The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1)
Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope—fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture—or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.

The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1) Details

TitleThe Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 29th, 2019
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1) Review

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    "Set in a future where the Earth is underwater, the book follows 16-year-old Leyla McQueen, a British Muslim submersible racer, who must navigate the treacherous abyss to find her missing father." this is such a fantastic and creative premise and I can't wait! [also, the author is such a sweetheart. oh my god.]
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  • London Shah
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE: Eeee, first blurbs are coming in!!! <3Hiiii :-) Can't wait to welcome you guys into my submerged world, and to introduce you to Leyla McQueen. Join her on her underwater adventure as she navigates the eerie and exquisite deep to solve the ever-growing mystery of her missing papa—and discovers along the way that they're all basically drowning in lies... I'm so incredibly excited and October can't come around soon enough!
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  • Maria Hossain
    January 1, 1970
    I was one of the lucky few who got to read and fall in love with this book. Yesssss!!!This book is insanely good. The characters aren't your typical YA characters, rather all have their own back stories and needs and goals. Plus Leyla, the protagonist, is a British Muslim girl of Afghan descent, and being both South Asian and Muslim myself, I related in so many ways to her.This book will knock your socks off, world!As Taylor Swift said,"Are you ready for it?" ;)
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: This review will contain ocean puns!I was both excited and nervous to dive into The Light At The Bottom Of The World because it’s one of my most highly-anticipated reads of the year so there was always that fear of “what if I hate the book?”It’s needless to say that this book exceeded all of my expectations. Shah’s writing is captivating in a way that allows the reader to fully submerge themselves in the underwater world and be swept away by their emotions and the story. Leyla McQuee Disclaimer: This review will contain ocean puns!I was both excited and nervous to dive into The Light At The Bottom Of The World because it’s one of my most highly-anticipated reads of the year so there was always that fear of “what if I hate the book?”It’s needless to say that this book exceeded all of my expectations. Shah’s writing is captivating in a way that allows the reader to fully submerge themselves in the underwater world and be swept away by their emotions and the story. Leyla McQueen is both a fierce and brave protagonist, despite her fear of what lurks in the unknown depths of the sea. She’s also rather naïve but isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions. And she’s a submersible racer who is completely driven by the love she has for her family and her papa. Her deep appreciation for her Afghan heritage as well as her Muslim faith was such a joy to read about in a sci-fi world. Despite the futuristic setting, Shah manages to keep it anchored to the present – the Old World – through references to iconic landmarks, annual events and famous people. It's pretty Wilde!This book gives us hope of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world where climate change has made the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. It gives us hope in the face of senseless violence, reminding us that individuals who act alone do not represent the majority of a larger group. And it gives us hope for a better future by urging us to stop clinging on to the past.Full review to come!
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    I love me some sci-fi| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this book
  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    There are so many things I loved about this book, I don't really know where to start!!So it's set in the future where the world is underwater because climate change has rendered the surface unlivable - which, first of all, is an amazing concept. It's also executed absolutely brilliant. The world-building in the book is fantastic, both futuristic while tethered to old-world nostalgia, with great commentary on how nostalgia can be destructive and harmful to us, if we can't look past it for long en There are so many things I loved about this book, I don't really know where to start!!So it's set in the future where the world is underwater because climate change has rendered the surface unlivable - which, first of all, is an amazing concept. It's also executed absolutely brilliant. The world-building in the book is fantastic, both futuristic while tethered to old-world nostalgia, with great commentary on how nostalgia can be destructive and harmful to us, if we can't look past it for long enough to look into the future. The main character Leyla McQueen is brilliant! She's a British-Muslim racer, who is desperate to figure out why her father was wrongfully arrested. Leyla is such a fantastic character. She is determinedly faithful to her family, and has a fantastic connection to her Muslim faith (I don't think I've ever read a Muslim character is sci-fi before!!!). She's also clever and brave, even though she fears the unknown depths of the water, and naively believes a lot of things that maybe she shouldn't. I loved her journey and development in this book. It was done so well and so naturally, and as a reader who starts the book immersed in Leyla's world, you really feel like you're taking this journey with her completely. There are so many other things that I loved about this book but...I'm afraid of giving too much away!! Just make sure you read it because not only did it have me on tenterhooks as I was reading, but I also know that I'm going to be thinking about this book for a long time coming. Can't wait for the second book, and for anything else that Shah writes, because she's clearly a very, very talented writer!
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  • Laura Weymouth
    January 1, 1970
    The Light at the Bottom of the World is a gorgeous, hope-filled underwater adventure that always leaves room for wonder. Leyla McQueen makes a refreshing change as a YA main character--she's unquenchably optimistic, and driven by her love of family. Her world is an absolute delight to explore--author London Shah does a brilliant job of portraying a submerged London, along with all the extraordinary and mundane aspects of life below the sea. The story is pacy, the setting lush and original, but i The Light at the Bottom of the World is a gorgeous, hope-filled underwater adventure that always leaves room for wonder. Leyla McQueen makes a refreshing change as a YA main character--she's unquenchably optimistic, and driven by her love of family. Her world is an absolute delight to explore--author London Shah does a brilliant job of portraying a submerged London, along with all the extraordinary and mundane aspects of life below the sea. The story is pacy, the setting lush and original, but it's Leyla and her positive, determined spirit that will really steal your heart.A must-read for 2019.
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  • Samantha Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    I have thalassophobia. Consequently, I've always found the the sea – particularly its abyssal zone – to be a source of both fascination and extreme fear. Debut author London Shah illuminates the abyss in The Light at the Bottom of the World. It's a fast, accessible and high-concept adventure, driven by the determined and optimistic Leyla McQueen, who is willing to risk anything to save her beloved father from imprisonment. It's also an unapologetically British story, with plenty of slang and reg I have thalassophobia. Consequently, I've always found the the sea – particularly its abyssal zone – to be a source of both fascination and extreme fear. Debut author London Shah illuminates the abyss in The Light at the Bottom of the World. It's a fast, accessible and high-concept adventure, driven by the determined and optimistic Leyla McQueen, who is willing to risk anything to save her beloved father from imprisonment. It's also an unapologetically British story, with plenty of slang and regional diversity, which I appreciated. In 2099, humankind is trapped in the abyss after an asteroid released water from deep subterranean reservoirs, causing apocalyptic floods and killing billions. The survivors wait in their submerged cities, miles from the sun, while the government tries to preserve the decaying remnants of the past. Meanwhile, a creeping malaise – the seasickness – is spreading through the population. As she searches for her father, who has been arrested on false charges, Leyla must brave unfathomable waters and a corrupt government to discover the truths at the heart of her world. Shah reveals both the beauty and terrors of the sea and keeps us rooting for the relentlessly optimistic Leyla, whose faith is a source of eternal strength throughout the book. I hope it finds many readers, and that many readers find themselves in it.PS: Did not expect a holographic Oscar Wilde to be in this book. A very fun addition.
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    WOW
  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    i can't think about McQueen without being reminded of Lightning McQueen....Anyway. I'm excited about this!!
  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    The Light at the Bottom of the World is literal magic. I'm humbled and honored to have been an early reader. These characters and their hearts still live with me. Leyla is what the world needs, especially now.The SETTING is so entirely cinematic--immersive, stunning, gorgeously detailed, and joyfully imaginative. Everything about this book will sweep you away and fill you with hope.The first of many beauties from the immensely talented and lovely London Shah.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I read an early version of this manuscript and loved it! I can't wait to see how it has evolved!
  • Ivy
    January 1, 1970
    The world deserves more young adult submarine-related fiction.
  • Lindsay Galvin
    January 1, 1970
    The Light at the Bottom of the World is a thrilling underwater adventure set in the unique setting of a submerged London of the future. Leyla McQueen is a captivating protagonist; determined, hotheaded and always driven by her love of her family. The relationships between characters are well drawn and moving, I really felt for Leyla and bought into her worldview, and she is the perfect pilot to speed the reader through the terrors and delights of a world submerged. The writing is as epic as the The Light at the Bottom of the World is a thrilling underwater adventure set in the unique setting of a submerged London of the future. Leyla McQueen is a captivating protagonist; determined, hotheaded and always driven by her love of her family. The relationships between characters are well drawn and moving, I really felt for Leyla and bought into her worldview, and she is the perfect pilot to speed the reader through the terrors and delights of a world submerged. The writing is as epic as the setting, vivid and filmic. I feel privileged to have had this early glimpse into Leyla's fascinating world and can't wait to read the final version in 2019.
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  • Estella Mirai
    January 1, 1970
    I was privileged to be one of the earliest readers of this book, and ohhhh my goodness, readers, it is fantastic. The world building is fabulous—both in terms of introducing the speculative elements and in introducing London to this reader who has never been there (yet!).Layla is such a fun, flawed, and nuanced character that you can’t help but feel for her, and I became invested in her story right away. The supporting cast is marvelous as well, and no spoilers, but there are some genuinely tear I was privileged to be one of the earliest readers of this book, and ohhhh my goodness, readers, it is fantastic. The world building is fabulous—both in terms of introducing the speculative elements and in introducing London to this reader who has never been there (yet!).Layla is such a fun, flawed, and nuanced character that you can’t help but feel for her, and I became invested in her story right away. The supporting cast is marvelous as well, and no spoilers, but there are some genuinely tear jerking and heart-tugging moments as their secrets come to light.The book offers a timely, important message about empathy and understanding that never feels forced or preachy, and has some twists that truly caught me off-guard (and I’m usually good at picking up on that kind of thing!)Honestly, it’s hard to be very specific about what I loved because the answer is EVERYTHING. This book left me hungry for the sequel that I see is now in the works. I can’t wait to spend more time in this world and with these characters!
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  • Monica Hoffman
    January 1, 1970
    I was very fortunate to read this epic deep sea adventure before it even landed a publishing deal and I thought then as I do now, this is a out of this world story, unique in every way, and something YA has been missing! I can't wait to get my hands on the real book! Get ready for a thrill ride in a submarine!
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  • Carissa
    January 1, 1970
    I was one of the few who was lucky enough to read a draft of this early on, and oh my word, can I just say, you all are in for treat!! Submersible racing in an alternate future Underwater London??? Umm yess!Leyla is a devastatingly endearing character and her antics both on and off the racecourse will have you alternately giggling and in tears. And this is all to say nothing of the intrigue surrounding her Papa’s disappearance and the astonishing secrets she uncovers about her world while search I was one of the few who was lucky enough to read a draft of this early on, and oh my word, can I just say, you all are in for treat!! Submersible racing in an alternate future Underwater London??? Umm yess!Leyla is a devastatingly endearing character and her antics both on and off the racecourse will have you alternately giggling and in tears. And this is all to say nothing of the intrigue surrounding her Papa’s disappearance and the astonishing secrets she uncovers about her world while searching for him.
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to be an early reader for this book, and fell in love instantly. A true adventure, you'll plunge into a world that is both familiar and strange. Underwater London, with only submersibles for travel, combining the majesty of ocean scenes with a futuristic civilization.Combine a gorgeous setting with a cast of characters that will draw you completely in, political intrigue, and danger on every side, and you, like me, won't be able to put it down. Although you, future readers, wi I was lucky enough to be an early reader for this book, and fell in love instantly. A true adventure, you'll plunge into a world that is both familiar and strange. Underwater London, with only submersibles for travel, combining the majesty of ocean scenes with a futuristic civilization.Combine a gorgeous setting with a cast of characters that will draw you completely in, political intrigue, and danger on every side, and you, like me, won't be able to put it down. Although you, future readers, will be lucky enough to have a hard-cover or Kindle version, where I was glued to my desktop! No spoilers, obviously, but you'll be dying for the sequel, too! I need more of these two main characters. It was one of my top reads for the year, and I'm so glad the rest of the world gets to share it.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    I had the distinct pleasure of reading an early draft of this novel and I can't wait to read it upon release. 'Early draft?' you say. 'It has to have changed! I cry foul!'To you I say, there are some things that always stick with a book, no matter what draft it is. In this case, readers can look forward to1. A witty, compassionate, and strong main character. This is a girl taking charge of a submersible and risking everything to save her papa. 2. A gorgeous underwater world. This author has a ta I had the distinct pleasure of reading an early draft of this novel and I can't wait to read it upon release. 'Early draft?' you say. 'It has to have changed! I cry foul!'To you I say, there are some things that always stick with a book, no matter what draft it is. In this case, readers can look forward to1. A witty, compassionate, and strong main character. This is a girl taking charge of a submersible and risking everything to save her papa. 2. A gorgeous underwater world. This author has a talent for transporting the reader into this version of London. 3. Some gorgeous prose and snappy dialogue. My guess is that fans of The Scorpio Races will likely enjoy this stunning debut.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    I had the privilege of reading an early draft of this gorgeous book earlier this year, and I can't say enough good things about the loveliness of the prose, the uniqueness of the story, and the pluck and courage of the protagonist. Shah's vision of an underwater London is so vividly drawn, and Leyla is the kind of character you just can't help rooting for. ❤ I'm so excited to see this book out in the world! I had the privilege of reading an early draft of this gorgeous book earlier this year, and I can't say enough good things about the loveliness of the prose, the uniqueness of the story, and the pluck and courage of the protagonist. Shah's vision of an underwater London is so vividly drawn, and Leyla is the kind of character you just can't help rooting for. ❤️ I'm so excited to see this book out in the world!
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  • Gabriel Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    What a book! It had me from the first page, with the vivid, evocative descriptions of futuristic, sunken London streets, and never let go. The submarine chases through the underwater city were fantastic, and Leyla is such a fantastic heroine. It was also so refreshing to see a Muslim central character, one who listens to punk rock and can take on anyone as the pilot of her own mini submersible. I feel very privileged to have had a sneak peak of this, and I'm sure it will be a HUGE hit!
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  • Rachel Sh
    January 1, 1970
    I had the pleasure of reading a very early draft of this quite some time ago now and all I can say is this book and author completely deserve the recognition - I am so, so happy it’s finally getting published! The world and storyline in Shah’s novel is unlike anything I’ve ever come across in YA fiction. Incredibly fast-paced and so easy and fun to fly through! I can only imagine how good it must be now if I read an early manuscript!
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  • Sarah Juckes
    January 1, 1970
    I whizzed through this book. I don't think I've been as addicted to a new world since The Hunger Games! Wonderful to see diversity at the core of an action/adventure/sci-fi story, too. One for your to-read list, for sure.
  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    OKAY THAT'S AN INTERESTING COVER
  • Iryna KL
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this sounds good!
  • Lina~Blackbird Queen
    January 1, 1970
    Hi, this sounds epic and I need it right now. (Also, I follow this author, and she's a total sweetheart. Just sayin')
  • Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    I really love a great sci-fi novel, and the submersible racing aspect has me very intrigued. The idea of a world that is underwater with a mystery to solve sounds super exciting. This is going to be at the top of my fall TBR.
  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    "The Light at the Bottom of the World" is a total page-turner! In the year 2099, no one lives above the surface. An asteroid hit Earth, sending the world beneath the ocean. London still thrives, albeit with ruins of St. Paul's, Big Ben, and all the historical sites. The government promises Britons that they'll return to the surface soon. In the meantime, 16-year-old Leyla McQueen competes in the London Submersible Marathon in hopes of winning her prize of choice: freeing her wrongfully imprisone "The Light at the Bottom of the World" is a total page-turner! In the year 2099, no one lives above the surface. An asteroid hit Earth, sending the world beneath the ocean. London still thrives, albeit with ruins of St. Paul's, Big Ben, and all the historical sites. The government promises Britons that they'll return to the surface soon. In the meantime, 16-year-old Leyla McQueen competes in the London Submersible Marathon in hopes of winning her prize of choice: freeing her wrongfully imprisoned father. Little does Leyla know that there are larger and more sinister forces at play. This book is an excellent dystopia/post-apocalyptic fiction for our times. At its core, "Light" is a political conspiracy thriller. A corrupt government, the profiling and Othering of peoples, and nostalgia for days that might not have ever existed - London Shah's debut is a very necessary read for 2019. Leyla is a great protagonist and I really related to her when she was frustrated with people making decisions for her, instead of trusting her. Also relatable was how Leyla evolved over time in her thinking with regards to the government and the veracity of "facts" and "truth." I look forward to seeing how she develops in the sequel. Some of the prose was a bit awkward but did not take away from the story. "Light" had several twists throughout the story that I never saw coming. I would like to see further development of some of the secondary characters (Theo, Tabby, Charlie) and more JoJo! I eagerly look forward to the conclusion of the duology.Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
    January 1, 1970
    The cover is gorgeous and the premise sounds promising, but the prose has a lot to be desired. The descriptions are clumsy and hard for this reader to imagine, and the inner voice of the MC and dialogue are clunky and eventually led me to DNF. In particular, there are a lot of exclamation points and italics to emphasize (several even in one sentence, countless in a single page). This book could do with a lot of editing prior to publication.
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  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this book at ALA in galley form.It is a teen book, first in a series.The world has been hit by an asteroid and millions of people died. Water rose so high that cities are underwater. Leyla McQueen is a brave teen who races submersibles.She wants to save her father who is in prison, falsely accused by the government.Well done.
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