More Than This

More Than This

by Patrick Ness
More Than This

More Than This

by Patrick Ness


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“Books are often described as ‘mind-blowing,’ but this is one of the few books in which, while reading it, I have exclaimed aloud, ‘Oh. My. God.’ on multiple occasions. I won’t tell you anything else about it. Just read it.” — John Green

Seth drowns, desperate and alone. But then he wakes. Naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. And where is he? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust. He remembers dying, his skull bashed against the rocks. Has he woken up in his own personal hell? Is there more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife? From the acclaimed author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls comes one of the most provocative teen novels of our time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763676209
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 07/22/2014
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 35,994
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile: HL800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal–winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.

Read an Excerpt

Here is the boy, drowning.
   In these last moments, it’s not the water that’s finally done for him; it’s the cold. It has bled all the energy from his body and contracted his muscles into a painful uselessness, no matter how much he fights to keep himself above the surface. He is strong, and young, nearly seventeen, but the wintry waves keep coming, each one seemingly larger than the last. They spin him round, topple him over, force him deeper down and down. Even when he can catch his breath in the few terrified seconds he manages to push his face into the air, he is shaking so badly he can barely get half a lungful before he’s under again. It isn’t enough, grows less each time, and he feels a terrible yearning in his chest as he aches, fruitlessly, for more.
   He is in full panic now. He knows he’s drifted just slightly too far from shore to make it back, the icy tide pulling him out farther and farther with every wave, pushing him toward the rocks that make this bit of coast so treacherous. He also knows there is no one who’ll notice he’s gone in time, no one who’ll raise the alarm before the water defeats him. He won’t be saved by chance, either. There are no beachcombers or tourists to dive in from the shoreline to save him, not this time of year, not in these freezing temperatures.
   It is too late for him.
   He will die.
   And he will die alone.
   The sudden, gasping horror of knowing this makes him panic even more. He tries again to break the surface, not daring to think that it might be his last time, not daring to think much at all. He forces his legs to kick, forces his arms to heave himself upward, to at least get his body the right way round, to try and grasp another breath just inches away­ –
   But the current is too strong. It allows him tantalizingly near the surface but spins him upside down before he can get there, dragging him closer to the rocks.
   The waves toy with him as he tries again.
   And fails.
   Then, without warning, the game the sea seems to have been playing, the cruel game of keeping him just alive enough to think he might make it, that game seems to be over.
   The current surges, slamming him into the killingly hard rocks. His right shoulder blade snaps in two so loudly he can hear the crack, even underwater, even in this rush of tide. The mindless intensity of the pain is so great that he calls out, his mouth instantly filling with freezing, briny seawater. He coughs against it, but only drags more into his lungs. He curves into the pain of his shoulder, blinded by it, paralyzed by its intensity. He is unable to even try and swim now, unable to brace himself as the waves turn him over once more.
  Please, is all he thinks. Just the one word, echoing through his head.
   The current grips him a final time. It rears back as if to throw him, and it dashes him headfirst into the rocks. He slams into them with the full, furious weight of an angry ocean behind him. He is unable to even raise his hands to try and soften the blow.
   The impact is just behind his left ear. It fractures his skull, splintering it into his brain, the force of it also crushing his third and fourth vertebrae, severing both his cerebral artery and his spinal cord, an injury from which there is no return, no recovery. No chance.
   He dies.
Part 1
Chapter 1
The first moments after the boy’s death pass for him in a confused and weighty blur. He is dimly aware of pain, but mostly of a tremendous fatigue, as if he has been covered in layer upon layer of impossibly heavy blankets. He struggles against them, blindly, his thrashing increasing as he panics (again) at the invisible ropes that seem to bind him.
   His mind isn’t clear. It races and throbs like the worst kind of fever, and he is unaware of even thinking. It’s more some kind of wild, dying instinct, a terror of what’s to come, a terror of what’s happened.
   A terror of his death.
   As if he can still struggle against it, still outrun it.
   He even has a distant sensation of momentum, his body continuing its fight against the waves even though that fight has already been lost. He feels a sudden rushing, a surge of terror hurtling him forward, forward, forward, but he must be free of his body somehow because his shoulder no longer hurts as he struggles blindly through the dark, unable to feel anything, it seems, except a terrified urgency to move –
   And then there is a coolness on his face. Almost as of a breeze, though such a thing seems impossible for so many reasons. It’s this coolness that causes his consciousness – His soul? His spirit? Who’s to say? – to pause in its fevered spin.
   For an instant, he is still.
   There’s a change in the murk before his eyes. A lightness. A lightness he can enter, somehow, and he can feel himself leaning toward it, his body – so weak, so nearly incapable beneath him – reaching for the growing light.
   He falls. Falls onto solidity. The coolness rises from it, and he allows himself to sink into it, let it envelop him.
   He is still. He gives up his struggle. He lets oblivion overtake him.

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