24 July 2015

Book Review:The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

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. 

The Good
  • Delves into that intriguing idea of being able to hear other people's thoughts and turns it on it's head in its entirety. The great thing is that the author has really thought about how that would affect your daily life and how it would affect others, the world, even. I find it fascinating how this has turned out for the characters.
  • Focuses well and draws on some huge themes, making you question what you would do and say. It deals with issues of truth, trust, humanity, love and all their opposites.
  • From about a quarter way in, it turns more and more fast-paced until the end, which is tense and unexpected and brutal. I read this book in three days it was that gripping. I had such a huge book hangover. You have no idea.
  • Some great characters that were well-rounded. No-one was truly perfect; even though there were a couple that were wonderful people, they still had flaws. This was extremely purposeful, and I loved that. I loved the complete difference in all of the characters, from good to bad. We had creepy, lovely, crazy, dopey, loving, scared and angry. And a sociopath, by the sound of it. However, my favourite was Manchee the dog. I loved his simplicity and his loyalty, the way he didn't always say the right thing, the sheer fact that he could speak, his bravery and his love. Although the main characters, Todd and Viola were great, it was Manchee that stole the show for me.
  • No love story, Yes! Some books are just too soppy, and I think a love story may have been a bit too out of place here. Shame there are a few more books to go for it to take place...

The Bad
  • Slow to start, but not terribly so. Some people with less persistent reading habits may struggle.
  • The style of the writing, although lovely in that you get to see how the character thinks and feels, as if he is really telling you the story, is difficult to read at first thanks to the phonetic spelling of his words. You get used to it after a while though.
  • Part of a series! And guess what? You have some pretty major plot points left unanswered thanks to the huge rush of stuff happening in the last third of the book.
  • Warning: This book is brutal and kinda of graphic. I rate it a YA, but I wouldn't let a 14 year old read it.. maybe 15 or 16.

A good book that I would recommend to all my friends. Not a summer read perhaps. Maybe something you can read curled up in bed with a nice mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Star Rating: This is well deserved of a 9/10 rating. Just a couple of points that let it down, but not much.

The Knife of Never Letting Go on Goodreads