A familiar wasteland greets our hero after he drowns in the cold Pacific Ocean. He’s been here before, the same but changed. He is convinced he’s in his own personal Hell, and why shouldn’t be after what he’s done? The flashbacks every time he falls asleep are so vivid Seth can’t tell which is reality, the past he is reliving or this bleak and empty place? (Hint: You’ll have to read it to find out, no spoilers here!)
Patrick Ness is a strong storyteller. He has the ability to let your imagination fill in the blanks based on the framework he provides, my favorite kind of author. The first chapter was hard to read, I found myself holding my breath as the waves took Seth under, and shrinking away from the pain I knew was coming. The dusty landscape and Seth’s own thirst made me reach for my water glass more than a few times. This story really gets in your head and I was not disappointed by the adventure and unexpected emotions that came along with it.