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?
Out April 2020
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
I’ve been trying to get Hardinge’s books for a while now and once I did manage to get this one, I couldn’t wait to delve into it.
If you take a toxic friendship, huge world-building expertise, perfected character development, and undersea adventures, secrets that burn with tension and fast-paced writing, then you have a Hardinge book.
The author’s voice spins a hypnotic tale of debts owed, a friendship that isn’t very healthy and one-sided, of Gods once revered but are now dead… and so much more. I enjoyed this well plotted out story and Hardinge’s wild imagination in action. She’s created this completely new world and pulls the reader in effortlessly from beginning to end. This book is targeted for ages 12 and up, but even adults could find it engaging and entertaining.
Hardinge’s characters are deeply flawed yet relatable. Her monsters are outlandish and brutal. She adds elements of smugglers and con-men with plot-twists spinning complicated challenges that you won’t see coming. She brings in issues like xenophobia and religious fanatics to heighten the complexity of the story with very little effort.
The world the author creates is dark and mysterious full of deep sea adventures and hunts for parts of God-monsters that people now crave. She adds an orphan hero who has nothing but his misunderstood friendship with another orphan with ulterior motives and desires. He is a user and our hero is just trying to survive by doing what is right.
I love this story!
I gave it: