After meeting Patrick Ness at BEA and discovering what an awesome human he is, I felt like the time was upon me to finally read one of his books. I started with The Knife of Never Letting Go which is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy and now that I’ve finished it, I feel like I get ~the hype~. The beginning had a definite slow start for me but once I got to the end I was definitely interested in continuing on to the second book. I think because it’s the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, really lays down the groundwork for the excitement of the next two installments. This dystopian begins in a place called Prentisstown where there are no women and everyone is able to hear the thoughts of everyone else which they refer to as Noise. The protagonist Todd and his dog Manchee are forced to flee Prentisstown when they discover a secret the Mayor has been hiding.
One of the aspects I loved most about The Knife of Never Letting Go is the unique narration style Ness employs. The novel is told from Todd’s point of view and it has a very ‘stream of consciousness’ feel to it. There’s Prentisstown slang and a visually unique printing style to emphasize certain lines. I’ve always been drawn to stories that play with language and this book really hooked me. I also loved that you were able to hear Manchee’s thoughts. While I’ve never had a pet myself, it’s obvious how attached to them people grow and it’s interesting to see their relationship represented without any type of communication barrier.
The less I reveal about the plot of the book, the better for the potential reader’s sake so I’m keeping my lips sealed and letting you go in as blind as possible. That being said, you’re immediately thrown into this world that Ness created without any transitory period so get ready for some mysterious occurrences in a place where a year is measured in 13 months. The only character I really couldn’t stand is Aaron but again, I’ll let you find out why for yourself should you chose to read the book.
Final Thoughts: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness lays a strong foundation for the rest of the trilogy. Our main character Todd narrates and because everyone’s thoughts or Noise can be heard by everyone in Prentisstown there is a lot of stream of consciousness. I dare you not to fall in love with Todd’s dog Manchee who’s thoughts can also be heard. While the beginning has a slow start, there are enough mysteries in this dystopian world to keep you reading until the excitement ensues.
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? (via Goodreads)