Reviews

The Light at the Bottom of the World, by London Shah

alisonjane's review

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5.0

This was really great, but I think dystopian novels are too stressful for me in these current times.

bbliophile's review

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4.0

I... really liked this? There were a few things I didn't adore about this book (IF THIS GIRL SAYS PAPA ONE MORE TIME??? We get it, you're looking for your dad, stop mentioning it every 2 seconds and just DO IT.) but I really liked it overall? I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately so picking up a book that you're actually really excited about is great. I especially loved the setting, and I hope we'll learn even more about it in the sequel because it's incredibly interesting.

adrianareadsbooks's review

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5.0

I. Just. I mean. It is so good.

I picked up this book last night at like 9:30 pm with full intention to read a couple chapters and go to bed, as I was tired.

lololololol.

that is not what happened. Within pages I was transported to an underwater future full of intrigue and shady governments and murder. Did I know all of the British slang off the top of my head? No. Did it matter? Absolutely not. I mean, it made me mildly jealous we have none of those words over here... Suffice to say I read it in one night and my students are doing some independent work while I try and figure out my life.

Layla is a girl who is going through it. Her dad has mysteriously disappeared and she can't figure out where he is, but she is doing everything in her power to find him. entering submarine races, exploring and befriending unlikely allies.

also, I appreciate that this was a book which didn't completely base itself on the relationship angle. Layla is a whole independent woman, and she is not afraid to stand up for herself. LETS GO!

i was enthralled and I loved it. so, simply put, I will be sitting here, mildly patiently waiting for the second one to come out because as I flipped the last couple pages there was a whole twist and I wasn't ready for it.

kayakoschka's review against another edition

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5.0

Ein fast unbemerkt ansteigender, starker Spannungsbogen in detailreich inszenierter Kulisse, dem nur noch im Meer möglichen Leben nach dem Klimakollaps, und eine starke, liebenswerte Protagonistin mit starkem Willen, der sie auch mal eine unkluge Entscheidung treffen lässt – haben mich überzeugt.
Die Autorin lässt sich Zeit mit dem Erzählen, schmückt die vorgestellte Welt unter Wasser wunderbar aus, lässt Beziehungen und Ereignisse nachvollziehbar entstehen und lässt uns an den Gedanken, Zweifeln, Fragen, Überlegungen und Reflexionen der Protagonistin teilhaben, wodurch die Tiefe der Geschichte entsteht. Diese ist dadurch aber alles andere als langweilig oder ereignislos, im Gegenteil ist sie super spannend und eine Stärke der Autorin liegt darin, Ereignisse detailreich und wahnsinnig aufregend auszuerzählen.
Hervorheben möchte ich die Perspektive des Buches, von einer muslimischen Autorin erzählt, über eine ebenso muslimische Protagonistin, auf die beide die Beschreibung der Autorin zutrifft: „British-born muslim of Pashtun ethnicity“.
Verschiedene und insbesondere von der weißen, allzu oft männlichen Norm des Literaturbetriebs abweichende Perspektiven sind wichtig und es wert, vermehrt und bewusst gelesen zu werden! Sucht und lest Bücher von Autor*innen, die andere Perspektiven haben als ihr ♡
Es sei noch angemerkt, dass es sich keineswegs um eine religiöse Geschichte handelt. Der Glaube der Protagonistin steht einfach als Charakteristikum neben all ihren anderen Eigenschaften.

Ich kann den 2. Band der Dilogie kaum erwarten!

kelly_lyn_yt's review

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4.0

if you have a fear of deep water, oceans, drowning.. anything to do with water, do not read this book. Otherwise please do. it's a rollercoaster of ride... literally.

abigailfair's review

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Did not finish. I had high hopes for this one, but it just didn't speak to me. The dialogue felt clumsy and the world-building a bit awkward and heavy-handed. The London Marathon mentioned in the jacket copy felt too random and then we find out it doesn't even matter to the larger plot. Clever ideas but I'm not attached enough to Leyla to keep reading.

dukeofwess's review

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2.0

The good: the world building was fantastic, and I truly loved the premise of human civilisation having to survive under the sea. The 'monster' Anthropoids were also cool.

The bad: the plot was predictable and overly simple. Layla is immature, and spends most of the book either ignoring all the advice from other characters, or spending half a chapter whining about finding her father in a first person stream of consciousness that you desperately wish would just end. Except, every time the plot advances, it starts over again. It would have been half as long without the repetition.

The ugly: there's nothing redeeming about the dog Jojo and literally no reason for it to exist other than as an additional object for Layla to whine/simper/fuss over. The blandest dog in existence.

unheardmelokate's review

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5.0

LOVED from start to finish; the ending literally made the bottom drop out of my stomach. Full review will appear in an upcoming issue of School Library Journal.

xan_van_rooyen's review

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3.0

I really love that the main character is Afghan and Muslim. It's rare to find a religious MC in sci-fi so this was pretty awesome! I particularly appreciated all the cultural references the author gave us throughout the novel. I also quite liked the concept of a drowned world, but unfortunately, I struggled to suspend my disbelief or really understand how this world works. It seems the flooded world was the result of a sudden disaster, rather than gradual, environmental change, so I was left wondering how humanity managed to adapt and develop their underground living system so quickly, which was never really addressed in the book.

Also, by now, I've read quite a lot of YA so I saw the 'plot twists' coming a mile away. The story was fairly quick paced but I didn't love the writing style and found a few other aspects of the story a little difficult to believe too, so, overall, I can see this appealing to younger readers of sci-fi looking for an adventurous novel with a dash of romance, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea.