Blog Tour: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah

Hello, reader!

Today is my stop on yet another fabulous tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours! The book in question is the second book in a duology that I’m so glad I found: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah. If you’re into YA science fiction that has a lot of action, a lot of beautiful imagery, and a lot of heart, you’re gonna love this one!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we get to my post, I want to thank the wonderful team at TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me a spot on this tour. Don’t forget that there are other incredible bloggers and bookstagrammers participating along the way! You can check out the full schedule HERE. I also want to thank the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, for not only sending me an ARC of this book, but a finished copy of the first book in this duology, The Light at the Bottom of the World, in exchange for my participation and my honest thoughts. It is always appreciated!

Now, I think it’s time we dive in 🐋

Book Details

  • Title: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss
  • Author: London Shah
  • Publication date: November 16th, 2021
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Animal cruelty, childhood trauma, racism, violence

Book Links



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.”

About the Author

London Shah is a British Muslim of Pashtun ethnicity. She has lived in Britain’s capital for most of her life, via England’s beautiful North. On any given day she can be found daydreaming of a different past, an alternate present, or some surreal future. She enjoys drinking copious amounts of tea, eating all the sweets and cakes, strolling through Richmond Park or along the Thames, getting lost on an evening in the city’s older, darker alleyways—preferably just after it’s rained—listening to punk rock, and losing herself in a fab SFF book or film. The Light at the Bottom of the World is her debut novel. The sequel, Journey to the Heart of the Abyss, releases 16.11.21.

Author Links


My Review

SPOILER ALERT!! Seeming as this is the second book in a duology, this review may potentially contain slight spoilers for book one. I’ll try my best to keep it as un-spoilery as possible!

As conclusions go, this book was a solid end to an incredibly underrrated series! I had so much fun reading the conclusion to Leyla and company’s stories!

The story picks up immediately after the events at the end of book one, The Light at the the Bottom of the World. Leyla McQueen has rescued her father but the boy she’s found herself increasingly attached to, Ari, has been captured. Now she’s on yet another rescue mission because she refuses to leave him in the hands of the Blackwatch. This mission takes her and her submarine, the Kabul, to new waters as she meets new friends (and old) and gets pulled into something much bigger than herself.

You ever read a book where the setting, the environment, is basically another character? That’s one of my favorite things about this book! The author has a way of describing the underwater world our characters inhabit in such vivid, lush detail that it breathes life into it. You can feel the moodiness when Leyla is travelling through rougher waters. You feel her fear when she’s maneuvering her way through dark places. And you also feel the ever present wonder at all the awe-inspiring sights and creatures to be found in the vast ocean. I absolutely loved the descriptions in this series because it made you feel as though you were in the Kabul right alongside everyone else.

This story was just as action-packed as the first one, as well! I constantly found myself on the edge of my seat, heart pounding as Leyla and crew faced some new danger. I will say that some of their escapes (or the fact that they manage quite so many of them!) could feel a little too convenient at times. When someone is fighting against a powerful, deceitful government body, you expect some losses, but they always seemed to come out okay, if not unharmed. There were also bits of the story that dragged just a little to me. I suppose that can happen when you’re used to non-stop action and then you come to a calmer stretch of the story. Overall, though, I thought this was a gripping and exciting read that had me flying through the pages!

I think my favorite aspect of this story, though, has to be the characters. London Shah has a way of writing characters that makes you want to love them. Leyla is an incredible lead: strong, smart, vulnerable, and loving in ways that make her a beautifully complex character. Watching her journey from the beginning of this duology until the end is an absolute delight! And, while it can be easy to let the supporting characters fall flat, Shah makes them shine just as bright as Leyla. I loved Ari, the twins… even the Kabul’s AI navigator, Oscar has layers to him that make him such an interesting character! I tend to find it hard to really get into a story if I can’t connect with the principle players but I didn’t have to worry about that with this series in the slightest.

Final thoughts: A brilliant end to an underrated YA science fiction duology! I loved this one from beginning to end, with it’s vivid depictions of life underwater to it’s stunning characters. There were moments that dragged a little bit in an otherwise fast-paced story and some plot points felt a little too convenient, but I still flew through this book. It’s gripping, exciting, and carries a lot of important messages about change and learning to embrace it. If you like YA science fiction and are a fan of great characters, lush settings, and a bit of politics, I think you would enjoy Journey to the Heart of the Abyss! After you read The Light at the Bottom of the World, of course 😉

Star rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah

  1. […] Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah: This was such an engaging and fun end to an incredible series! I read this for a tour and am so happy that I decided to sign up. This series has always been on my radar, though usually not in the forefront. I’m glad I gave it a shot because I ended up having such a great time. This story had a little bit of everything: action, adventure, romance. If you want to know my full thoughts, you can read my review here! […]


  2. […] Thoughts: This is the sequel to The Light at the Bottom of the World and the book I read for a TBR & Beyond Tours book tour. This was such an amazing conclusion to the duology! The writing was incredible, once again, and the action kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m so glad I gave these books a chance and I’m eager to read whatever London Shah writes next. You can read my full review here. […]


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