Seth drowns. His body is beaten against rocks, bones broken, and he dies.
He wakes up in the street outside his old house in England. He’s lived in the US for almost a decade. And the world around him is crumbling. Food is moulding on the shelves, a sinkhole has opened in the middle of the road. And he is alone. Until he meets The Driver, a seemingly unstoppable force that’s out to kill Seth. But can he die when he’s already dead? Is this some version of hell? A personal one, just for him? Is it real, or just inside is head in the last moments of his life? Is there any way to escape?
When Seth sleeps he dreams of his life before he drowned, his terrible relationship with his parents, an incident with his brother as a child that has scarred them all, and his finding of love and then heartbreak in his small town. In the ‘real’ world he’s trying to survive, as well as figure out where he is. I’m reluctant to say more because I didn’t know anything going in and it was lovely to just have it unfold as I went. I’ve read Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy and some of his others and always enjoy his writing. He often leaves me unsettled, and definitely makes me think.
Ness answers some of the main questions, but leaves a lot open, and so if you are someone who needs answers and solid endings to books, this might not be for you. I was a little frustrated by the ambiguity of the ending, but also felt like it fit. Overall I thought it was a beautifully told story.