Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
Publication Date: October 29th, 2019
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.
I received the ARC through netgalley but this doesn’t affect my review!
All really knew about this book going in was that it takes place entirely under the ocean and honestly I haven’t read a book with submarines ever?! (I guess other than that one Series of Unfortunate Events book)
The world building was really fun and unique. I especially loved the whole idea behind it being a post apocalyptic society because of global warming. You gotta love the political stuff! I haven’t read dystopia in a while, so that was great! Plus, creepy Anthropoids that are terrorizing the city… very intriguing indeed!
Leyla McQueen was a really fun MUSLIM main character (I always get really excited with Muslim characters, okay?!)! She was an adorable little nerd who also loved to race submarines which is pretty epic! PLUS SHE HAS AN ADORABLE LITTLE PUPPY NAMED JOJO WHO MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS.
I really enjoyed reading about the technology and the underwater life, though for a while I was a little confused as to what Anthropoids even were, but eventually I figured that out! I liked the slow build of the story because it gave this air of mystery. Plus, our narrator was in the dark about a lot of things so it was equally frustrating and intriguing trying to figure out what had happened to Leyla’s father and what everyone was hiding.
The second half of the book is when it gets really fun in my opinion. There’s more action and dramaaaaa!!!! I am a sucker for dramatic situations, especially emotional ones. I love seeing how different characters react to situations and Leyla had SUCH GREAT REACTIONS.
If you love underwater racing in cities, really passionate characters determined to save their family, a brooding male character you can’t help but be attracted to, CUTE LITTLE PUPPIES, sea monsters, Oscar Wilde, and adventure you should definitely pick this up! I would recommend this to anyone who wants something unique and fun!