Book Review: The Light At The Bottom Of The World by London Shah

Book Review: The Light At The Bottom Of The World by London Shah

Published October 2019 by Disney-Hyperion|320 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Light At The Bottom Of The World #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

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.

The Light At The Bottom Of The World sounded pretty cool!  I mean, I can’t remember coming across a book that takes place underwater that’s not about mermaids.  The concept is pretty cool, and that drew me in.

I like that because earth is a terrible place to live in the distant future, we’re living underwater instead of heading to space.  I already mentioned not remembering coming across something like that before.  If I have, then I obviously don’t remember.  I read a lot and it’s amazing I can remember what I read a few months ago, much less years ago.

Back to the book, though.  Living underwater has its consequences, and you hear about people losing hope and getting sick because of it.  It’s interesting people went underwater but we make it work despite the horrible conditions earth is in.

Even though I liked the concept and surviving underwater is pretty cool, I wasn’t as interested in this book as I thought I would be.  It’s not the first time I’ve picked up a book because it sounds cool, read it, and find that I’m not that into it. It definitely won’t be the last.

I get why she’s trying to get to her father, and I don’t blame her.  But for the life of me, I could not tell you what happened to him.  I know she finds out where she is to get him, but I could not tell you what happened to him after that.  Considering she spends the whole book trying to get to him, you’d think what happened to him would stand out more.

I had a hard time getting into this book.  The world was interesting, but I wanted more.  It’s underwater London, but I had a hard time picturing it.  I kept forgetting we were underwater, and even though it seemed like it would be this oppressive place full of despair and hopelessness, it didn’t feel that way to me.  Things weren’t what they seemed, and we definitely find that out.  But I still kept forgetting we were underwater, and it felt like it could have been happening anywhere.

I just didn’t feel invested in Leyla’s mission to get her dad.  As bad as it might be, it was just hard for me to care or be interested in what happened.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for this book when I read it.  Maybe I would have felt this way no matter when I read it.  We’ll never know, least of all me, but I did finish it, so it did keep me reading.

2 stars.  I wanted to like this book more because I liked the concept but I had a hard time with this book.