Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

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.

4 Stars

Review: Deadly Class

Deadly Class

Title: Deadly Class
Author: Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, Lee Loughridge
Published: July 16th 2014 by Image Comics
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
t’s 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can’t focus in class. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin’s top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he’s failing is “Dismemberment 101,” and his crush has a double-digit body count. Welcome to the most brutal high school on earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical.

Deadly Class was unlike anything I’ve ever read, it wasn’t that the concept was unique, an assassin school for children from crime families, but the execution was different and interesting. The stylized art was my favourite aspect of Deadly Class, switching between monochromatic beauty to trippy, riotous colour schemes, it definitely set the mood of each chapter. I loved the boldness of it, how it so readily captured the violence and dark humour of the story.

The story is slowly paced, beginning grimly with the protagonist homeless, desperate and alone. He’s thrown into Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, filled with malevolent and vicious kids. Nothing significant seems to happen in the story and with the exception of Marcus Lopez, all the other characters are so far one dimensional. The first volume barely seems to scratch the surface as its an introduction to the rules of the school, the characters that roam the halls and the cruelty of these future assassins.

There is savagery, acid trips and just madness. Its a wild ride of absurdity and I’m excited to see where the story goes.

3.5 Stars