We’re sorry for the slow couple of weeks. Diana’s husband had a death in the family, and I am on my family vacation, so neither of us has been online much to update the site, but I did want to share one of the books I’m reading this week: Patrick Ness’ new novel, “More Than This.”
Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, which I read because Tammy told me it was painful (as in, emotional) but amazing. Those books (starting with “The Knife of Never Letting Go”) were so good I couldn’t sleep when I was reading them; I just had to know what happened to Todd and Viola. So when Candlewick offered to send me an ARC of Ness’ latest, I immediately hit reply with my address.
I started reading it the moment it arrived last week, but then I remembered I had a few other books I needed to read first for work and for the Selective Collective. Then we came up to Maine for our summer vacation, and I finished reading two more books (“How My Summer Went Up in Flames” and “Me Before You”) at the beach. Finally, I remembered I had dropped “More Than This” in my bag and reopened it. Wow, it’s good. Not exactly your typical light beach-reading material (as in, I couldn’t finish it in one day), but fascinating and beautifully written and thought provoking — exactly what I expect from Ness after reading the excellent “Chaos Walking” books.
Of course, this books don’t feature Todd or Viola, but in a way it reminds me of the end of “Monsters of Men” — and that’s all I’ll say without being super spoilery. I’ll come back and write a more detailed Editor’s Pick when I’m done, but in the meantime, here’s the official summary.
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. . . .
From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.