The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London ShahThe Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
Series:
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 29th October 2019
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

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 am soooo disappointed with The Light at the Bottom of the World! I adore apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction, and with the current Climate Crisis, this book should have been exciting and topical and basically just something I would love. Unfortunately, my only take away from this book is that it is SUCH a boring book.

The setting of underwater London had so much potential, and I was very excited to dive in (lol) to this world and see how the country had changed. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough description, and the characters just flitted from one place to another without really talking about it. I didn’t get a feel for the setting at all, and to be honest I got a bit confused about exactly where everyone was.

The characters also had ideas that came out of nowhere, with no build up or suspense, and it was as though I, as the reader, was supposed to be following along the whole time. Except I was unable to follow along because the writing was so chaotic and disjointed.

In addition to all of that, nothing really happened, and for some reason the story has been dragged into a duology. I feel like this could have been a strong standalone if the writing had been tightened up, but The Light at the Bottom of the World ended up being a whole lot of missed potential.

2 comments on “The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

  1. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight 09/12/2019 3:55 am

    YES YES YES thank you! I am so happy to see someone agree with me because tbh, I was worried that I was losing my mind with all the glowing reviews like… did we read the same thing?! The dialogue was straight up cringey, and like you said, what the HECK was even happening? I couldn’t even almost picture the world, so that potential was totally out the window. Like you, I am a HUGE dystopian-post apoc fan, and also like you, I was STOKED by the potential for the climate crisis to come into play, but alas. And YES the characters were so dull, and like- Leyla was either too dumb to close the door, or some brilliant escapist, and I’m like… these actions are wholly inconsistent?

    Ugh, I am so sorry you had a rough time with this one too, but I am SO glad that we can commiserate! 😂

    • Amber 11/01/2020 3:49 pm

      Glad it wasn’t just me, but sorry you didn’t love it either! I’m so sad about this one. I definitely hyped it up too much in my head.

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