There are authors who are marked by their ability to leave the ordinary and surprise. Patrick Ness is among them, with some major works on their resume - the most recent being the success Seven Minutes After Midnight, from which he finished - the author is the type that you buy the book just for having its name on the cover, knowing that you can expect some good surprises.
More than that it is such a case, where the reader has practically no information about what the plot is about, but in the course of events is taken by a combination of information that becomes a complex and interesting story.
Made in third person, the narrative is focused on Seth, a teenager who just drowned. Yes, the opening pages show the boy's suffocating death, then show when he inexplicably wakes up in his old home. There is no one else in the city where Seth wakes up, which leads him to imagine that he is in some kind of purgatory or even hell. The answers are given to the reader as the protagonist finds out what is happening to him.
“Here is the boy, drowning. In these last moments, it is not the water that is defeating him; and the cold. It sucked all the energy out of his body and contracted his muscles to painful uselessness, no matter how hard he struggles to stay on the surface. He's strong and young, almost seventeen, but the icy waves keep coming, each seemingly bigger than the last. ”
Divided into four parts, the book mixes the present with the passing, gradually inserting information about Seth's life and how he died, while investigating the current and strange situation of the character. At first everything seems very crazy, turned to the supernatural, but the plot develops very well and ends up transforming into something totally different, with a huge background of reflection.
Patrick Ness he manages to tie the facts well, leaving no loose ends and exploring in a completely original way personal issues that afflict many young people - and some deeper ones that can reach people of any age. The author deals with friendship, sexual preferences, losses and family relationships in a subtle and impressive way, having a certain effect on the reader.
More than that it is an amazing work, which starts with a simple fact and evolved into something profound and interesting. It is the type of plot that cannot be described, just reading to feel the effect and delight in the perfect combination of facts.