Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: July 14th 2009 by Candlewick Press (first published May 5th 2008)
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
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?
It’s one of those books you can’t put down, it steals your breath and leaves you aching and still you keep pushing through it, even if that one scene completely destroys you. I’m supposed to be studying for finals but already my fingers are flipping through the second book because The Knife of Never Letting Go is so epic and consuming, it’s difficult to extract myself from this world Patrick Ness has created.
In this world, the thoughts of all men can be heard and the women are dead. The story starts in Prentisstown, a small settlement filled with secrets and mystery, the likes of which starts this dark adventure filled with twisty turns and perils galore fuelled by action packed scenes and break neck pace.
Todd has such a distinct, wonderful voice that feels so alive, I can imagine his gestures and expressions and even the way his voice sounds. He’s flawed and stubborn and confused and sometimes he makes the wrong choices and says the wrong things but it makes him feel all the more real. He’s caring, brave, protective and very determined. Manchee, his dog, is the best character ever. He is so good, kind and fiercely loyal (think Dug from UP). In world of such darkness and despair, he’s the character that makes me smile.
Viola stands on her own and apart from Todd. She’s courageous, intelligent and kickass but vulnerable too. I like seeing different these sides to her because she isn’t a character that can be folded into a neat little box. There isn’t this imbalance between her and Todd, they’re both equally strong, flawed characters and their relationship develops tentatively, growing subtly stronger throughout their journey.
The villains are blood curling and hideous. There are many villains in this book but there is one that is annoyingly persistent and it’s a little unrealistic but damn if I didn’t want to take that knife and stab him myself.
I didn’t always enjoy The Knife of Never Letting Go, it’s difficult when the characters are constantly in danger. It’s upsetting, violent, and the cliffhanger is gorge your own heart out bad (seriously, you should have the second book on hand) but it’s amazing and thought provoking and intense in a way that gives you ALL the feelings.