Patrick Ness

Walker Books

May 2018

$16.99 AU

288p pb

ISBN: 978-1406378696

fp May 2017

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Release by Patrick Ness is a heartfelt novel set in a small rural town in Washington state. It follows protagonist, Adam Thorn, over one life changing day. Adamís home life is miserable, he is the disappointing second son of an evangelical preacher and is desperate to escape the path set out for him by his conservative parents. Struggling with the break up with his first love, Enzo, Adam is trying to get on with his life with his new boyfriend, Linus but he is weighed down by his old feelings. Coupled with this, his best friend, Angela is about to move away and his creepy boss at work oversteps the line. With Enzoís farewell party coming up will Adam find the release he seeks?

Interspersed with Adamís story is the story of a murdered girl, which has shocked the small town. The story is set in a spirit world, and told by a faun who is the faithful servant of the Queen. The Queen has taken over the spirit of the murdered girl and is seeking answers and vengeance for her death.

This is a poignant coming-of-age novel which explores the weight of first love and the complexity of human relations. Readers may be confused by the mix of magic realism in the interspersed story but it acts as a pause in Adamís story. The themes and explicit sex scenes make this book for mature teens 16+. Adamís journey is an unforgettable one which is told with passion.

Trent, Canberra

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