More than This – Patrick Ness

★★★☆☆

Seth drowns and wakes up alone in an abandoned city, or the weirdest afterlife I’ve ever imagined.

Coming from a religious background myself, the idea of an afterlife is a) ever-present and b) a total mystery (and well-worth imagining). While it seems like Seth might be in Hell, it’s not explicit. For the first 40% of the book, he’s alone (except for the occasional animal, which may or may not be in his imagination), and I’ve never been so engrossed in a book in recent memory. 

The idea of exploring an abandoned city, totally alone, is something I think about all the time. Sometimes when I’m out and the city is crowded, I imagine what I might do if everyone disappeared. Where would I go in my own peaceful time? Would I take things from the stores (because no one’s coming back, it wouldn’t be stealing), or go into the employees only section of a museum and have a private look around, or just lie in the grass and listen to the birds? It’s a lovely dream.

This book took that idea and let me luxuriate in someone else’s imagination. Yeah, I mean, if everyone disappeared, eventually all the food would rot, and the electricity place would stop working, so it was nice to have someone else take the reins. But just like a peaceful moment alone, all that was ruined when other people showed up.

It’s hard to talk about what happens next that won’t ruin the rest of the book, should you choose to read it, but I will say it reminded me too much of The Matrix, and that’s basically all I could think about until the last word. It was fine. The added characters were stereotypical and annoying, and really, I preferred to be alone.

5 stars for the first half of the book, 2 stars for the last half.

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