The Captain’s Log – deeplight (Frances Hardinge) – a Wyrd and Wonder book!

Ahoy there me mateys!  This book has been on me list to read ever since I first heard about it.  It’s a sea yarn!  Then of course it appeared as a nominee for the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book this year and I am trying to read more of the list before the Hugo winners are announced.

I have read two other books by this author and what I love about her work is that the world-building is divine, the magic is fascinating, and the atmosphere is wonderful.  Even if the characters and plot ultimately made this book not completely work for me, I still found a lot to enjoy here.

Did I mention this was a sea yarn?  Floats me boat and tickles me fancy.  I absolutely loved the island culture, the sea gods and their history, the sea-kissed divers and their sign language, and how real it all felt.  Visitors would have to be wary but I wanted to set sail for the Myriad archipelago immediately.  Not so sure how I would feel being in a ship underwater but there be a first time for everything.

So what was the problem?  A personal quirk of mine.  The friendship in the story is a toxic one and I don’t like reading about them.  I wanted to kick the main character, Hark, even if I understand that these types of relationships do occur in the real world.  Reading the blurb would have helped but I chose to go into this book blind and so got more annoyed with the main character than I perhaps would have otherwise.  At first I enjoyed that Hark was an ambivalent, flawed character who makes bad choices.  I was cheering him on . . . until I wasn’t.  No one deserves to be treated the way he was and yet I started to get annoyed with Hark’s choices and justifications and it tainted the book.  In fact there was a secondary character named Selphin that I loved so much, I began to wish it was her story.  But again, I think this is more me than the book.  I think.

I also didn’t love the climax and conclusion of the novel.  It felt both overly complicated in execution and disappointingly predictable in story elements at the same time.  If that makes any sense.  So while this wasn’t a solid win, it proves that I will read books by this author just to see what world she will come up with next.  Arrr!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Frances Hardinge – Author

To buy the book go to:

deeplight – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

the lie tree (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

skinful of shadows (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

17 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – deeplight (Frances Hardinge) – a Wyrd and Wonder book!

  1. Wonderful review, Captain! It sounds like Hardinge’s world building captured you again. I get what you mean about toxic relationships souring your enjoyment of a book. I have felt that quite a few times. It’s okay if there is redemption for the characters… but if not, well, then I find I’m not interested in returning to the book.

    Do you think the blurb got it right? Is this a 20,000 Leagues/Frankenstein mashup?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not feel the mashup comment worked. Aye, there be submarines and a person brought back to life but that is where the similarities end. Especially cause the First Mate and I just watched Frankenstein and he just read 20,000 leagues so we have been discussing those at some length.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great review:)). I loved this one far more than you did, Cap, chiefly because I didn’t get frustrated with Hark – I just felt terribly sad for him. He was driven throughout for his need to find someone he could love and be loved in return – and it was his rotten bad luck he fell into the hands of someone like Jelt. And like you – I was completely won over by the worldbuilding and how she managed to achieve it without slowing the pace of the narration. The wealth of backstory about the lost gods and the consequences of their going was just fabulous…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem that most people were sad and sympathetic towards Hark. Maybe me heart is just too salty and grumpy. Excellent point about how the world building was wrapped into the narrative. Seriously that was some great writing. Those gods were some of the best I have ever read about and of course it was awesome that the usual idea of gods was turned topsy-turvy.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it was the teacher in me – I saw far too many children starved of affection and attention during my career…

        And yes – she is clearly a remarkable writer and I am definitely going to be getting hold of more of her books!


  3. Ooh, okay! I’ve had mixed experiences with Frances Hardinge, where the books of hers that I love are huge huge HUGE winners and then the other ones are, like, complete misses. Like I looooooooved Skinful of Shadows, but A Face Like Glass I didn’t care for much at all. I’m curious to see which one this is for me — and sorry it wasn’t better for you! :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not explored much of the author’s backlog and hadn’t heard of a face like glass. That sounds so weird. I will be reading that one once the libraries open again. I do hope that ye love this one.
      x The Captain


  4. Loved this book, and agreed that the author’s world-building is sublime. I also thought Hark’s relationship with Jelt was frustrating, but at the same time heartbreaking. Hardinge gets the hearts of children and their need to feel loved, and as much as I wanted to shake Hark I also wanted to give him a hug because it was clear all he wanted was validation, even if it was from a great big bully like Jelt. In the end, I also respected him for wanting to be done with him, but only after he saved him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I am not so nice. I was too made at Jelt to want to save him. I do like that ye saw Hark’s need for validation as the center of their relationship. It also explains why his relationship with the ex-priest was so strong.
      x The Captain


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.