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 book was recommended to me by my brother and is the first book by Patrick Ness that I’ve read and I don’t think it will be the last!
We follow Seth as he tries to come to terms with his ‘death’, what is happening to him and where he is now. Is he in the afterlife or somewhere completely different? It’s written really well that the story just flows off the pages and I was experiencing Seth’s fears and anxieties and wanting the same answers as him as the book progressed. And when he revisits his former life in his dreams we learn about his friends, family and relationships, which understandably makes it so much more difficult to understand what’s happening to him now and where are his family and what did happen to his brother? Some questions are answered but some are left to your own imagination.
I’ve never read a book quite like this; a book that I really had no idea what was going on but absolutely loved it. I was totally consumed by the story in the here and now, but hadn’t a clue what was going on in the bigger picture.
I loved the camaraderie that developed between Seth, Tomasz and Regine, the lengths that they went to to help and protect each other; just trying to survive one more day in whatever reality they’re in.
I think this book is aimed at YA, I don’t fit this genre but I loved this book and can’t recommend it enough. It’s one of those reads that makes you want to have a really indepth discussion about afterwards. It’s a little bit sci-fi, a bit apocolyptic with some mystery and suspense chucked in for good measure. This sounds like a totally confused mixture but it never felt confusing or baffling, it’s very well plotted.
There are some real tense sweaty palm moments where I couldn’t wait to carry on turning the pages and where I was thinking you really shouldn’t be going there/doing that, just like when you shout at the tv.
My favourite quote from the book which applies to all books:
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”
I do like definitive endings and this doesn’t really have one, you just to have to draw your own conclusions. Overall, this is a brilliant read which reminded me of The Matrix (I didn’t understand that the first time either), a book completely out of my comfort zone that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Connect with the author, Patrick Ness