Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness Review

The Knife of Never Letting Go
By Patrick Ness

September 9, 2008
Candlewick, 496 pages

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.

— description

A boy from a village populated only by men who can hear every thought of every living thing around them stumbles upon two things he never thought he’d find: a girl and silence. It’s sci-fi, fantasy, horror and dystopian all rolled into one thrilling book.

Patrick Ness uses a dialect for the main character, but it’s hardly a stumbling point. The plot if so well-crafted and quick-moving that you have no choice but to get over it and read on.

The tension is just breathtaking as Ness describes his main character’s dramatic highs and shocking lows. Ness was recently awarded the prestigious Carnegie medal for a later book in this series, and it’s not hard to see why. This book was a brilliantly executed, haunting look at human nature that left me breathless for more. Yes, it's a cliffhanger ending.

Thankfully, the next two books in the series are out now, and I won’t have to wait long. Teen boys in particular will eat this one up.

I can't let this review without saying one last thing: MANCHEE!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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  1. Is the dialect anything like that in Blood Red Road? Because that, I could not get past.

  2. It is exciting to see you talking about this book. I just got the first two books in this series out from the library and will be reading them soon. I don't like cliffhanger endings when I have to wait for the next book. Thankfully I won't have to this time. Everyone seems to talk super-positively about these, so I'm really really exciting to get started on them.


  3. I'm always so happy to see other positive reviews of this book because I loved it so much. I tore through this book (and its two sequels). Ness is a master at creating an authentic voice for Todd and telling his story with excellent plotting and pacing.

    Can't wait to see what you think of the next two books.

    (And yes, Manchee is amazing.)

  4. So, this is one of those books I really want to read...and I own the whole series...but I just haven't yet. Why? No idea. I really need to though, glad you loved it!

  5. Ness brings the emotions something fierce. i'm so happy you're reading this series!

  6. I've heard so many good things about this! I need to give it a try. :)

  7. Mancheeeeeee. I threw the book. THREW IT.

  8. Manchee is a good good dog and a sweet and brave companion (animal). Loved this book. Even the tough parts. Maybe not the cliffhanger though. That was kind of annoying.

  9. Ow? Todd?

    Manchee, Todd, and Viola are seriously some of the most well-crafted characters I have ever read. And one of them is a dog.

    I have no idea how Patrick Ness does it--rips out your heart, plants a flower in it, and shoves it back in your chest.

    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

    Book Review of "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

  10. Thanks for giving a great synopsis about the book. based on what you have said I think I am going to try reading the Knife of Never Letting Go.

  11. obviously this is a really late response to this but I just had to say this book is amazing! Did you end up reading the next two? If so, how did you like them?? I listened to them all on audiobook and the narrators were kick ass!



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