This is the best collection of short stories I've ever read. (Really. I promise.) I initially picked it up to read "Stories of Your Life", the basis for the movie Arrival. I ended up reading and loving all of them. There isn't even an "eh" story; each one is a tiny masterpiece. While all contain roots of science fiction, the tone and prose varies. A few stories are super-techy futuristic and others lean toward the contemporary. All are philosophical to some degree; no crazy action or explosions within these pages. Right now this is Ted Chiang's only piece of work and I dearly hope he continues to write more! I can only read this collection so many times. (That's a lie, I can read this over endlessly.)— From Leah's Picks (page 1)
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. www.patrickness.com
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. www.rovinacai.com
“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)