More Than This by Patrick Ness
|More Than This by Patrick Ness|
|Reviewer: Mary Esther Judy|
|Summary: Seth is drowning. His final moments are clear to him, with turmoil, pain and loneliness. But then, he wakes up in a desolate, abandoned world that is both strange and familiar. Seth seems very much alive. Or is this an afterlife dream? Seth begins a painful search for answers hoping that he may not be alone after all; that there just might be more than this…|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 480||Date: September 2013|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal
Here is the boy, drowning.
And Seth does drown. He is alone; taken by the sea, arms and legs flailing and breaking, skull dashed against the rocks whilst the icy water constricts his muscles and breath. Seth is consciously aware of his final moments. His death consumes him with a heavy, confusing blur until… he awakens and finds himself in a desolate, shattered world; naked, alone, starving and alive. This place looks familiar. It looks exactly like the English village where he spent his early childhood before his brother’s accident and his family’s move to America, but it is now overgrown and devoid of human life. It is as if the whole place was simply abandoned one day.
How did Seth come to be in this place? Is he dead or is he alive? What has happened here? As Seth sifts through the dust and debris surrounding him, he begins slowly to uncover a new, shocking reality far beyond what he could have imagined and a danger he cannot even begin to understand. Seth begins a painful search for answers hoping that he may not be alone after all; that there just might be more than this…
Patrick Ness has done it again. What begins with a truly tragic, yet magnificent description of a young man’s dying moments develops into an incredible journey through thoughts, emotions and concepts of reality with enough action to satisfy any reader. It is never, never dull. The author sets a sense of time, place and character that is stunning and enveloping to the reader. We move through the story as if we are the central character, not merely just with him. We understand Seth intimately. Here is a character we know, to whom we relate, because we have all been there at some point, and on some level, we all still are there. Just when we understand what is happening with the plot; just when we understand the rules of this novel, some significant piece of information is added, or more likely, removed and we find ourselves back in dilemma… just like Seth. Add to this the unexpected introduction of a dystopian nightmare, and what Ness has given us is overwhelming, important and true. The atmosphere cast is tactile and evocative. The action builds with a precise timing. We don’t so much read this book as we feel it. And it feels real.
More Than This is at once powerful and sensitive; complex and clear. It is a portrait of, not just that sense of teenage longing, but the longing we carry deep within us throughout our lives, no matter how we try to deny it; something that Ness understands with incredible accuracy. It speaks of yearning, loss and discovery. It is also a poignant testament to the function of memory... what memory really does for us, how it works. More Than This speaks to the heart, takes you on a sublime journey and leaves you changed. Please, please, read this book. It is an utter triumph.
Patrick Ness is one of those rare and amazing authors who simply cannot write a bad book. Please do read The Knife of Never Letting Go and the rest of the Chaos Walking series, and my personal Ness favourite A Monster Calls. You also might like Siobhan Dowd's amazing Bog Child. All amazing and wondrous!
You can read more book reviews or buy More Than This by Patrick Ness at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy More Than This by Patrick Ness at Amazon.com.
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