A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him.Read more...
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A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. Whats going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Seth Wearing, age 16, dies in the opening pages of this complex, ambitious novel from Ness (A Monster Calls) and, arguably, that isn’t the worst thing that happens to him. After drowning, Seth awakens in the suburban London neighborhood where he lived before his family relocated to the Pacific Northwest. The old neighborhood is now a dust-covered ruin; there is no noise, no electricity, and, at first, not another soul around. Is this hell? A tortured dream? Seth’s search for understanding requires Ness to move between the unsettling present and Seth’s past, slowly revealing his sad childhood, his awful mother, and the bright spot in his young life—his relationship with schoolmate Gudmund. When even that romance ended in sorrow, Seth grasped for a reason to live. The Matrix-like science fiction elements of the story are somewhat fuzzy, and even the characters continually question the logic of the circumstances they are stuck in. But Ness’s exploration of big questions—specifically Seth’s yearning to find out if life will ever offer more than the rotten hand he’s been dealt—will provide solace for the right readers. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
Trapped in a world of mind-bending questions
Seth drowns in a furious ocean, his body battered by freezing waves and sharp rocks. But as his consciousness gradually returns, he finds himself in a world that’s both foreign and eerily familiar. It appears to be a long-abandoned version of his childhood hometown, the British village full of painful memories that his family left eight years ago to start a new life far away. Strangest of all, this alternate, desolate world seems to respond directly to Seth’s thoughts, putting everything from supplies to companions in front of him just as he needs them.
As Seth and two other mismatched teens band together to avoid a terrifying menace, all three are haunted by frighteningly realistic dreams of their previous lives. Issues of forbidden love, unwavering friendship, complex family dynamics, the difference between childhood and adulthood, violent abuse and teen suicide dovetail as the three survivors gradually figure out where they really are . . . and what they might be able to do about it.
Artsy, creepy and full of psychological suspense, More Than This from Carnegie Medal-winning author Patrick Ness combines the science-fiction/thriller aspects of Robison Wells’ Variant with the surreal, trauma-induced alternate realities of Andrew Smith’s The Marbury Lens. As readers familiar with the Chaos Walking trilogy know, Ness specializes in writing post-apocalyptic worlds where things are rarely as they seem. When the truth—or what might be the truth—is finally revealed, the answers are both fitting and surprising. The dizzying ending brings the characters to the narrow edge between inevitable outcomes and hope for second chances—and challenges readers to form their own conclusions.