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Book Review - The Knife of Never Letting Go

 Monday, 16 August 2010

Wow I've gone from doing hardly any reviews to churning out two in quick succession! I'm also hoping that I'll get up a joint review of Hunger Games and Catching Fire when I re-read those next week ahead of Mockingjay coming out *dances*.

This review is being entered into Presenting Lenore's dystopian contest for an awesome 6 book prize pack as part of her Dystopian August event.

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Date: 14/8/2010 AM
Source: Bought
Description: Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. 
But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. 
Or are there? 
Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. 
Which is impossible. 
Prentisstown has been lying to him. 
And now he's going to have to run... 

My Review: 
Holy hell in a hand-basket! Now I'll be honest when I started this I had already been blown-away by the Maze Runner the night before but bloody hell I was not expecting to be quite as gobsmacked by the time I finished. I read this in a ridiculously short time and I have no clue how I did it - it took me less than 3 hours to devour this nearly 500 pg book and I frankly wished it had been longer because I was so invested in this world and it's characters that I would have gladly gone along with them for 800 pages or more!

Patrick Ness has created such a complex and vivid world full of mystery and secrets that we get to explore through Todd, the main character and narrator. All his life Todd thought he knew the truth about his mother's death and the situation in Prentisstown but one day he finds a spot of silence when it shouldn't exist and from then on everything he knew is thrown into doubt and his life's in danger because of it. The reader is pulled along on this adventure at break-neck speed as Todd runs from Prentisstown and after he meets Viola, the first girl he's ever seen, he realises that *she* is the silence he found and both of them are being hunted by the hoards of men from Prentisstown.

Todd as a narrator was wonderful albeit a tad naive and stubborn about his knowledge of the world. The book is actually written in his rather uneducated vernacular which takes a bit of getting used to (especially for a spelling nazi like me :P) but it just helps to make Todd feel so real that my "attenshun" wasn't going anywhere.

I also adored his dog Manchee, who through some strange occurrence of the New World can talk with a reasonable degree of intelligence (for a dog anyway). Manchee is the most loyal companion that any boy with no one else to talk to could ask for, sure he could a bit annoying with his doggy ADD as it were but he looked out for Todd and protected him when danger threatened. He was quite possibly the best dog ever to grace the pages of fiction *cuddles Manchee*.

Viola was a bit of an enigma since we don't find out a huge amount about her in this book except that her and her parents were the scouts for another settler ship coming from the Old World (it takes 64 years to travel the distance between the two planets). She proves herself to be a very capable and brave girl and after a slightly rocky start her and Todd become good friends. I'm quite looking forward to learning more about her in the second book.

Although this is a YA book there are several moments of quite distressing violence and I swear my heart broke a little half-way through (people who've read it will know exactly what I mean ). Ness's world is cruel one and Todd grows up a *lot* over the course of the story which makes me so proud of him. 

After the non-stop action of the flight from Prentisstown, the ending stops us dead in our tracks and oh my god do I need to read the Ask and the Answer like NOW! Getting a cliff hanger like that makes you very pissed about the fact that there's no 24hr bookshops for sequel emergencies of this nature. I will be getting my hands on a copy from the library tomorrow or I may just die.

Now I know there's been a lot of talk about this book recently and some people have been wondering whether they should read it or not. Simple answer really - OF COURSE YOU BLOODY SHOULD!! If you like dystopian fiction or even you don't you *need* to read this series. If you're not absolutely blown away by the awesomeness that is this book then I'm afraid there's something really wrong with you and I'll have to disown you. The characters are fabulous, the world is amazing and the plot is so gripping that it's driving me crazy thinking about what may happen next! What more could you ask of a book?

My Rating: 5 Stars out of 5!!!! (heck I'd give it 7)

Seriously read this book like now or I may have to force y'all and it won't be pretty :P



Emidy 16 August 2010 at 16:51  

Wonderful review! Didn't you just ADORE this book? It's so great. And so addictive. Manchee has to possibly be the best charcter ever in fiction! Make sure you read The Ask and the Answer right now.

Jo 16 August 2010 at 17:46  

Great review! I love this book --- can't wait for the third one to come out. Reading your review made me remember what I loved about this book the first time I read it. I was going to recommend this to a friend, and loan my copy --- but now I think I'll keep it and re-read it! :)

Tampa BookWorm 20 August 2010 at 17:20  

I had been holding off on this one, but after that review I am going ot have to go out and get it...

Anonymous,  10 September 2010 at 01:18  

Sounds very complex, I'm not really one for dystopian but it does sound good.

Deepali 11 September 2010 at 07:28  

Hi! Came over from the Hop - Great review! So detailed, but no spoilers. Tough to carry off, so good job.
e-Volving Books

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