Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking Trilogy #1)
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult | SciFi – Dystopian
Summary: Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
Final Rating: ♥♥♥♥ and a half / ♥♥♥♥♥
I’ve been wanting to get to this book for the longest time, and I’ve heard some amazing things about it. I’ve never read a book by Patrick Ness, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from his writing, but I was pleasantly surprised by the richness of the world he presented, the depth of the characters and the completely original way he presented his ideas.
The story was fast-paced and entertaining. I will say that it took me a little while (like fifty or so pages) to get into the story, but when I did, I couldn’t stop reading it. 350 pages in one night, staying up until 7am in the hopes of finishing the book. The idea was fascinating, and it had me intrigued. There were twists throughout the story; the plot was twisty-turny and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I will say that Aaron got kind of annoying by the end of the book because he just wouldn’t give up. It wasn’t humanly possible for this guy to keep showing up, which made me wonder if he was human or not. Other than that, I loved it, and it had me laughing and crying throughout.
I enjoyed the characters. I thought Todd was a breath of fresh air from all the main heroes out there— he was young, scared and wasn’t afraid to admit it which made him so much more real in my eyes. It took me a while to get used to Viola, but by the end of the book, I cared about her almost as much as I cared about Todd. Manchee. Manchee, Manchee, Manchee: the overactive, lovable dog that’s there for Todd through thick and thin, loyal, sincere. What amazed me so much was that Manchee was an actual character. He was more of a character than any other animal I have ever encountered, even more so than Hedwig in the Harry Potter series. You could hear his thoughts, which made him feel almost human. Hats off to Patrick Ness for coming up with such an ingenious idea that made even the animals in his book seem like complex, multi-dimensional characters.
It was very interesting to read the intentional grammatical/spelling errors. It took me a little while to get used to this, because I’ve never really experienced it in a book, but when i did, it didn’t bother me at all and actually made it feel like I was reading Todd’s diary.
Ness manages to breathe life into his characters with his writing. He is brief and straight-forward, and his prose is not overly fluffy or flowery. He writes the things that are important without embellishing anything, and I really enjoy this type of writing. I’ve never read anything by Ness except this book, but I’ll finish this series and also grab anything I can find of Ness’s.
Would I recommend? Yes, but the violence is something that a lot of people won’t appreciate. So probably not to everyone.
Would I re-read? Yep.