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Moby Dick Re-Imagined: Read an extract from And the Ocean Was Our Sky

September 4, 2018

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In a reference to Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick, ‘Call me Bathsheba’ is the first line of And the Ocean Was Our Sky. This new offering from best-selling author, Patrick Ness, takes the Melville story and turns it on its head, transporting you to another world deep below the ocean.

Not only is this mythic tale visually stunning, with illustrations from Rovina Cai but it’s a story that will have readers transported to the depths of the ocean, in an exploration of human nature through the story of Bathsheba the whale.

Bathsheba is a hunter, she didn’t want to be a hunter, but it is her destiny. Third apprentice in a pod led by the legendary and fierce, Captain Alexandra, she is about to undertake the most important hunt of her life.

‘For I, a lowly but eager Third Apprentice was about to begin the final hunt that ever was. The hunt for a legend, a myth, a devil. Pray for our souls. Because this is the story of how we found him.’

When the pod come across a wrecked ship, they stumble upon a human hand sticking out of the hull. On closer inspection he is grasping a gold disc covered with symbols that Captain Alexandra believes is a sign, a prophecy that they are being led towards a show down with the infamous Toby Wick.

Read our full review | Purchase a copy of And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Patrick Ness is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Chaos Walkingtrilogy, A Monster CallsMore Than This, The Rest of Us Just Live Here and Release. John Green has described him as “an insanely beautiful writer.” He has won every major prize in children’s fiction, including the Carnegie Medal twice. He has written the screenplay for the film of A Monster Calls and the BBC Doctor Who spin-off, Class. The first Chaos Walking film is slated for release in 2019. He lives in London.

Rovina Cai creates illustrations that evoke a sense of intrigue and she is often inspired by the past. From myths and fairy-tales to gothic novels, she loves stories that bring a little bit of magic and wonder to the present day. She was awarded the 2018 CBCA Crichton Award for Best New Illustrator. Rovina lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Read a Q&A with illustrator Rovina Cai


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