Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 197
One of a kind story
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Hark and Jelt grew up together, without families and with barely enough to get by. Jelt turns to more and more dangerous ways of making money, namely aiding the area’s most notorious smugglers. Hark wants to be there for Jelt, but isn’t comfortable with the way Jelt is acting. When a scheme gone wrong ends with Hark getting arrested, he is sold to a scientist working with the old priests who worshipped the gods until the gods went to war with each other and died. Just as Hark is starting to adjust to his new life, Jelt ropes him in for another plot, and this time, the consequences are even worse. Hark finds a piece of a dead god, something coveted on their island, and uses it to bring Jelt back to life. But all actions come with a price and as the search for more god items rises, Hark has to figure out who can be trusted and who will lead him to his death.

DEEPLIGHT is a wonderfully imaginative fantasy, perfect for deep sea lovers. I love how unique the world is and the descriptions of the different islands and old gods.

As intricate as the world building is, what really shines are two strong themes: friendship and historical narratives. It’s easy to see how Hark developed a strong loyalty to Jelt with their past. Jelt isn’t a flat villain who is always cruel. He has moments of decency. But the more he turns to selfishness and greed, the more you see how toxic his friendship is becoming to Hark. Hark has to learn to be brave and stick up for himself.

Between the legends of the gods and the stories Hark hears from the priests, you see how history can become mythology and specific narratives take shape, ones that don’t include the full picture. Even Hark, with all his desire to learn more about the gods, easily finds himself romanticizing a past he doesn’t have much information on, let alone accurate information. The shape of the narrative comes from who is telling the story and whose voice (or voices) is being purposefully left out.

Overall, DEEPLIGHT is an engaging, one of a kind story about friendship, gods, and finding courage.
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