More Than This by Patrick Ness | Book Review

Sunday 3 November 2019

As always this will be a spoiler free review. If I ever need to talk about something important to the plot for some reason, please note that I’ll always put it at the end, after the book’s score, and will always put some picture and huge text to announce it. But alas, there will be no such section for this book. Let’s get this review started.

If you're a fan of Future Flicks with Billiam, then you’ll know that I love a movie called A Monster Calls, and that movie is based off a book of the same name. That book was written by Patrick Ness, who wrote this not so little book called More Than This.

This book is about a young man named Seth who dies and wakes to find himself in his old home in England. The problem is, his family had moved away to America years before. The other problem is, the world is deserted. No matter where he goes in the small town, there’s not a soul in sight and everything looks more run down than a dollar store in a bad neighbourhood. Is Seth in Hell? Did he really die? And where is everyone?

Those are just a few of the many MANY questions More Than This throws at it’s readers but I never felt overwhelmed by the piling questions and the vast list of unknowns. That’s because Ness gives us little tastes of satisfaction in each chapter. Some question is always answered or there’s at least a hint dropped to keep the pages turning.

Seth keeps on questioning everything. He has some pretty varying ideas on what’s happening and each idea he has could potentially be the answer. Each conclusion he jumps to, each theory he has about what’s going on, has it’s merits and is believable, up until it’s not.

Seth as a character is interesting and multi-dimensional. As I read the book I noticed how everything that happened to him shaped him and each time he had a flashback to his previous life I could clearly see why it was important and how it made him into the character I was reading. The other characters in the book weren’t as fleshed out but had just enough depth to keep from feeling like cardboard cutouts propped up to throw the reader a bone.

The world Ness created was a haunting and terrifyingly plausible. A small English town was quickly turned from quaint and cute to empty and skeletal. Seth’s small town American home, something that novels usually characterise as charming and warm, was cold and void of hope.

The story was a really good one that kept me guessing the whole time but not artificially so. The book never felt contrived which is a quick and easy way to kill a books enjoyability. Earlier I mentioned that the questions being answered was just enough to keep the pages turning and that is a great example of the perfect pacing More Than This had.

Overall it was a great story. It was as real as it was fantastical. It was as sad as it was hopeful. And it was as much of a character study as it was a genre book. What genre was it? That’d be a spoiler. Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Romance? Western? Cyberpunk? Read it to find out.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and More Than This helps solidify Patrick Ness as one of my new favorite authors. It doesn’t matter if you buy or borrow this book. Just make sure you read it and enjoy a wonderfully spun story that, as cliche as it sounds, will stay with you long after you set it down.

More Than This gets a 10 out of 11

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