Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

June 25, 2012 Book Review, Candlewick Press, Chaos Walking series, Dystopian, Fantasy, Patrick Ness, Sci-fi, The Knife of Never Letting Go, YA, Young Adult 6

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?

My Thoughts:

The Knife of Never Letting Go is unlike anything I have ever read. It follows a boy named Todd Hewitt in a town where you can hear the thoughts, or Noise, of others including the animals. As he heads towards his birthday and becoming a ‘man’, his guardians inform him that he is in danger and must flee this cursed town of Prentisstown without a clue as to why he is being chased. He meets a young girl named Viola, whose ship has crashed on this ‘New World’. Together with his dog Manchee, they flee for their lives from a crazy preacher and a growing army.

I have to admit that when I first started this book, I was worried it wasn’t for me. The language takes some getting used to and the ‘talking’ dog seemed a little… silly to me. I was even reminded of the movie ‘UP’ at one point when Manchee would become distracted and say ‘SQUIRREL’. LOL I am so glad I continued on though because this book is seriously intense. You get the sense that everything you think you know about Prentisstown from what Todd has been told is probably a lie. You learn and pick up little pieces of information right along with Todd, and as the plot moves on so did my love for the story.

Todd Hewitt was an amazing main character. At the beginning he is basically the typical smart aleck kid who doesn’t like to listen to authority and the men in the town. As he is running for his life, you see him vulnerable and scared, but strong and determined to make it to safety at the same time. He struggles with fear of having to kill someone to save himself a whole lot. He doesn’t want to live with that guilt, though there are MANY times in the book it seems necessary. Viola is a smart and clever girl. I loved watching their friendship grow from just fleeing together to depending on each other to be there. Can I also say how much I loved the dog! Manchee was so loyal to Todd, even though Todd often made it well known in the beginning how much he didn’t like having him around. He added a sense of humor to the story and I fell in love with him.

I can’t forget to talk about the creepy and dreadful Aaron, the preacher who is on the hunt for young Todd. All I can really say about this guy is, does he ever die?! He was the Michael Myers of the story. He also travels very fast. For all of the running Todd and Viola did, Aaron always seemed to be right where they were, even when he had been hurt beyond belief. Also, the man is CRAZY! He terrified me through the pages.

I have to admit there is one scene that gutted me. I had to leave the book for a little while because I was so mad/upset. And the book left off at a good spot but it was a hell of a cliffhanger, making we wish I had the next book to start ASAP.

If you like dystopian novels full of action and suspense, then this is definitely one for you!

4.5 out of 5!

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

6 Responses to “Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness”

  1. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    haha The Michael Myers of the story! I know sometimes the enemies use don’t die! I’ve had this book as a maybe on my TBR list for awhile. It sounds really weird. The whole hearing thought of humans and animals although I have always wished I knew what my cat was thinking. LOL SQUIRREL! That does remind me of UP. I bet dogs really do think like that.

  2. Netra21

    Really great review! I have had this on my TBR list for awhile. I may have to bump it up. However, now that you put that comparison to Doug that is probably all I will think about lol 😉

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