Friday, November 08, 2013

Ness' Newest An Intriguing Mind-Bender

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Seth Wearing drowns in the violent, choppy waters of the Pacific Ocean, the 16-year-old expects to die.  He does die.  He remembers his bones cracking, his skull shattering against sharp rocks, he remembers dying.  So, how is he now awake?  How is he still living?  Breathing?  Walking around?  It's impossible.  And yet, Seth's body works just like it always has—he feels hungry, thirsty, tired, scared.  He is, as far as he can tell, still alive.  Only, he's been transported somehow to another place—a somewhat familiar place—where's he's alone.  At least, he thinks he's alone.  That's the thing about this new life (afterlife?): he can't be sure of anything.  

As Seth wanders the strange, empty town in search of answers, he's left only with more questions.  Vivid dreams of his old life only add to his confusion.  Did he really live the life he thinks he did?  Or were his years in Washington State just an elaborate fantasy?  Is this heaven, hell, purgatory?  Where is he and, more importantly, how does he escape this dreary, awful world?  

You can probably tell that the plot of More Than This, Patrick Ness' newest YA novel, is a little difficult to describe.  I expect nothing less from the brilliant writer who brought us the Chaos Walking series, but still, I'm hard pressed to explain just how compelling is this mind-bending mystery.  How 'bout a few adjectives to set the stage:  absorbing, unique, edgy, heart-wrenching, heart-pounding.  Yep, all of those work in the case of More Than This.  The novel kept me reading and guessing and wondering to the very last word.  And beyond.  Intriguing?  Totally.  Worth the read?  If you don't mind a little adult content (see content warning below), then yes, absolutely.       

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of Flashback by Dan Simmons)

Grade:    


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language (a couple F-bombs, plus milder invectives); sexual content (including homosexuality); and depictions of underage drinking

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of More Than This from the generous folks at Candlewick Press.  Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. This one sounds very excellent. I think I might have to put it on my Christmas list. Great review!

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