Review: Release by Patrick Ness


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

My rating:


I always look forward to a new Patrick Ness book, you’re never entirely sure what you’re going to find inside them, they’re always different, beautifully written and they never seem to disappoint.
One of the things I loved about Release is the weirdness, the way contemporary and fantasy briefly collide. I won’t lie, to begin with I didn’t get certain aspects of the fantasy element. It wasn’t until I really thought about it that things fell into place.

Before I start, can we take a minute to admire this gorgeous cover? How it tells the story without spoiling anything. I think it might be my favourite Ness cover to date. Shout out to Levente Szabo, the graphic designer behind this beautiful cover.

Release is told through multiple perspectives, first through the eyes of Adam, a gay teenager unable to completely move on from his last relationship with Enzo, while dealing with the daily disapproval of his religious family, especially his preacher father. I enjoyed Adam as a character as well as his story, both are beautifully written and I felt privileged to join him throughout the day on his journey of self discovery.

They day starts with Adam on his way to the garden centre to buy chrysanthemums at his mums request, while he’s waiting for the flowers Adam pricks his finger on the thorn on a rose he is thinking of buying, triggering flashes of a forest and a figure which in turn causes this string of events to unfold.

Now this is where the elements of fantasy come in. We meet Katherine, the ghost of a girl who was murdered by her boyfriend emerging from the lake And a Faun who is never far behind, trailing his Queen, who latched onto Katherine as she came back. This part is hard to explain without spoiling it so I’ll leave it there. This part of the story I didn’t quite understand straight away and had to go away to ponder. After thinking on it, I had a much better understanding of this story, Katherine and how it all comes together.

Adam, Katherine, the Queen and Faun’s stories are so different, so vastly different as people. What ties them together is their search for the same thing, feedom, and how the course of the days events caused their paths to cross creating a beautiful moment that changes them all.

I really enjoyed this book, the plot and character development is brilliantly written.
I know this is a short review, there isn’t a lot I can say without spoiling it. If you love Patrick Ness’ other books, you’ll love Release, it’s one that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. If you haven’t read any, you’re missing out! Add them to your TBR’s, My personal favourites are The Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls.

Release is Published by Walker Books May 4 2017

Buy Release from Waterstones  Book Depository

Have you read Release yet? If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments or over on twitter @PrythianBworm

4 thoughts on “Review: Release by Patrick Ness”

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