My book review of 'More Than This' by Patrick Ness

More Than This

by Patrick Ness
Recommended age: Teen
More Than This
by Patrick Ness

The book opens with a description of a boy reliving the moments when he gave himself up to the sea. He knows he died, after being crashed against the rocks, submerged under the water, so where is he now? Why does he believe himself still alive? Is this hell? It looks like the English town where he lived as a child, before his family moved to America. But everything is bleak and abandoned and he is alone.

The boy, Seth endeavours to satisfy his need for food and drink and in exploring the buildings and the streets, finally sees signs that there might be others. If he can meet them, perhaps they can help him solve the mystery of what existence he is now experiencing.

This is a stunning book. I don't usually enjoy such post-apocalyptic-type tales that apparently appeal to teenagers, but this is beautifully written and quite puzzling. It was a little too futuristic for me to understand, so that I felt I should read it again to understand it. This wouldn't be an unappealing prospect because it was such a joy to read, though this seems strange when the subject matter was so dark and sad; the book also touches on suicide, child abduction, murder and abuse as well as a grim future world.

Review date: December 2013