The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

The basics

Title: The Light at the Bottom of the World


Series: Light the Abyss #1

- The Light at the Bottom of the World (2019)
- Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (2021)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope--fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface. When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice. Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture--or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.

Read a full summary of The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Light at the Bottom of the World and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in The Light at the Bottom of the World?

  • Leyla takes part in a practise race around London. She’s planning on entering the lottery, and if she’s picked for the race and then goes on to win, she will be granted anything she wants. She wins this practise race, despite almost crashing into a creepy underwater monster.
  • Leyla heads home and chats with her parents. Except thanks to a power cut we find out that these are just holograms, and her father has actually been imprisoned.
  • The lottery happens and Leyla is chosen.
  • The lawyers that Leyla contacted refuse to take on Leyla’s father’s case. Apparently Leyla’s father took advantage of people suffering from sea sickness.
  • Leyla takes part in the London Marathon and wins. She asks for her father’s freedom, and it’s denied. She can’t understand why, except everyone thinks he’s a murderer so I think it’s quite obvious. The government do give Leyla some money and a submarine, though.
  • Leyla returns home and her home has been searched. Someone used her ID to enter. She speaks to her grandfather over video chat, and he’s with a guy called Ari, who has been sent to protect Leyla. Leyla is unimpressed.
  • Leyla sets out to find her father, taking her dog, Jojo with her. Leyla’s grandfather smuggles Ari onto the sub, which Leyla is even more unimpressed by.
  • They head to Brighton Pier, which is then attacked by Anthropoids – genetically engineered monsters that were once supposed to protect the human race but are actually hellbent on destroying it. They manage to escape back towards London.
  • The authorities tell Leyla she has been travelling without a permit, so Leyla races off towards Epping Forest, somewhere she was never supposed to go.
  • While they’re travelling over the forest, they come across two strange people who mention Broadmoor, a legendary hospital full of unsavory people.
  • Anthropoids attack the vessel. Ari fights them off. Jojo is injured but a Medbot helps.
  • Leyla and her crew reach Cambridge (what used to be Cambridge University). There’s a group of people there who trust Leyla’s father, and they allow Leyla and Ari to stay while they fix the sub.
  • It’s revealed that Ari is an Anthropoid. Leyla freaks out at first, but eventually comes around. It turns out that the government have been lying about the Anthropoids, and not all of them are aggressive towards “normal” humans. The government attacked Ari’s community and wiped everyone out.
  • Leyla and co. head to Broadmoor where Leyla figures her father is being kept. Leyla breaks in, and finds her father dehydrated and malnurished. It’s a bit of a battle to escape the prison, but Jack Taylor (who was previously presumed dead) helps out. Leyla thinks the Taylor family might all be Anthropoids too.
  • Leyla now realises that the government has been lying about a lot of things. They’ve been putting money into restoring old buildings instead of essential projects, and the seasickness seems to be a lie made up by the government – not a result of water pressure at all.
  • Ari is captured while out swimming, and Leyla is determined to find him.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

Leave a reply