A boy named 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 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 neighborhood 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. ...
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"Starred Review. In characteristic style, the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy delves into the stuff of nightmares for an existential exploration of the human psyche." - Kirkus
"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 14up." - Publishers Weekly
"A delicate balance between dystopian survival and philosophical grappling means that many different kinds of readers should appreciate the story." - School Library Journal
"Ness' knack for cliff-hangers...remains strong...Repeated, similar battles with an antagonist feel like a distraction; nevertheless, Ness has crafted something stark and uncompromising." - Booklist
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I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia. But I only stayed there for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America. Since then, I've lived in Hawaii, Washington, California, and England.
I've only ever really wanted to be a writer. I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and when I graduated, I got a job as a corporate writer at a cable company in Los Angeles, writing manuals and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel when I moved to London in 1999. I've lived here ever since. I taught Creative Writing at Oxford ...
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