More than This by Patrick Ness is a profound book that is difficult to categorize, in part because the reader doesn’t fully understand this world until it unfolds. And even by the end of the story … well, let’s just say this book raises more questions than it answers. It’s a richly rewarding story, and one that will have a strong impact on teens, especially on curious teens who enjoy taking their minds in new directions.
Seth was dead, and then he was alive again. The last thing he remembered was swimming in the ocean. He remembered the pull of the undertow and how he was fighting against the waves, and that no matter how hard he tried to swim away from the rocks, he couldn’t. He remembered the waves dashing him against the rocks. He remembered the sound of his shoulder blade snapping in two, so loud that he could even hear it underwater. He remembered drowning … and then he remembered waking up here. Wherever “here” is.
Seth doesn’t know if he’s dead, or alive, or dreaming. He doesn’t know if he’s in heaven, or hell, or somewhere in between. All he knows is is that he woke up in front of a house that looks vaguely familiar. He doesn’t know exactly where he is, but when he steps inside the house it feels like he’s been here before, a very long time ago. He also knows that wherever he is, he’s completely alone. He listens carefully, but he can’t hear the sound of any people, or animals, or birds, or even insects. This world is completely silent.
Seth doesn’t know what kind of place this is, or why it feels familiar, or what happened to everybody else. He doesn’t have the answers to any of these questions … YET.