Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness


“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?”



This synopsis doesn’t really tell you much, does it? Unfortunately, I feel like I also can’t tell you much about this book without spoiling anything. That’s part of the fun of the story, not knowing where its taking you.  And I definitely had no idea where this book was taking me.  After finishing it, I’m not really sure where it took me. This book will definitely leave you thinking for days after you finish it. What I can tell you is that this book is brilliant and absolutely worth the read.

The story with opens with a boy drowning in the ocean. We have no context- we have no idea why he is drowning or how he got there. His shoulder is shattered by a rock which soon after crushes his skull, and he dies. When he wakes up, he is somewhere else. He is alone. We soon learn that his name is Seth, and that he remembers dying. But where is he now? Did he really die? Is he alone? Is this even real?

Seth is an authentic, refreshing main character. While he is dealing with this new world he woke up in, we also start to get glimpses of his previous life and the events that led him to his death. His voice is raw and achingly honest. As I learned more of the events of his life, I really grew to care for Seth as a character.

This book is so intriguing because it has so many interconnecting parts. On one hand, it is Seth reflecting on his life and coming to terms with his death. Is this new world he woke up in just a way of him dealing with his death? I wasn’t sure. Then other events started to happen and I thought, maybe not. Maybe there is more to the story. And there certainly is another exciting, somewhat creepy story arc. As I was reading I kept thinking,  is this going to be fiction? Fantasy? Science fiction? This book will honestly keep you guessing until the very end. And maybe still after you finish it.

This was my first experience with Patrick Ness and I am more than excited to read his other books now. His writing is straight-forward but beautiful. It flows so well with the tone of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I know I will be thinking about it for days afterward. I think one of the things I appreciate most about it is that it is just so unique compared to anything else I’ve read lately. While the ending was open-ended, it left me oddly satisfied as if that were the point of the story all along.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a good read. I think it appeals to a wide variety of audiences regardless of your usual genre preference. More Than This is a gripping story from beginning to end, but it also allows us to reflect on life and what it means to be happy. I have a feeling Patrick Ness will become one of my favorite authors and I cannot wait to pick up another one of his books.




18 thoughts on “Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness”

  1. This is a great review Alex. I know what you mean about the blurb not giving anything away, and about the struggle of writing a review for this book without giving anything away either.
    Either way I thought this was a brilliant book. I had no clue what was going on, and I was constantly trying to guess how the story was going to end.
    More Than This is my favourite Patrick Ness book to date but I still need to read the Chaos Walking trilogy, I’ve heard great things about that series! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I actually finished A Monster Calls earlier this month. More Than This is still my favourite of his books but A Monster Calls is amazing in its own way. I think you’ll really love it.
        Yeah I agree, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the book nearly as much if I knew what was going to happen and how it would all end for Seth!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, I did not know where to start to finally read a Ness book, but now I know. I need this book. I love diving into a story without knowing much about it, and the blurb is just enough to intrigue me. Your review did the rest, now off to Amazon… 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy you loved this book, and this was such a great review! I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I read it, it was printed on my mind for DAYS. I especially loved how I could feel everything, thanks to the simple yet very catchy writing, and the characters were relatable, I could FEEL for Seth, so, so much!
    What are you going to read next? I assume you want to read more of Patrick Ness’ work now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I’m still thinking about it, honestly. I love that the ending was so open-ended. I LOVED Seth. I thought he was such an honest, relatable character and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about him as the story progressed.

      As for what I’m reading next, I definitely want to read more Patrick Ness! I have A Monster Calls on my kindle but I have 3 more books I want to get through before the end of September-Carry On, Labyrinth Lost and All The Ugly and Wonderful Things 🙂 And I’m almost done with Empire of Storms. I don’t want it to end!

      Liked by 1 person

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