it would work best as a hard copy rather than audio or even a ebook to truly appreciate it.