More Than This by Patrick Ness
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBT
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and 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?
What a strange story.
I’d even go as far as to say that it’s weird… and very much of the unbelievable sort. Patrick Ness doesn’t care, though. He likes to confuse the reader. At least twenty times throughout the novel, Seth says he ‘‘remembers’’ and ‘‘understands,’’ when in fact it’s a lie.
Well it is original, that’s indubitable. Seth wakes up in an empty world after drowning. Later on, he finds two other… survivors? Apparently, he woke up from the virtual world he was living in. That’s all I can say. It’s not enough, and yet, it’s dangerously too much.
I liked the alternation between past and present. The memories were interesting and helped me care about Seth. We do not know about the people he meets as we do about him however. This reinforces the idea that it’s all in Seth’s head. But it’s not… really. Or is it? Who knows? Not even the author does.
The message is great. This might not exactly be my type of novel. After all, I rarely read science fiction and prefer clarity to confusion, but I do admire important themes well explored. Everyone who chose to be part of the virtual reality did so to escape, but Seth makes us realize that even when things get rough, ugly and post-apocalyptic, we should still hope for a better future and find beauty in the darkness… companionship especially.
This is a long book. Too long in my opinion. Could have been edited, condensed better. Interesting story (what I understood of it) and great pacing. Relatable hero and entertaining, if somewhat melodramatic sidekicks.
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