Friday, November 22, 2019

Review: Light at the Bottom of the Earth by London Shah

The Light at the Bottom of the World 
by London Shah
♦publisher: Disney Press
♦release date: October 29th, 2019
♦hardcover, 320 pages 
♦ intended audience: Young adult
♦series: Light at the Bottom of the World, book 1
♦source: ARC from publisher for honest review
♦reviewer: Amy
Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean's surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father's been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he's innocent, and all she's interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she's picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she'll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.

Wild and unforgiving like the sea, The Light at the Bottom of the World is one of this year's most exciting reads. A story of fascinating survival, overcoming impossible odds, and proving that the survival nature of humankind will always rise above. London Shah creates a timeless world all of her own, with unsurmountable beauty and realism encapsulating the highest level of intrigue and adventure. Shah's beautiful imagery of a world encapsulated by the sea, where whales can be seen swimming by a living room window and the fear of predators takes on a whole new meaning, is one to behold.

While readers might feel the urge to race through this spectacular read, they will still take time to notice all the subtle Old World touches. With vintage 1950's notable fashion, an Elvis announcer, and just enough Oscar Wilde quotes to give literary dreamers all the right ingredients to fall in love.

A fast, intense read from the very first page this story doesn't leave a moment's pause for readers to surface and catch their breath. London Shah's writing is like the mighty ocean. She gives and takes as she pleases while showing readers that you can't drown perseverance, determination, or the desire to do what's right at any cost. Breaking barriers and stereotypes, Shah delivers a world that is vastly different than ours but still operates under similarly projected fears and prejudices. Written with surreal description and deep emotion, London Shah highlights the need for desire, acceptance, adaptation in any circumstance, and most of all hope.

You can find more of Amy's reviews, giveaways and a body painting of this book cover on her incredible Instagram page!

{About The Author}

London Shah is a British-born Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity. She has lived in Britain's capital city for most of her life via England's beautiful North. When she's not busy re-imagining the past, plotting an alternate present or dreaming up a surreal future, then she's most likely drinking copious amounts of tea, eating all the sweets and cakes, strolling through Richmond Park or along the Thames, getting lost on an evening in the city's older, darker alleyways—preferably just after it's rained—listening to punk rock, or losing herself in a fab SFF book or film. If she could have only one super power, it would be to breathe underwater. THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is her debut novel. 

Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon