The sequel to London Shah’s thrilling futuristic mystery The Light at the Bottom of the World, perfect for fans of Illuminae and These Broken Stars
Leyla McQueen has finally reunited with her father after breaking him out of Broadmoor, the illegal government prison—but his freedom comes at a terrible cost. As Leyla celebrates his return, she must grapple with the pain of losing Ari. Now separated from the boy who has her heart and labeled the nation’s number one enemy, Leyla must risk illegal travel through unchartered waters in her quest for the truth behind her father’s arrest.
Across Britain, the fallout from Leyla’s actions has escalated tensions between Anthropoid and non-Anthropoid communities, bringing them to an all-time high. And, as Leyla and her friends fight to uncover the startling truths about their world, she discovers her own shocking past—and the horrifying secrets behind her father’s abduction and arrest. But as these long-buried truths finally begin to surface, so, too, do the authorities’ terrible future plans. And if the ever-pervasive fear prevents the people from taking a stand now, the abyss could stay in the dark forever.
Read Rayleigh’s review of book one, The Light at the Bottom of the World.
Sequels scare me.
I read The Light at the Bottom of the World, the first book in this duology, in 2019. And 3 years later, LIGHT is still one of the first books out of my mouth when someone asks me for a book rec. That book truly made it onto the All-Time Favorites list and hasn’t budged in 3 years.
Book two, Journey to the Heart of the Abyss, has been one of my most anticipated sequels, if not THE most anticipated, and because of how much I loved LIGHT, I was scared to start this one. I didn’t want to *not* like it. I don’t think my heart could’ve taken it.
*we love “but”s, don’t we?*
But, Journey to the Heart of the Abyss is as stunning, breathtaking, gorgeous, thrilling, masterful and all the other adjectives to make your eyes cloud over, as Light at the Bottom of the World was! I truly could not tell you if I love book one or two better, they are both exquisite stories. Everything that I loved about LIGHT can be carried over and applied to this book. The underwater exploration was magical. The characters were the best. The story was exciting. And Leyla and Ari were a GOOD couple.
A few different things that stood out:
-The teens in this book acted like TEENS and they let the adults act like ADULTS! Do you know how refreshing it was to watch teens actually respect what the adults told them and on the flip side have the adults respect the teens’ opinions as people? So many healthy adult/teen relationships in this book, I could applaud all night. The characters weren’t perfect and the teens and adults still messed up, but there was so much healthy communication among the characters. That alone is hard to find in YA.
-and on that note…can we talk about the PARENT/TEEN RELATIONSHIPS? Holy cow. Leyla and her papa are actual daddy/daughter goals. Ari and his parents had a great relationship. The twins and their mom had a realistic, healthy relationship. Like, whoa, we’ve got GREAT parents in a YA book. And those MOTHERS? Superwomen. Courageous, fantastic, strong women who are MOMS. Bravo.
-Ari and Leyla’s relationship was so pure. I love them and their sweet selves. They are possibly my favorite literary couple of all time.
I could rave about this book forever because I love it so much. If you haven’t read LIGHT yet, please go read it. I can’t believe this duology has flown under the radar for so long, this is just so good. And if you can listen to the audiobook, I HIGHLY recommend you do so!
Content: Romance consists of a few kisses, mildly descriptive, and one LGBTQ+ wedding. Gore can be high when describing battle sequences. Language is about a PG-13 with very rare cursing, however, I did count 7 f-bombs and a few other strong words towards the end of the book. Religious content is Muslim and there are several mentions of praying.