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Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

>>Monday, April 18, 2011

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 479
Genre: Dystopia
Publication Date: May 5th, 2008
Publisher: Walker Children's
Rating: B
Challenge: Calico_Reaction's Book Club - March Challenge

From Goodreads: Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee - whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not - stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden - a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

Gosh, I'm pretty late on this one. I actually finished reading it on time but got sidetracked when trying to write the review.

Anyways, I was really excited to read this book and was happy to see it was chosen for the book club. I have heard great things about it and I really wanted to read a good young adult dystopian after having some trouble with others.

Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. I found The Knife of Never Letting Go an exhilarating experience in a world where men can hear each other's thoughts (these thoughts are called Noise). Todd lives in Prentisstown, where there are no more women left and he's the last boy to grow into a man. Ness presents a very creepy look into the world where susperstition plays a big part in everyone's actions, especially those in Prentisstown. It kind of reminded me of the Lord of the Flies, where a bunch of kids (in this case, adults and kids) get put on an island and left to their own devices. In Prentisstown, the men have created a skewed view of the world and they make some pretty crazy plans.

The story follows Todd as he tries to escape the clutches of the men of Prentisstown. There's a lot of adventure. Todd is always on the run. I find that to be a pro and con to this book, since it means there was a lot of action, but I was really yearning for more interaction with people outside Prentisstown. I wanted to see and experience more of the world through Todd's eyes - not constantly follow him alone into the forests on his journey.

That pretty much sums up my opinion of this book: I really was fascinated by this world and it kept me turning the pages, but I wished I had learned more about it. This is obviously a series since Ness leaves us with a big cliffhanger at the end. I hope in the next book, The Ask and The Answer, he shows us more about the world he's created. B


  1. I've started reading this one, but keep getting sidetracked-- probably because it's so long! Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and that the pace picks up. :)

  2. I really wanted to read this one for Calico's book club, but I didn't get to it. :( I definitely plan on reading it in the future though. Great review! :)



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