Friday, 27 June 2014

More Than This by Patrick Ness **Review**

More Than This
Series: None
Pages: 480
Publisher: Walker Books
Release date: 5th September 2013
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

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Goodreads synopsis:
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife.

From multi-award-winning author Patrick Ness comes one of the most provocative and moving novels of our time.

"Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer." John Green

More Than This has intrigued me since it was released at the end of last year. The first thing I thought when I saw it (once I'd gotten over the excitement of a new Patrick Ness novel) was that the hardback cover was immense. There is no dust jacket, and the yellow door there is actually a hole in the cover that shows the first page through it. It's a really beautiful object. And the meaning of this door had me interested before I even read the synopsis.
And what a synopsis it is! If this doesn't pull you in and make you want to read it, then I don't know what will. But I'm going to do my very best!

Seth, the boy from the synopsis, does indeed drown in the very first chapter. He walks out into the freezing ocean, gets thrown around by the tide, and gets smashed against the sharp, unforgiving coastal rocks. And then he wakes up. This could not possibly be any more gripping!
The world that Seth wakes up into is both familiar and alien. It's a frightening place, despite its familiarity, made even more so by the fact that Seth seems to be totally and utterly alone. There aren't even any birds, and very few creatures to keep him company.
And then things get even worse. When he sleeps, he dreams. But these dreams are far more vivid and real than they should be. They are his memories, but it's as though he's living them again. But that can't be possible. They're both painful and bittersweet and they only heighten Seth's pain and loneliness when he wakes back into his strange new world.

Just when I was starting to get used to Seth being alone in the world, trying to work out exactly what had happened and where he was, things started change – both for the better and definitely for the worse.
Just when I thought this was a really good book, part two and onwards proved it to be an incredible book. I didn't see any of it coming, none of it was predictable (at least to me) and every page was a new discovery. It was perfectly paced and kept me engrossed all the way through to the end.

There is not a lot more I can say without giving major things away, but I can say that I loved the ambiguity of the world that Seth now inhabits. The story deals with the question of whether what we see is real or not (very much like the Matrix or Inception, but a little less clear-cut). It also deals with environmental issues and what would happen to us if the world become almost uninhabitable.
The ambiguity of the book really made me think, and I began to look at things around me slightly differently, wondering what it would be like if I found out that it wasn't all real. It's a very unsettling experience.

More Than This is an amazing, multi-layered, edge-of-your-seat reading experience. It will make you think, maybe frighten you, and it will definitely stick with you once you've finished reading.
Once of the most creative books I've read in a long time! Highly recommended – everyone should read this!


Susan Maclean said...

I read this last year, and can only agree - Fabulous!

Dani Cotton said...

So glad you agree, Susan!! Such a great book. Deserves every bit of praise it receives.

Dazzling Mage said...

Patrick Ness is one of my favorite writers, and I've made it my mission to read all his books. So I'll definitely be reading this!

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