More Than This by Patrick Ness


What would you do if you woke up in a coffin in a post-apocalyptic version of your home? Naked. Pretty scary, hey?

This is what happens to Seth in More Than This. His family gone, he fends for himself with fellow teenagers Regine and Tomasz. All he can remember is his last moments drowning as part of a suicide attempt. Together they run around town evading The Driver, a futuristic bad guy in a motorcycle helmet determined to put them back to sleep. They puzzle over a series of unknowns: what has happened to them? And the wider world? Why do they have transmitters embedded into their skulls?

This has a young adult feel to it, in a good way. Maybe it is a YA book? The genre has really led in terms of accessible science-fiction. Ness has created something that is funny, characterful and current. For something bizarre, it kept me gripped until the end with an original antagonist and some gratifying action scenes.

The science ‘hook’ itself is strong and scarily plausible. What I don’t understand is the conclusion that the characters work towards, making the ending a slight anticlimax. Without any spoilers, I’ll just say the future looks pretty bleak whatever the choices they make so I’m not sure where the optimism or resolution offered comes from.

Read: to formulate an apocalypse survival plan.

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