by Frances Hardinge
Narrator: Joshua Akehurst
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.4x
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure
The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?
Drawn by the exquisite cover, I listened to Deeplight by Frances Hardinge and slipped into a fantasy world filled with castes, gods, and secrets surrounded by the sea.
Come to Myriad, where the sea gods are revered even though they ceased to exist decades ago. They harvest pieces of the gods (godware) themselves from the sea as their industrial world develops.
Meet 15-year-old Hark, an orphan who scams tourists to keep his belly full. His best friend, Jelt, offers him a lucrative gig that lands him in trouble. In fact, Jelt often gets Hark in trouble. This time they discover an usual piece of godware that will lead Hark on a perilous journey. He will have to save not only Jelt but the world.
Sacrifice, growth and heroes emerge as Hark begins his quest to save his friend, but his quest is weighted by decisions that will affect all.
This was my first experience with Hardinge and I loved the vivid, unique world she created. The tale unfolds smoothly without information dumps. We learn through Hark’s voice and alongside him as he learns more about the Gods, the Priests and the world he thought he knew.
Secondary characters were well-developed, intriguing and added to the tale as Hardinge ramped up the suspense and danger in the second half. Her prose brings this world together in vivid 3-D, so much so, that I could taste the salt air and feel the wind blowing my hair.
Joshua Akehurst narrates as the voice of Hark. This was my first experience with Akehurst and I enjoyed his unique voices, both male and female. From his tone I could desertion age, sex and emotions.
Secrets, gods and character growth await you in this brilliant tale. While slated for young adult and middle grade, it’s a story that fantasy & quest lovers of all ages will enjoy.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Dani @ Perspective of a Writer
This sounds so unique and compelling! I love that friends are at the center of it.
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
I have this book for review, and I plan to read it soon. Glad to see good reviews coming in!
This is definitely a gloriously unique premise! Great review!
Lover of Romance
wow….this world sounds so fascinating and the cover is so gorgeous, really makes you want to pick it up.
Tyler H. Jolley
I can see why you were drawn in by the cover. Great review, Kimba.
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasuers)
That cover is a grabber. Wonderful review!
I do like a dark fantasy now and then. I’d not heard of this one and it sounds good with the whole friend changing into a monster bit.
Debbie S Haupt
This sounds fantastic Kim and what a great cover
Nick @ The Infinite Limits of Love
That cover is definitely eye-catching! It’s been a while since I’ve read with rich mythology. I’m glad this was a fun experience for you, Kim!
That cover screams of extreme adventure in the most unimaginable way. Happy to hear the story delivered.
This world sounds fascinating, you have me interested.
I have been seeing a lot of people hauling in this book lately and that was why I looked into it before! I am glad to know that it is actually good on the inside too as this is the first review for it that I have read!
I have Frances Hardinge’s Lie Tree books to read and I’ve seen this book the cover caught my attention. It sounds like a good read, I don’t read much YA as they can be similar (parents dead, chosen one or descover powers) but when I do find one I love I end up reading all the author’s books.
Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
I love Y.A. Mythology, and the world building sounds spectacular! I’m glad you enjoyed this. story. Thanks for sharing Kim 🙂