A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he is here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust and completely abandoned. What's going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this...
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s often difficult to grasp what is real, what is a dream—and what is fantasy in this completely engrossing story. Seth, a teenage boy drowns in the first few pages, but somehow he wakes up from the slumber of death and discovers his childhood home exactly how he remembers it, though it’s now in a state of abandonment. The point of this deep and philosophical young adult book is that it’s ultimately one’s own personal experience of the world that gives it meaning.
Seth Wearing, age 16, dies in the opening pages of this complex, ambitious novel from Ness (A Monster Calls) and, arguably, that isn't the worst thing that happens to him. After drowning, Seth awakens in the suburban London neighborhood where he lived before his family relocated to the Pacific Northwest. The old neighborhood is now a dust-covered ruin; there is no noise, no electricity, and, at first, not another soul around. Is this hell? A tortured dream? Seth's search for understanding requires Ness to move between the unsettling present and Seth's past, slowly revealing his sad childhood, his awful mother, and the bright spot in his young life his relationship with schoolmate Gudmund. When even that romance ended in sorrow, Seth grasped for a reason to live. The Matrix-like science fiction elements of the story are somewhat fuzzy, and even the characters continually question the logic of the circumstances they are stuck in. But Ness's exploration of big questions specifically Seth's yearning to find out if life will ever offer more than the rotten hand he's been dealt will provide solace for the right readers. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I started reading this book and I absolutely loved it, I couldn't put it down. Very dynamic, engaging and surprising... I didn't really like the end of the story, but that's up to the reader. Very good book.
Favourite book by far
There needs to be a follow up to this novel!
Glued to it!
I saw this book in my local book store but decided to get in on here, I've been glued to this book and every spare minute I have I'm reading it!