An electronic copy was provided in exchange for an honest review
Summary (via Goodreads):
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. What’s 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. . .
More Than This was the first book by Patrick Ness I have read though I’ve heard wonderful things about his writing and ability to tell a story. I wasn’t let down, he is a wonderful writer and More Than This was a very thought provoking and deep story.
The story takes place with the main character, Seth, waking up after drowning in the violent ocean. He wakes up believing he has died and that he is now in his after-life, though it is nothing like what one might imagine hell, purgatory or heaven to be like. Seth wakes wrapped in bandages, completely alone and at a place that looks mysteriously like his home in England from his childhood. He is obviously in a state of confusion and seeking answers to where he is and what is happening (sort of had the feel of Maze Runner to me). We follow his journey and exploration of this deserted place trying to find the answers as he does. Not only is he haunted with loneliness and confusion, when he slept he experienced vivid flash backs to some of his most meaningful and painful life experiences.
To be completely honest, I didn’t care for a large part of Seth’s back-story. It was very depressing and touched on a very sensitive topic to me (about one of my greatest fears concerning children). This subject matter made me uncomfortable and wasn’t what I wanted in my reading experience. I love for the books I read to have heart and they can be dark, but when they discuss issues that are only to real in our society (especially regarding a child–one about my own child’s age) I don’t particularly care for them.
With that being said, I loved the mystery surrounding this world Seth woke in and the journey to figure out why. Ness also created characters full of depth that felt incredibly realistic and heart-felt. None of them felt like caricatures or in any way stereo-typical. Their interactions were heartfelt and gripping.
I am giving this a high rating because though I was disturbed by some of it I couldn’t stop reading to find out where Seth was and why. I think that Ness did a very good job of keeping the reader’s interest and creating an intriguing, though often depressing story. I have no doubt about his writing ability and did enjoy the style very much. I hope to try another of his books at some point. I recommend this to anyone that is a fan of dark stories with a dash of hope, coming of age and Patrick Ness’ writing.
More Than This Book Trailer: