The Knife of Never Letting Go
Chaos Walking Trilogy
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?
This is a book I have heard a lot about before I finally picked it up and trust me: I have no regrets. Right away I was drawn into this book and couldn’t stop before I had finished it (and even then I started the second book right away). It had been a long time since I’d read some dystopian books and this was a great way of starting up again. The story was very good and I loved this new dystopian setting: it was unlike anything I’d ever read about before. I also really enjoyed the characters a lot. As you can see from my rating:there actually isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book.
This New World (where Prentisstown is located) is a very special place, especially with all the Noise. It creates such a special place to have this story in because it’s pretty hard, actually nearly impossible, to hide what you are thinking and feeling. Talk about not having any privacy at all. I would also just like to say that I love that the animals’ thoughts can be heard as well. So within this world a great story takes place. It’s a very exciting story that makes you want to read faster than you ever have before, just to find out what will happen next.
All of the characters in this book were very distinct, even the animals were. I would also like to state that Manchee is my favourite character in the book, yes I know it’s a dog, but wow. Patrick Ness is able to convey so much of Manchee’s emotions with a limited vocabulary in his dialogue. Plus he was great as a sidekick and also brought some comic relief into the story. But I really like Todd as well, he has a very distinct voice but a good one at that. It feels very real in that aspect that he doesn’t know why he does certain stuff and how he doubts certain things and I just feel a general truthfulness to his Noise as well. Patrick Ness did a great job of making everyone in the book a distinct character, even the crocodiles have a personality and this is something that I like. It’s hard for me to discuss other characters without spoiling everyone, so I’ll leave it at this (just pick up the book and find out for yourself).
I’ve seen a lot of people describing the writing style in this book as hard to get into, however this is not something that I experienced myself. Yes there are lots of misspellings and grammatical errors, and it is very stream-of-consciousness. This doesn’t really bother me and I quickly rolled into it. I actually like this writing style, especially for this sort of story, because it allows you to connect so well with the characters. But I can understand that some people would have some trouble with this sort of writing, and if you are one of them: please keep reading, it’s so worth it. Other than the unique writing style, I would also like to discuss the pacing a bit. Because I’m a huge fan that is. The story moves at a very fast pace and I never felt that certain moments just kept lasting and lasting. The storyline always moved on once a certain point was established (with this I mean to say that there was no needless standing around after something had happened, there weren’t any useless conversations or descriptions). Everything written just had a reason to be in the book, and anything that didn’t add to the story was clearly cut out during editing or never there to begin with. (I have a hard time stomaching it when people keep talking about things that have happened without adding to the story. Don’t do it, it’s boring!)
For me this book was just excellent. This was a great book to get back into the dystopian genre and it just begged me to pick up “the ask and the answer” right away (which I did). I just have to say that it was pretty hard to review this book without giving away too much about the story (especially seeing as the synopsis really only covers the very basics of the story).