A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Deeplight is a new fantasy novel by Frances Hardinge (The Lie Tree). A young scavenger in a seaside Sanctuary finds a relic that seems to be the still-beating heart of an undersea god. Until the climax, the level of violence is fairly low -- a couple of stabbings that heal quickly enough, an attack by a sea monster. There's no swearing, sexual content, or substance use.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DEEPLIGHT opens half a century after the undersea Elder Gods turned on each other to the point of extinction. Fifteen-year-old scavenger Hark is sold into indentured servitude to a mysterious scientist who studies the remnants of the beasts. He and his friend Jelt find the heart of a terrifying leviathan, and its ancient healing powers begin to change both boys. How can Hark save himself, rescue his best friend, and prevent the return of the monsters that could destroy civilization? The answer lies at the bottom of the ocean, where danger lurks and secrets are hid.
Is it any good?
The call of the ocean animates only a few fantasy novels, but this lively undersea fantasy delivers gallons of reading pleasure. In Deeplight, author Frances Hardinge builds a captivating world of maritime magic and peoples it with vivid characters who don't shy from conflict. Hardinge's earlier novel, The Lie Tree, won the Costa Book of the Year prize (for English-language writers based in Britain and Ireland), and it's easy to see why. Her prose is fluid, her ideas novel and well executed, her characters unpredictable. Readers with a taste for steampunk will especially enjoy this atmospheric sea tale with echoes of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Frankenstein.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Deeplight portrays a toxic friendship. Why does Hark end up doing dangerous tasks for Jelt, even though he knows how risky they are? Have you had any experience with unhealthy friendships?
Why do some religions wish for the end of the world? What are the dangers of cult-like behavior?
Why is storytelling important? How does fiction lead to a better understanding of the world and other people?
Why do you think sea monster stories remain so popular? What others have your read or seen?
- Author: Frances Hardinge
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Ocean Creatures
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: April 14, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 7, 2020
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