Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Book Review: Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (YA/Fantasy)

Title: Deeplight
Author: Frances Hardinge
Publisher:
Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication Date: 29 October 2019
Pages:
416
Format:
Paperback
Genre:
YA/Fantasy
Source:
ARC from Publisher

 


For centuries the gods of the Undersea ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror: they were very real, and very dangerous. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart.

Now, none remain. The islands have recovered and the people have patched their battered ships and moved on.

On one of these islands live Hark and his best friend Jelt. To them, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold.

But now something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.


I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Deeplight, as I have never read anything by Hardinge before. What impressed me most was the world building. This was skillfully handled, without any info dumping, always releasing just enough at each moment to keep the story flowing and make the world believable. The premise was intriguing, offering something different from the usual fare, and the plot held my interest from start to finish. The characters didn't always come across quite so well for me. I didn't dislike them, but I never formed a strong bond with any of them. This is a story that works more for the plot than for the figures enacting it. But it's no less a good story because of that. Overall, this was a four-star read for me. The characters didn't grab me, but I loved everything else about the book, and on the basis of this, I would definitely read more works by Hardinge in the future.

I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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