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And the Ocean Was Our Sky

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for And the Ocean Was Our Sky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    An interesting message but, unfortunately, it seems no amount of interesting messages can make a story about a pod of whales not boring. Sorry. I've definitely said this before but I'd like to stress it again: I love that Patrick Ness gets creative. He thinks outside of the box. He doesn't care for tropes or trends; he simply looks to tell an interesting and unique story. That's why I will keep reading his books. And The Knife of Never Letting Go is still one of my all time favourites. That being An interesting message but, unfortunately, it seems no amount of interesting messages can make a story about a pod of whales not boring. Sorry. I've definitely said this before but I'd like to stress it again: I love that Patrick Ness gets creative. He thinks outside of the box. He doesn't care for tropes or trends; he simply looks to tell an interesting and unique story. That's why I will keep reading his books. And The Knife of Never Letting Go is still one of my all time favourites. That being said, his experimental style doesn't always work for me. In Release, I really enjoyed the emotional chapters about a teenage boy coming to terms with his sexuality in a deeply religious family, but the weird magical realism chapters did nothing for me. Here, I appreciated the messages that emerged at the very end, but the story of the whales hunting Toby Wick (yes, it's a retelling of Moby-Dick from the perspective of a whale) almost put me to sleep. The book is ultimately about the power and danger of rumour; how believing in whispered half-truths or lies can create the devils you fear. Fascinating concept, but I think this message is only realized in the final few pages of the book. In Ness's accompanying note, he says that the message was not the original intention and, in fact, grew out of a different kind of story-- I think this is obvious in the reading. It feels tagged on like an afterthought. The story itself was very dry. We follow a pod of whales who hunt humans and, particularly, the infamous "Toby Wick" who allegedly terrorizes the seas. No one has actually seen Toby Wick but he is known to be a monster. It's only a short book, but it is not compelling. As much as I tried, I just could not care that much about these whales. They were not anthropomorphized, and the limited emotions they showed throughout made me feel no emotion towards them. The piles of "liked" and "didn't like" of Patrick Ness's books are pretty even at this point. Sadly, And the Ocean Was Our Sky was one more added to the latter. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    3.75

  3. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This is an extremely beautiful book and the illustrations were just !! Which is how you write a super good review, kids, by saying your opinion is "!!!" ahem. Anyway. This isn't really like any of the other Patrick Ness books I've read. I thought, since it had illustrations, it was going to be like A Monster Calls, but eh? Not really. It's extremely metaphorical and basically a fable that talks about war turning people into monsters, and how sometimes you make monsters by forever pursuing violen This is an extremely beautiful book and the illustrations were just !! Which is how you write a super good review, kids, by saying your opinion is "!!!" ahem. Anyway. This isn't really like any of the other Patrick Ness books I've read. I thought, since it had illustrations, it was going to be like A Monster Calls, but eh? Not really. It's extremely metaphorical and basically a fable that talks about war turning people into monsters, and how sometimes you make monsters by forever pursuing violence instead of choosing peace. So good stuff. I like. It's also an upside-down retelling of Moby Dick! I have nOT read Moby Dick and all I know is that there's a whale, ok. I'm...I can't even with me either. (I'm legit going to go wikipedia the synopsis after this ha ha.) I don't think you need to know the original to appreciate this one! But basically it's like "oh the WHALES harpoon men now!" And it's all narrated by a whale. Which is...weird. But cool! I was onboard with that (LOL LOL SHIP PUN). Although the whales also had ships and that was confusing. I also still have 0% of an idea who/what Toby Wick was. I am confused. I, personally, am more of a black-and-white-reader, so I did struggle to read between the lines with this one. It's a very fable and old/fashion style, which I had to really really focus on to stay engaged. But the illustrations were GORGEOUS. And they got sUPER dark (so um, yes, this is not middle-grade ok). And I also want to raise my hand and just say: "THANK YOU. ADULTS DESERVE ILLUSTRATIONS TOO." 10/10 would like all books to have more illustrations. It's very meaningful and beautifully put together! All there were several times when I was pretty confused, haha. (A whale narrated?! A wHALE HAD A HARPOON.) For who needs devils when you have men? (Love this quite because it comes up a lot in The Knife of Never Letting Go go series a LOT and I am here for Patrick Ness continually pointing at men and saying, "YOU'RE RUINING EVERYTHING." Mood.) "You sound like him," he finally said, quietly. "You talk the way men talk when they want to emulate him. The way they use his name to do terrible things. If you fight the devil, you become him." "Maybe it takes a devil to fight a devil," I said. "But at the end fo that fight, Bathsheba," he said, "don't only devils remain?" And for a moment in the ocean, there was only blackness. We were alone. Even with ourselves. And whatever devils lurked, unseen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    'scuse me all I wanna say is OH MY GOD THIS COVER OH MY GOD thanks for your attention.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription 🌟 This is a short story by Patrick Ness, in under 160 pages, we have a kind of “Moby Dick” re-telling. It also has great illustrations which helped understanding the quirkiness of this story. If you are already familiar with Patrick, then you know that he has the strangest ideas and I am always rooting for creative authors! I like that this was from Whales POV because it is all about the symbolism. The story is confusi This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription 🌟 This is a short story by Patrick Ness, in under 160 pages, we have a kind of “Moby Dick” re-telling. It also has great illustrations which helped understanding the quirkiness of this story. If you are already familiar with Patrick, then you know that he has the strangest ideas and I am always rooting for creative authors! I like that this was from Whales POV because it is all about the symbolism. The story is confusing at first but then we quickly understand everything and there is that “Ahaaa” moment where everything clicks in and it makes sense. 🌟 This is not supposed to be a children or a MG story just because it is illustrated, this is a story that can be read fast if you have an hour or a bit more to spare and it shows how Rumors affect us and how we turn ourselves into monsters while claiming to fight monsters. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    This is a lovely illustrated graphic novel about the need to analyze war beyond simple prophecy. Patrick Ness really shines when given a basic thematic core to live off of; even a simple story like this feels super engrossing in the context of the gorgeous art. So what I like about this story is the commentary on war and prejudice. Within this story, the primary dynamic is between the whale world and the human world - the human world resents the whales as killers, and the whale world resents the This is a lovely illustrated graphic novel about the need to analyze war beyond simple prophecy. Patrick Ness really shines when given a basic thematic core to live off of; even a simple story like this feels super engrossing in the context of the gorgeous art. So what I like about this story is the commentary on war and prejudice. Within this story, the primary dynamic is between the whale world and the human world - the human world resents the whales as killers, and the whale world resents the humans as killers. And the world of whales lives in fear of a monstrous creature known as Toby Wick. The main theme here is the idea that a side of a war is not a monolith. Every person of a certain population is not the same, do not think the same. And villainizing one side, blaming a monolith for the sins of one, will not end well. The writing is a bit dry, and I'm sure it won't work for everyone, but I adored slipping into this mythic world, and I adored looking at the art. And the art wasn't even finished in my arc. I want so much more of Rovina Cai's art. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  7. 5 out of 5

    V (lady⚔️crow)

    *whisper* patrick ness is writing a new book. *jump on a table* Patrick Ness is writing a new book. *bang pots and pans* PATRICK NESS IS WRITING A NEW BOOK.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ꧁ ℨαrα ꧂

    Plot ~ Concept: ★★★★★ ~ Execution: ★★★★☆ Pacing: ★★★☆☆ Writing style: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★★ World: ★★★★★ Enjoyment: ★★★★☆ Illustrations: ★★★★★ Cover: ★★★★★★★★★★ (yes I just did that) Note: I haven’t read Moby Dick and only have a vague idea of its plot, so I had no true point of reference while reading this book. Pros: ○ The writing style is so completely unique and one of the biggest highlights for me. Writing from the perspective of a whale allows Patrick Ness to get creative with his prose and styl Plot ~ Concept: ★★★★★ ~ Execution: ★★★★☆ Pacing: ★★★☆☆½ Writing style: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★★ World: ★★★★★ Enjoyment: ★★★★☆½ Illustrations: ★★★★★ Cover: ★★★★★★★★★★ (yes I just did that) Note: I haven’t read Moby Dick and only have a vague idea of its plot, so I had no true point of reference while reading this book. Pros: ○ The writing style is so completely unique and one of the biggest highlights for me. Writing from the perspective of a whale allows Patrick Ness to get creative with his prose and style of storytelling. ○ I’m someone who loves symbolism and analysing and interpreting deeper meanings in books. This one has a lot of that, and I was in my element. ○ I found dynamic between whales and man truly fascinating. So many parallels can be drawn between these fictitious societies and our world. ○ Dark illustrations in a non-middle grade book. ○ The interior of this book is so beautiful. My eyes have been blessed by Rovina Cai’s illustrations. ○ Seriously, I could stare at them all day. They add a whole new dimension to the reading experience. ○ !!!THE ENDING. The final pages after the climax of the book were so amazingly beautifully superbly astonishingly breathtakingly I’m running out of adjectives brilliant. It is poetry. It’s honestly worth reading the whole book for that. Cons: ○ IT ENDED TOO QUICKLY (I know that this is a good thing but I need cons to balance this out okay). ○ The premise may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it’s quite peculiar. ○ The middle didn’t fully capture my attention and I found myself struggling to concentrate. QUOTES (this book is a landmine for quotes): ○ “For who needs devils when you have men?” ○“All because, in place of a fin, they had a hand.” ○“Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or because there will be those who believe it so strongly they will make it so?” ○“...I dove for the sky.” Overall rating: ★★★★☆½ and rounding up because THE ENDING. ——————————————— 1. Patrick Ness. 2. Rovina Cai - I ADORE HER ART. 3. A peculiar premise. This is the definition of happiness, so p l e a s e don’t disappoint.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Whoever sets out to fight the Devil will eventually find him - inside! Monsters are Patrick Ness' expertise. And they come in various shapes, and tell stories from different perspectives. In this novel he lets the whales tell the story of hunting and vengeance that we all know from the unforgettable Captain Ahab. There is a Moby Dick in each society if there are people who believe in his power and are willing to turn into a mirror of him in order to fulfil the prophesy of hatred, fight and exclus Whoever sets out to fight the Devil will eventually find him - inside! Monsters are Patrick Ness' expertise. And they come in various shapes, and tell stories from different perspectives. In this novel he lets the whales tell the story of hunting and vengeance that we all know from the unforgettable Captain Ahab. There is a Moby Dick in each society if there are people who believe in his power and are willing to turn into a mirror of him in order to fulfil the prophesy of hatred, fight and exclusive honour. Patrick Ness shows the self-absorbed hunter for fame, and the absurdly loyal acolyte, and the doubter and thinker in their timeless roles - but in the shape of whales, not humans. They fight and kill in an eternal vicious circle of vendetta for lost lives among their own. A bleak story, but with a sense of hope. The way out of violence is respect for the individual and communication across the enemy's borders. But who can actually do that, trained and drilled in partisanship? Taught to think in demonising patterns? Or alone in doubts? Knowing more about the enemy is the key to stop hating and fearing him. To enhance the powerful message of the paradigm shifting story, it is illustrated in black and white, emphasised with increasing colour signals in red. The artwork tells as much about the climax of the fight as the warning voice of the huntress herself: if you think this life is admirable, you haven't understood what I am telling you, she says. And that is true for so many people. Heroism looks glorious from far away. In close-up, it is a black ocean striped in red pain. Does fear of the devil make him rise? That is the message of this tale: "Take my name as the warning of where our fears will lead us, where the devils we make will destroy us all." As she hears whispers of a new devil killing whales, Bathsheba tells her tale of peace, against death masked as glory. Listen to her!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra {semi-hiatus}

    *Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!* "Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or becasue there will be those who believe is so strongly they will make it so? In the fear that I always try to hide in my heart, I wonder if there is even a difference." This was a complete whirlwind of a novel. I have no idea where Patrick Ness's book ideas come from, but there was no way his previous novel, Release, could have prepared me for this one *Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!* "Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or becasue there will be those who believe is so strongly they will make it so? In the fear that I always try to hide in my heart, I wonder if there is even a difference." This was a complete whirlwind of a novel. I have no idea where Patrick Ness's book ideas come from, but there was no way his previous novel, Release, could have prepared me for this one. They're just so different. Even his writing style seems to morph from book to book. And I absolutely love that. This was engaging start to finish. Whales hunting humans? With a whale as a main character? I didn't know how much I needed Bathsheba and her crew until they began to hunt the infamous Toby Wick while also fighting off rival pods and human hunting parties. "For who needs the devil when you have men?" The most precious part of this novel was the unlikely friendship that formed between the whale, Bathsheba, and the human, Demetrius. I can easily say I have never read any relationship like it and that it was one of my favorite parts of this tiny little treasure of a book. "Maybe it takes a devil to fight a devil." By far one of the most interesting and unique books I've read in years. Plus, this book is littered with beautiful, intricate illustrations that just add the feeling of wonder this book contains. I can't wait to get my hands on more by this author. "For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make."

  11. 5 out of 5

    joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)

    Holy fuck, whale feels are real feels. This is like a second coming of A Monster Calls, except not. The art, the themes, the collision of everything at the end to give us Ness' usual one-two punch of truth. My goodness are the visuals in this book is stunning. I may have been iffy with "Release", but damn it all, Ness has brought the good stuff in this Moby Dick re-telling. (Also a non-review but sea otters are still my fave.) thoughts prior to reading: yes, i hope the whales win. humans suck. - Full Holy fuck, whale feels are real feels. This is like a second coming of A Monster Calls, except not. The art, the themes, the collision of everything at the end to give us Ness' usual one-two punch of truth. My goodness are the visuals in this book is stunning. I may have been iffy with "Release", but damn it all, Ness has brought the good stuff in this Moby Dick re-telling. (Also a non-review but sea otters are still my fave.) thoughts prior to reading: yes, i hope the whales win. humans suck. - Full review to come.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erik Fazekas

    Najťažší okamih v mojej editorskej kariére nastal, keď som si prečítal email, v ktorom stálo: "Patrick (Ness) a jeho agentka Michelle (tá, ktorá je vo venovaniach) by radi vedeli, čo si myslíš o ATOWOS." Zamysleli ste sa niekedy, čo povedať autorovi, ktorého ako jedného z mála obdivujete, o jeho knihe? A napísať to tak, aby to neboli prázdne reči, ktoré sa hádžu na obálku kníh, že to povedal New York Times alebo niekto podobne anonymní? Zavrel som dvere, oči aj uši pred svetom a napísal som to, Najťažší okamih v mojej editorskej kariére nastal, keď som si prečítal email, v ktorom stálo: "Patrick (Ness) a jeho agentka Michelle (tá, ktorá je vo venovaniach) by radi vedeli, čo si myslíš o ATOWOS." Zamysleli ste sa niekedy, čo povedať autorovi, ktorého ako jedného z mála obdivujete, o jeho knihe? A napísať to tak, aby to neboli prázdne reči, ktoré sa hádžu na obálku kníh, že to povedal New York Times alebo niekto podobne anonymní? Zavrel som dvere, oči aj uši pred svetom a napísal som to, čo som mal v tej chvíli na srdci: And the Ocean was our Sky som čítal tesne po výročí konca druhej svetovej vojny. Posledný aprílový a prvé májové týždne som videl kvantum dokumentárnych filmov o vojne a prečítal neúrekom vojnových článkov. Najviac vo mne asi zarezonoval trojdielny nemecký seriál Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (po anglicky Generation War), ktorý vám odporúčam si pozrieť. V tomto vojnovom rozpoložení som sa začítal do ATOWOSu. Bola to kniha v pravej chvíli a na pravom mieste. Lebo na tých 160 stránkach si uvedomíte jednu krutú pravdu--najhorší nepriatelia sú tí, ktorých si sami vytvoríte. A to sú dejiny vojenstva zhrnuté na 160 stránkach. Vlastne sú to dejiny ľudstva. Lebo my ľudia stále hľadáme zlo a dôvody, prečo by sme sa nemali radovať. Máme strach žiť šťastne, neustále hľadáme len nenávisť, ktorá podporuje ďalšiu nenávisť a tak ďalej dokola. Nikdy sa nevieme poučiť z vlastnej minulosti. A to sa nám snaží Patrick povedať aj touto knihou. A to nám chcú povedať aj úchvatné ilustrácie. Máte sa na čo tešiť. Rovina Cai je... nedá sa to opísať slovami. Ja osobne som rád, že Jim Kay (ilustrátor Sedem minút po polnoci) je strašne vyťažený ilustrovaním Harryho Pottera. Lebo kniha takto získala nový rozmer. Toto nie je druhá časť knihy Sedem minút po polnoci, A Monster Calls, Volání netvora. Toto je samostatný príbeh s rovnako silným posolstvom. O obsahu tiež veľa nepoviem, anotka hovorí za veľa, no musím spomenúť, že mojou najobľúbenejšou je posledná kapitola. Nie preto, že som konečne dočítal knihu, to vôbec nie. Ale hlavná hrdinka Batsheba rekapituluje svoj život, spomína a vysvetľuje prečo a ako koná. Batsheba nechce stáť v centre pozornosti, nechce okolo seba budovať kult osobnosti, lebo raz sa to všetko zvrhne. Batsheba je len svedkom udalostí a anonymne o nich rozpráva. A dnes som si uvedomil, že máme s Batshebou niečo spoločné. Sme svedkami, stojíme v úzadí, poťahujeme za nitky... lebo mám tú česť spolupracovať s úžasnými ľuďmi-s autormi, prekladateľmi, redaktormi a čitateľmi. To oni sú hviezdy našich obľúbených kníh, oni tvoria, prinášajú, dolaďujú príbehy, ktoré sa nám vryjú do sŕdc. Taká je sila kníh a príbehov v nich skrytých. Ak sa nám kniha páči, ľúbme ju a vychvaľujme, kde sa dá. Ak sa nám nepáči, zdržme sa hejtu, lebo možno práve ten zabráni, aby tento poklad objavil niekto, komu prirastie k srdcu. Všetci sme rozdielni, no najväčšie zlo si tvoríme spolu my sami. (Toto je koniec sentimentálnej vsuvky a moje posolstvo skryté v knihe.) Dúfam, že vás kniha osloví a zamilujete si ju, rovnako ako ja. Ja viem, že mi veľa ľudí závidí prácu vo vydavateľstve, hlavne to, že mám rukopisy dávno pred vydaním, ale dobre viete, že sa tým nechválim, ani vás tým neprovokujem, ale o tejto knihe som prosto musel napísať pár slov.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luu

    Keď Erik zverejnil svoju recenziu, pýtala som sa, či môžem ešte pred vydaním niečo napísať aj ja. A on že: "Až keď to preložíš." TAK SOM TO PRELOŽILA, OKEJ? A som rada, že som to spravila. Lebo keby som niečo písala bezprostredne po čítaní, vyzeralo by to úplne inak. Mala som totiž nesprávne očakávania: je to krátke, má to obrázky a je to o veľrybách, takže to isto bude metaforický doják ako Sedem minút po polnoci. CHYBA. Každá. Jedna. Nessova. Kniha. Je. Úplne. Iná. Táto je o húfe veľrýb, ktorý Keď Erik zverejnil svoju recenziu, pýtala som sa, či môžem ešte pred vydaním niečo napísať aj ja. A on že: "Až keď to preložíš." TAK SOM TO PRELOŽILA, OKEJ? A som rada, že som to spravila. Lebo keby som niečo písala bezprostredne po čítaní, vyzeralo by to úplne inak. Mala som totiž nesprávne očakávania: je to krátke, má to obrázky a je to o veľrybách, takže to isto bude metaforický doják ako Sedem minút po polnoci. CHYBA. Každá. Jedna. Nessova. Kniha. Je. Úplne. Iná. Táto je o húfe veľrýb, ktorý raz počas lovu na ľudí narazí na mincu s iniciálkami T. W. - a kapitánka loveckého húfu usúdi, že ju tým Toby Wick, najobávanejší ľudský námorník, vyzýva na súboj. Hlavná hrdinka Batšeba vie, že to nemôže byť pravda. Toby Wick je mýtus, legenda, ktorú si veľryby vymysleli, pretože si odmietajú pripustiť, že by ich nenávidení ľudia mohli v boji premôcť, a tak za každý jeden masaker musí byť zodpovedné niečo nadprirodzené. Toby Wick. Inde by to, že Toby Wick je mýtus, bolo POINTOU celej knihy, ale tento príbeh je O OPAKOCH. Dostanete hrdinku, ktorá veľké tajomstvo Tobyho Wicka pozná už od začiatku a je na seba náramne pyšná, ako nie je - na rozdiel od všetkých ostatných - trápne zaslepená. A tak je to aj s príbehom, kde občas čakáte, že teraz to príde, teraz sa stane niečo dôležité... a ono sa... nestane nič. Aspoň naoko. Viem si predstaviť, že sa o tomto dočítate v mnohých recenziách, keď kniha vyjde. Bude to samé: bolo to zmätočné, čakal som viac dobrodružstva, čakal som viac akcie, čakal som nejakú pointu. Pointou tejto knihy nie je koniec, ale cesta k nemu, a uvedomila som si to až vtedy, keď som ju čítala druhý raz a nesústredila sa len na to, čo sa deje, ale čo je tam vlastne napísané. Strašne sa teším, až tú knihu uvidím aj naživo - ilustrácie sú FANTASTICKÉ a to, ako sú v nich použité farby, je úplne že oooch, a ktokoľvek vôbec dostal ten nápad knihu ilustrovať a dať ju ilustrovať práve tejto ilustrátorke, by si zaslúžil nejakú cenu. Ani neviem, ako to zhrnúť. Ness nikdy nenapísal jednu knihu dvakrát a toto nie je výnimka - je to niečo nové, niečo iné, niečo absolútne svojské a bolo to potešenie prekladať.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Full Review Posted 🐋 This book is a mixture of Finding Nemo and Moby Dick with blood, philosophy and talking whales as protagonists. Will there be a time when a man is prepared enough to review a philosophical book about whales and devil, created by the same human who wrote “A Monster Calls”? This is a very difficult book to rate. How am I supposed to rate the story of a talking whale, of a world where whales hunt humans the same way humans hunt th I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Full Review Posted 🐋 This book is a mixture of Finding Nemo and Moby Dick with blood, philosophy and talking whales as protagonists. Will there be a time when a man is prepared enough to review a philosophical book about whales and devil, created by the same human who wrote “A Monster Calls”? This is a very difficult book to rate. How am I supposed to rate the story of a talking whale, of a world where whales hunt humans the same way humans hunt them? It has been a weird experience to read a book like this one, I’m well aware that there are lots of books out there with animal characterization, but it is my first time (lol) reading one of that kind. Besides, did I tell you how much I love whales that I actually have a whale tattoo on my left butt chick? (That’s a lie, but if I ever get a tattoo, a whale will be one of my options). If I had to rate this book by its plot, characters (?), the story development or the writing style, it might not be even a 2-star book, but I have learned that isn’t the way you rate this kind of story. It is because of the above mentioned that I don’t find necessary to talk about what this book really about is, but of what the meaning of it truly is. While reading it there were many emotions that passed through my mind and heart, too many thoughts about things I don’t usually think and things that made me question myself. (I know, that’s not something new when referring to Patrick Ness). This time Ness has taught me how the devil is created, how each of us, each of our actions and our own beliefs are things which shape reality, which give birth to things we have first only imagined. It is through our emotions that we created amazing things or terrible monsters. A journey not made for everyone, but worth it for those who dare take the risk.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rusty Grey

    2.5 stars I'm gonna keep it short . I didn't like this very much . But the beautiful illustrations were exceptional . And I've given half stars for the illustrations alone . And the Ocean Was Our Sky is Moby Dick's retelling . If I say anything more than this , then it would be a spoiler . There is a lot of symbolism , and I get the message what the author wants to convey . But for the most part this book was dull . Patrick Ness' writing style is captivating . And the atmosphere created is fantas 2.5 stars I'm gonna keep it short . I didn't like this very much . But the beautiful illustrations were exceptional . And I've given half stars for the illustrations alone . And the Ocean Was Our Sky is Moby Dick's retelling . If I say anything more than this , then it would be a spoiler . There is a lot of symbolism , and I get the message what the author wants to convey . But for the most part this book was dull . Patrick Ness' writing style is captivating . And the atmosphere created is fantastic too . If only the story and characters were better I'd have liked this more . However the silver lining in this book were the illustrations . Look at these. Simply stunning . I'm not gonna give up on Ness right now . Hopefully his other works are much better .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)

    T/W- Scenes of Drowning, Blood Having read and hated the original Moby Dick novel a few months ago, I went into this with somewhat high expectations. This is a re-imagine from the POV of a whale. I like reading stories with animal POVs, however, this story didn't grasp me as much as I thought it would. Patrick's writing style is something I've experienced before and was left unsure whether I was interested in reading another one of his books. The saving grace for me was the beautiful illustration T/W- Scenes of Drowning, Blood Having read and hated the original Moby Dick novel a few months ago, I went into this with somewhat high expectations. This is a re-imagine from the POV of a whale. I like reading stories with animal POVs, however, this story didn't grasp me as much as I thought it would. Patrick's writing style is something I've experienced before and was left unsure whether I was interested in reading another one of his books. The saving grace for me was the beautiful illustrations by Rovina. It gave the storyline more of a visual impact which for me as a visual reader, stopped me from DNF'ing. I won't be re-reading this one!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A really interesting and unique take on Moby Dick, from the whale's POV.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Moving day is finally almost here (this Thursday!) which is why I am 15 books behind schedule and haven't read anything in ages. Sometimes I'm still awake at 3am and I decide to try to read after packing for hours and it doesn't work. This is not relevant to this book at all, just me making excuses for being super tired and stressed and oh dear lord packing 10,000 boxes of books is this literal worst. Anyway. And the Ocean Was Our Sky was thankfully brief enough for me to have a second to read it. Moving day is finally almost here (this Thursday!) which is why I am 15 books behind schedule and haven't read anything in ages. Sometimes I'm still awake at 3am and I decide to try to read after packing for hours and it doesn't work. This is not relevant to this book at all, just me making excuses for being super tired and stressed and oh dear lord packing 10,000 boxes of books is this literal worst. Anyway. And the Ocean Was Our Sky was thankfully brief enough for me to have a second to read it. And it was also pretty good! Lots of Ness's gorgeous writing and lovely haunting illustrations courtesy of Rovina Cai (that I can't wait to see the final versions of!) Full review to come - hopefully once I get moved and settled and god I hate moving so much like every single muscle hurts and I scraped up my calf. Which I guess is relevant in a book about whales, I don't really know, I've had maybe 3 hours sleep. Thanks to Edelweiss and Walker Books for the drc

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    4.5 I know this was short but I literally just read that in one sitting. Patrick Ness can somehow turn a whale story into something deep and thought-provoking. Dang. My Thoughts Okay first of all, let me tell you that the illustrations are gorgeous. And it's not even a finished copy! The world-building is okay, it doesn't feel info-dumpy. I'M A CONFUSED FAIRY Because the whales call our sky the Abyss, and from their perspective, they swim down to meet the surface? It's so interesting but SO WEIRD It's a 4.5 I know this was short but I literally just read that in one sitting. Patrick Ness can somehow turn a whale story into something deep and thought-provoking. Dang. My Thoughts Okay first of all, let me tell you that the illustrations are gorgeous. And it's not even a finished copy! The world-building is okay, it doesn't feel info-dumpy. I'M A CONFUSED FAIRY Because the whales call our sky the Abyss, and from their perspective, they swim down to meet the surface? It's so interesting but SO WEIRD It's a crazy short book but has a full story and characters which is awesome Like somehow Patrick Ness has used whales and a tiny book to introduce some extremely though-provoking topics. I haven't read Moby Dick (I KNOW) but even I could catch some clever references. IT'S SO GOOD Perspective and prejudice are such important themes. I will say that it sometimes felt a little off. Again, the length of the book made several scenes feel relatively rushed. My other issue with the world-building is that I did find myself lost sometimes. It took a bit to grasp the full impact of everything, and there just wasn't enough time for me to fully understand it. Why Should You Read It? IT'S SO UNIQUE. I'm really impressed with the amount of thought put into this book, especially since it's so short. I think this really follows more in the vein of A Monster Calls rather than the Chaos Walking Trilogy, so I'd recommend this if you enjoyed the former!Despite some of the issues I had, I definitely don't regret the experience and would love to read the finished copy when it comes out! Thank you to the publishers who provided me with an e-arc via Edelweiss!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I'm not going to lie to you and say that it isn't a little strange reading from a whale's perspective. It is. But, in a way that only Patrick Ness could, it's turned into a tale that not only made me care about some whales, but provides a pretty honest and raw commentary on humanity. Via whales, and yes, I fully understand and appreciate the irony. It's a short book, so I am not going You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I'm not going to lie to you and say that it isn't a little strange reading from a whale's perspective. It is. But, in a way that only Patrick Ness could, it's turned into a tale that not only made me care about some whales, but provides a pretty honest and raw commentary on humanity. Via whales, and yes, I fully understand and appreciate the irony. It's a short book, so I am not going to get into it too much, for fear of ruining things. But you can expect the following: •Gorgeously lyrical writing as you generally find with Patrick Ness is just as plentiful here as ever. Plus, it works fabulously with the nature of the story. (Nature, ha, pun not even intended!) •Pictures! I am clearly eight years old and much prefer when my books come with pretty drawings. Here for Rovina's. Cannot wait to see the finished copy, which I will obviously need to own. •It's very thought provoking. Because again, point of view of a whale being hunted by asshole humans. (And we really kind of are sometimes, aren't we?) •Feels. You will care a lot about a whale, for real. It was interesting too, because I read this right around the time that the mother whale carried around her dead calf, it was on the news every day, and all my whale feels were amplified. Bottom Line:  I stan one (1) whale.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Azbaqiyah

    Plot - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Character - ⭐⭐⭐ World Building - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cover - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Art Illustration - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Overall Rating - 4.7🌟 / 5🌟 My first Patrick Ness book. To tell the truth, I was attracted by it's cover and I never though that I truly enjoy reading it. Maybe I should check his other books. 😚💞

  22. 5 out of 5

    Harley

    4.5 Stars. Oh my goodness, this is so incredibly beautiful. The illustrations, the writing, the story, just beautiful. I'm going to try to form words now, bear with me. I sat down to read this and didn't move a muscle until I finished it. Yes, the point of view is from a whale, how can someone write a book with the point of view from a whale and make it elegant? I don't know but Patrick Ness can. I felt sympathy and appreciation towards Bathsheba and although I was immensly excited going into this 4.5 Stars. Oh my goodness, this is so incredibly beautiful. The illustrations, the writing, the story, just beautiful. I'm going to try to form words now, bear with me. I sat down to read this and didn't move a muscle until I finished it. Yes, the point of view is from a whale, how can someone write a book with the point of view from a whale and make it elegant? I don't know but Patrick Ness can. I felt sympathy and appreciation towards Bathsheba and although I was immensly excited going into this book as Ness is one of favourite authors, I was nervous that I wouldn't feel for any of the characters but I was wrong. The world within this book is dark and very vivid, I felt as if I was in the sea with them at times and so if you are after a strange, wonderfully weird, immersive book definitely give this a go. The message behind this book too is something very real and raw, it was perfectly presented and I feel that the ending of this story was clever, it left me wanting more but at the same time I understood that I shouldn't want more as it most likely would end in blood and tears. I urge you to read this so you too can experience the powerful journey Bathsheba the whale endured, a provoking idea from a breathtaking writer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eloise

    "Why is Patrick Ness your favourite author?" I hear you ask... Because reading his books is always an experience like no other. It is always filled with emotion and unexpected elements that make each story unique and new in a way that a lot of popular novels I read (and love to read, don't get me wrong), don't. And The Ocean Was Our Sky does exactly that. 4.5 ~ I have read no book quite like this one. It was a beautiful experience that is, I'll admit, quite hard to talk about. I would only urge you t "Why is Patrick Ness your favourite author?" I hear you ask... Because reading his books is always an experience like no other. It is always filled with emotion and unexpected elements that make each story unique and new in a way that a lot of popular novels I read (and love to read, don't get me wrong), don't. And The Ocean Was Our Sky does exactly that. 4.5 ~ I have read no book quite like this one. It was a beautiful experience that is, I'll admit, quite hard to talk about. I would only urge you to pick it up and experience it yourself. I loved how we were told the story of whales, but in a way that felt very much like they were humans. With ships, towns, sails and armour, they hunt men who live beneath them, in the depths of the Sky. Except they realise, both the whales and the men, that a demon is a threat to them all and go hunting for that demon. It was difficult at times to visualise exactly what was happening, as it is a new take on the lives of a whales, whose Sky is the ocean depths and whose depths is the air and land men walk on. However I didn't seem to mind... It is mysterious, it was unknowable because it isn't our place. It is not even important for this story. And of course the beautiful illustrations added a lot to the already chilling atmosphere. My Insta Picture of this book: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn_gzwznM...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    ANOTHER PATRICK NESS BOOK!!!!! I’m pumped!!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    "For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zohal

    Patrick Ness has done it again! ☺ This is a beautiful story. It is an allegory about what happens when you let your hatred run free and don't challenge the lies that it sprouts. I loved how unique this story was and the illustrations were beautiful. I felt empathy for our main whale Bathsheba and the writing was lyrical as always. Truly Patrick Ness excels at giving us the stories we never knew we needed. I also loved the discussion on free will and our ability to make choices and the entire dyn Patrick Ness has done it again! ☺ This is a beautiful story. It is an allegory about what happens when you let your hatred run free and don't challenge the lies that it sprouts. I loved how unique this story was and the illustrations were beautiful. I felt empathy for our main whale Bathsheba and the writing was lyrical as always. Truly Patrick Ness excels at giving us the stories we never knew we needed. I also loved the discussion on free will and our ability to make choices and the entire dynamic between the different whales was just so amazing to read about.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shorouk Abd Elhamed

    This is a beautiful story . I couldn't give it less than 5 stars. The characters here are whales and a human. I liked how the author made them female whales and they were going to save their whole race.I loved the conversations between the whale and the man . I loved how the ending came peacefully (view spoiler)[ not that there wasn't death but (hide spoiler)] .The author hadn't tried to make story so complex or long . The author just made you think and that was enough. The great trick of the dev This is a beautiful story . I couldn't give it less than 5 stars. The characters here are whales and a human. I liked how the author made them female whales and they were going to save their whole race.I loved the conversations between the whale and the man . I loved how the ending came peacefully (view spoiler)[ not that there wasn't death but (hide spoiler)] .The author hadn't tried to make story so complex or long . The author just made you think and that was enough. The great trick of the devil is to make you want to see him.But it is only when you see him that you fear him.And by then ,it is too late The illustrations was beautiful . One of the best for me .

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joey Rambles

    A Personal Ranking of All the Patrick Ness Novels So, since there are far too many Patrick Ness novels and I haven't done a review for any of them, I've decided to do this list instead. (And all of this is spoiler-free, so don't worry.) Here, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a ranking of all the Patrick Ness novels including this one: 9. The Crane Wife It only makes sense that the book starting off this list isn't terrible. This is Patrick Ness we're talking about, of course. But also... this is Pa A Personal Ranking of All the Patrick Ness Novels So, since there are far too many Patrick Ness novels and I haven't done a review for any of them, I've decided to do this list instead. (And all of this is spoiler-free, so don't worry.) Here, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a ranking of all the Patrick Ness novels including this one: 9. The Crane Wife It only makes sense that the book starting off this list isn't terrible. This is Patrick Ness we're talking about, of course. But also... this is Patrick Ness we're talking about. And The Crane Wife came out when the literary world was still celebrating the high of A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy. This book had an incredibly tough act to follow, and unfortunately, it just didn't work out. If this book has a 3.5 average on Goodreads, it's probably because the majority of people who read this book only rated it 3 stars. That sounds about right. This book isn't bad, but it isn't great either. It's just kind of in the middle. At the very least, it taught me that I could still love Patrick Ness with all my heart, even after a disappointing novel. 8. More Than This There are two things that make Patrick Ness's novels great: awesome characters and action-packed pacing. So it's a little strange to me that the first half of this book was completely devoted to following a single character, alone, in an abandoned town where nothing happens. And really, that could've been forgiven had the second half and the ending made up for it, but by the time I flipped the last page I was left wondering what the point of all of it was. I'm still not entirely sure what Patrick Ness was trying to get at in this novel. The entire thing honestly felt like 500 pages of build-up to...nothing. Still, this book gets a point above The Crane Wife for being completely out there. A big part of this book's marketing was in its secrecy, almost like its blurb was whispering to you, "I've got a secret I bet you're dying to find out." And I like books with secrets. (Hi there, We Were Liars.) 7. Release I'm a big Judy Blume fan. I'm also a big Virginia Woolf fan. But never, in a thousand years, would I have thought to compare or associate these two authors together. Or at least that was what I thought until I read the blurb for Patrick Ness's Release. In a way, that's kind of why I admire Patrick Ness as a writer. His ideas are out of the box and unique. His books are ones most people would never think about writing. But trying to combine two stories that barely have anything to do with each other just isn't an idea I think I could enjoy. That being said, the chapters concerning Adam are seriously the best parts of this book. Adam is a fantastic character you can't help but root for, and his chapters are made even better by great side characters like Linus and Angela. Really, had this book been just about Adam and his friends, this might've gotten a higher ranking on this list. 6. The Rest of Us Just Live Here The Rest of Us Just Live Here suffers from the same problem Release does - trying to combine two stories that don't have much to do with each other. Granted, the dual idea for this book is a lot more clever than Release, and had the two stories overlapped more I honestly think it might've worked. And you know what? I can forgive that. Because damn, did this book hit a little too close to home for me. Mikey is a terrific character, and to say I saw myself in him is an understatement. I didn't just see myself in him - for a time in my life, I was practically him. I’m also a sucker for friendship stories. I really am. Hand me a book, tell me it’s about friendship, and I will read it in one sitting. Jared and Mikey remind me so much of my best friend and me, and their group of friends reminds me of my group of friends. These characters love each other so much – they’d do anything for each other. When you have a book with a friendship as real and amazing and well-developed as this one has, what’s not to love? 5. And the Ocean Was Our Sky I know I just read this book and therefore, I can't rank it properly because I'm still experiencing its high. Who knows? Maybe I'll rank it lower the more time passes and I think about it. But as of now, And the Ocean Was Our Sky is a welcome return of the Patrick Ness I loved. You might've noticed all the books before this were of Patrick Ness's later works. So I'm not the biggest fan of where his literary career is going, but I'm still a fan of his experimentation. I wouldn't be surprised if this book got the same relatively low averages his later books got, but for me, this book really worked and left me in awe. Leave it to Patrick Ness to figure out how to make a story from the POV of a f*cking whale interesting, but he does it. Whoo boy, he f*cking does it. Maybe it's because of how short this book is. Maybe it's because of the gorgeous illustrations by Rovina Cai. Maybe it's just because it's Patrick f*cking Ness. Whatever the case, this book worked for me, and while I can't properly describe why, I do know it deserves to be ranked high on this list. 4. Monsters of Men I first picked up The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first book of the Chaos Walking trilogy, sometime after the publication of this book. The Hunger Games had just finished, and I was looking for another dystopian YA series to fill up the empty hole in my heart. Chaos Walking did that so well that I honestly dreaded reading this book. Yes, a part of that was because of how much of a disappointment Mockingjay turned out to be, and I was scared Monsters of Men would turn out the same. But it was mostly because I was so attached to this series, and I didn't want to say goodbye to it yet. I didn't want to say goodbye to Todd or Viola or Ben. I wanted to stay in Prentisstown for as long as possible. Well, thank God I got over that, because this book was AWESOME. It was so fast-paced and exciting and it felt like there was something new happening every chapter. I had to stop reading every now and then just to catch my breath. This was a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic trilogy, and I'm so glad my favorite YA dystopian series ended on such a high note. 3. The Ask & the Answer Second books in trilogies often have the tendency to not be its own thing. Instead, they usually only serve as a bridge between the first and the third book - really only there to move the plot along and reach a conclusion. There are exceptions, of course, and The Ask and the Answer is one of them. I genuinely don't know if I can praise this book enough, but I'm going to have to, because I still have the first book left to write about. I was obviously worried that this book wouldn't measure up to the awesomeness that is The Knife of Never Letting Go, but I was worrying for nothing, because this is a stunning sequel that does the first book justice. This book is intense. Really, really intense. It's the kind of intense that makes you ridiculously stressed out, so much so that you're finding hard to put down the book even for just a minute. It's brilliant, fast-paced, and it all leads up to a literal explosive climax. There are people who like to read only the first book of a series. To those people, I say - please, please don't do that for this series. Either read the whole thing or nothing at all. This is not a sequel you want to miss out on. 2. A Monster Calls They made a movie for this book, but I'm sorry, guys. I can't bring myself to watch it. I know it's gotten a lot of positive reviews and even some mighty respectable awards, but I just can't watch it. I love the book too much. Every positive thing you've heard about A Monster Calls is true. This book is extraordinary. It's much more mature and sophisticated than I would expect any Middle-Grade book to be, and yet, I still think it's really important for kids to read it. You know what? SCRATCH THAT. I think it's really important that anyone reads this book, no matter what age they are. This book is so emotionally powerful and raw. The characters are so beautifully written, especially Conor and the monster. The connection you feel with the characters are so strong that by the end of the book, your heart is breaking for them. I can't imagine anyone reading this book and not sobbing their eyes out by the time they turn the last page. And if you do plan on reading this book, I highly recommend you get the one with illustrations. Jim Kay's illustrations are so beautiful and dark and they perfectly complement Conor's story. This is a book you'll have a hard time forgetting. 1. The Knife of Never Letting Go If you're reading this list, I think it's safe to assume you've already read the Chaos Walking series. But if you haven't, I really only have one question to ask you: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! Why are you on the internet and not reading Chaos Walking? Shame on you. SHAME. ON. YOU. You call yourself a YA bookworm when you still haven't read this masterpiece? Put whatever book you're currently reading down, go to your nearest bookstore, and buy a copy of this book. Seriously, do it. Don't worry about your current read. It's fine, I'm sure Lara Jean will understand. This is the book that introduced me to Patrick Ness, and for that reason alone, this book is my number one pick. I know most people think the later books are better, and I might even agree if not for the personal attachments I have with this book. I can't even begin to describe the rollercoaster of emotions I was feeling while reading this book. It was completely stressed-out during one chapter and wiping the snot off my nose during another. Patrick Ness, you sly genius. I f*cking love you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Figgy

    Review to come. In the meantime... This is gorgeously illustrated, and an interesting take on Moby Dick (something I must admit to not having read), in which the story is told from the point of view of a whale who hunts men as vengeance for the harm they do to whales... The whales talk of and follow the trail of a legendary human who kills many whales with only a single ship... and his name is Toby Wick. There are some things that sit weirdly, like the fact that they somehow manufacture and control Review to come. In the meantime... This is gorgeously illustrated, and an interesting take on Moby Dick (something I must admit to not having read), in which the story is told from the point of view of a whale who hunts men as vengeance for the harm they do to whales... The whales talk of and follow the trail of a legendary human who kills many whales with only a single ship... and his name is Toby Wick. There are some things that sit weirdly, like the fact that they somehow manufacture and control harpoons... and travel in "ships" (a formation in which a Captain whale and three apprentice whales lead the journey, pulling an actual ship behind them, with "sailor" whales and the like), and there is talk of the parts of the humans being boiled for use in soaps and such. They also swim upside down... with the depths of the oceans as their sky, and the air humans live in referred to as the Abyss. This is a gorgeous book, physically, but I'm just not sure how these other elements sit with me... How is a whale meant to manufacture a harpoon launcher when its eyes are so far from its fins??? Read in one sitting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Līga Sproģe

    Oh, Patrick... Ar Patrika Nesa dīvainībām ir jārēķinās, un man tās patīk. Bet šis. :/ Sākotnējais paziņojums par vaļiem un viņu pasauli likās tik superīgs. Tad pēdējā brīdī izrādījās, ka grāmata būs par Mobiju Diku apgrieztās lomās. Vaļi medīs nenoķeramo cilvēku mednieku. Okay.Vēl nepārsteidzos ar secinājumiem. Arī sākot lasīt, kad agresija un asinis, un filozofija plūda ļoti bagātīgi. Grāmatām ir jāraisa emocijas, arī tumšās un ne tik komfortablās. Būtu atturējusies vispār no vērtējuma zvaigžņu v Oh, Patrick... Ar Patrika Nesa dīvainībām ir jārēķinās, un man tās patīk. Bet šis. :/ Sākotnējais paziņojums par vaļiem un viņu pasauli likās tik superīgs. Tad pēdējā brīdī izrādījās, ka grāmata būs par Mobiju Diku apgrieztās lomās. Vaļi medīs nenoķeramo cilvēku mednieku. Okay.Vēl nepārsteidzos ar secinājumiem. Arī sākot lasīt, kad agresija un asinis, un filozofija plūda ļoti bagātīgi. Grāmatām ir jāraisa emocijas, arī tumšās un ne tik komfortablās. Būtu atturējusies vispār no vērtējuma zvaigžņu veidolā un laimīgi no šī šķīrusies, vēl tīksminoties par tām pārpasaulīgajām Rovina Cai ilustrācijām, ja vien ne tās beigas. Par beigām/ atrisinājumu jūtu tikai dusmas. Nu nevajag pēkšņi no okeāna izstumt klavieres, labi? Grāmatās ir likumi. Varbūt tas viss bija jāsaprot kā mega giga metafora, bet, nē, paldies. Es kā lasītājs jūtos tikai apčakarēta. Hence the 2 stars.

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