Review: “The Light at the Bottom of the World” by London Shah


Release Date: October 29, 2019
Series: The Light at the Bottom of the World #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian



“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.”


My Thoughts

LightBottomWorld-coverLike the best speculative fiction, Leyla’s story both stands on its own as an exciting adventure and acts as a commentary on the current state of the real world. In the novel, Parliament spends exorbitant sums on maintaining Old World architecture and traditions. Famous buildings from before the flood may be covered in algae and anemones, but they stand nonetheless. They are at once harmless relics and vital ties to their past. Without the physical reminders of their culture and history, can they even call themselves British? What is a national identity when the land no longer exists? How long can you hold onto the past before it becomes a crutch or a shackle?…


To read the rest of my review, head over to


Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for sending me a review copy.

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