Author: Patrick Ness
Published: May 5, 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian, Science Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
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“Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”My Thoughts
― Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go
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? (Goodreads)
This book was phenomenal. Superb! Epic! You get the idea. With that vague premise, I wasn't sure what to expect. Of course, I was loving the idea of Noise and everyone being able to hear each other's thoughts, but I never anticipated how awesome this book was going to be. I was expecting Todd would just go on some journey with his dog, finding himself, and there would be a few surprises along the way. But The Knife of Never Letting Go was so much more than a coming of age novel.
First off, Ness did not hold back on the disturbing elements. When you can hear a man's every thought, the facade slips away and the dark side of mankind comes out to play. Ness was very convincing in his character development. Unfortunately, the insanity, the hatred, and the depravity were all too realistic. And even with the Noise, men still managed to keep secrets. But, do not fear, there were some kindhearted souls in the bunch who helped Todd and his companions in their time of need.
Before The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd had lived all of his life in Prentisstown, and I loved how the reader gets to explore the world with him, discovering so many secrets and new places. There's never a slow moment during Todd's journey. My eyes were riveted to the page from the start. I loved the adventure, the thrill of the run from the Prentisstown men, and, above all, the suspense. There were many questions waiting to be answered, and I loved unraveling the mystery with Todd.
There were so many unexpected twists and nerve-wracking moments in The Knife of Never Letting Go. I acted as Todd's one woman cheering squad, cheering him on and hoping he stayed alive. There were some killer scenes. One heart-wrenching moment in particular had me fighting back tears. I was not happy with Ness at times. My nerves were often a wreck, but I still devoured this book. I was overcome by a whirlwind of emotion time after time. I have to say the storytelling was flawless and the world building was excellent.
I've read many reviews that mention the misspellings, and I was expecting a grammatical disaster. But I was pleasantly surprised. The misspellings were infrequent and they lent some authenticity. In a world where your every thought is broadcast, a proper education is difficult to achieve (especially when cheating is easily done).
There are some scary moments in The Knife of Never Letting Go. The creepy factor is definitely present. I have to say that after possessed little girls, insane preachers are the second best scare. Aaron. Oh god. I still shudder thinking about him. He isn't the only villain, but he was forefront in my mind.
So basically, my suggestion: drop everything and go to your nearest bookstore to buy The Knife of Never Letting Go if you haven't already. It's the weekend. So, hopefully, you have hours to spare. Read it in one sitting. I doubt you'll be disappointed. I already bought the next two books from Amazon, and they're on their way.