One word I can describe this book: TENSE. Yes, it’s so tense I cannot recommend it for a toilet read.
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in a trilogy (Chaos Walking Trilogy), and the first YA book written by the author.
I do not know how to begin saying how much I like this book. From its characters, the plot, the writing style. It is just…forgive me for raving like an energetic teen…EFFIN AWESOME! And to think that I have not read a lot of Young-Adult Fiction, much more Dystopian YA. Which explains why I only got to read this now, when all other fans have already recovered from the frenzy of having completed all the 3 books.
The Knife Of Never Letting Go is told from the viewpoint of 12 year-old Todd Hewitt, who lives in Prentisstown, a town in the New World, where people can hear each other’s thoughts they call the Noise. Todd has only 30 more days to go before he becomes officially a man, but before he does, he suddenly finds himself being driven away by his parents from the town to escape the town’s army. But how far can you really get to escape when your thoughts can be heard by your pursuers?
Patrick Ness has created a unique, novel idea of a world where everybody hears everybody’s thoughts. And for this apparently original idea alone, I can easily give the book the 5 stars. But of course, there are still the almost-man Todd, who is as strong a character as he is real, and Viola, the mysterious Noiseless girl, plus the presence of very effective, very evil antagonists, Aaron and the Prentiss father-son tandem. You wrap them all up together with a very brilliant writing style and technique, and you have in your hands one excellent story.
Another thing that has made me fall in love quickly about The Knife Of Never Letting Go is Manchee, the talking dog. I absolutely love dogs, and the presence of Manchee as Todd’s sidekick is such a delight, and his loyalty to Todd (Ow, Todd? Food, Todd?) tugs at my heartstrings and brings tears to my eyes.
The Knife Of Never Letting Go is so full of hide-and-seek action, taut suspense, and mind boggling plot twists, you just cannot let go until you get to the last page. It made my chest constrict and pulled up my blood pressure (I’m only guessing), and after I turned the last page, I had this crazy urge to go to the bookstore and buy the rest of the books in the series. Except that it’s already past midnight and I have yet to get some sleep. It is full, too, of creachers, effins, yers and -shuns, but you have to read the book to understand what I’m saying.
Dystopian fiction may not be an absolute favorite in my case (so far I’ve only read The Hunger Games and Stephen King’s The Running Man) but I am definitely adding up The Knife Of Never Letting Go to my short list.
5 stars. Absolutely.