Category Archives: science-fiction

[Review] The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

Book Title:    The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #01)
Author:            
Patrick Ness
Number of pages:  
479

Synopsis:

patrick ness - knife of never letting go (cover)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?

(re: Goodreads @ The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Relationships between protagonists and man and dog are all genuine and platonic. Manchee is the best effing ruddy dog, ever, and I’m sure this foolish man’s best friend will become your favourite character.
– The world isn’t burdened with description as it allows for basic tangible scenery to become fully realised in thought. Follows the first person perspective of an illiterate boy; there will be words made up, misspelled enunciated words, and lots of repetition.
– Basically one long chase scene where the primary antagonist is almost a carbon copy of Terminator.
Handles the social and human issues with ease; focusing on choice and self-identity in a dehumanized society of power tripping baddies mirroring the novel concept of community.
An unfortunate cliffhanger that may require the second instalment ready to go.

knife-of-never-letting-go-patrick-ness-scorecard-600x300

Initial Thoughts

So stuff happens. And then more stuff happens. Then someone slaps me in the face and I’m like ????? but other things happen. Then someone shoots my leg and as I’m slow to get up, they gun down my knee-cap, too. And then the cycle repeats a few more times until all feels have been exhausted.

And that’s basically The Knife of Never Letting Go in a nutshell notwithstanding all that violent stuff actually happening (or maybe it does, differently).

Never have I read an initial installment for a trilogy where nothing really changes from the first to the last page (re: considering ~500 pages) yet it’s an oscillating thrill-ride of questions, answers, and a goldmine of atmospheric suffocation and tension. Between all the moments I hated and the moments that I relished, there’s something worth buying into.

And if it’s any consolation, I shed some tears. So, that’s worth something I guess.

This and more (~3k words more) under the cut—

Side note: I wrote a companion post (re: Music Monday) where I matched a song to elements of this novel. You can find that post by clicking here.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

[Review] The Rule of Three – Eric Walters

Book Title:                  The Rule of Three (Rule of Three Trilogy, #01)
Author:                          Eric Walters
Number of pages:  405

Synopsis:

eric walters - the rule of three (cover)One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival,

(re: Goodreads @ The Rule of Three by Eric Walters)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Large portion of the plot involves scurrying to fulfill the lowest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (physiological and safety needs); a realistic read through of a survival guide, if anything.
– Surreal world building that makes you feel like your town could fit the bill of the location that the plot takes place (assuming you live in an almost suburban neighborhood).
– Protagonist is relatable and there is a budding romantic angle separate to the plot.
– Narrative is well-paced to span the initial havoc with decent lapses in time. It also balances downtime with several tense action scenes despite there also being moments of questionable urgency considering its environment.

Initial Thoughts

One afternoon, my friend who works at Mastermind (think Toy/Book store) told me that Eric Walters just walked into her store and just decided to sign some of his books. Then I remembered I TBR’d The Rule of Three earlier in the year and I was like, “dude, save me a copy of TRo3.” And she did. And now I am here writing this review.

What you see is what you get with this book. The tagline on the back of the hardcover states:

“A person can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. A community begins to die in just seconds.”

Boom. Are you interested? If so, don’t let me stop you from picking this read up. The rest of this is my gritty analysis. Still interested in what I think? Keep on reading then...even though I didn’t really have much time to think and just word vomited all over the document. Well, enjoy!

Disclaimer: There may be spoilers inherent to this review from this point onward.

Continue reading [Review] The Rule of Three – Eric Walters

[Review] Proxy – Alex London

Book Title:                      Proxy (Proxy Series #01)
Author:                             Alex London
Number of pages:      384

Synopsis:

proxy coverKnox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

 (re: Goodreads @ Proxy by Alex London)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
  • Message-oriented with social/economic themes that are basically the plot drivers.
  • The characters (although not fleshed out extremely well) tick the boxes from diverse to cliché (incl. an LGBTQ protagonist, a cause-girl, and rich people being rich). There’s also lots of friendship.
  • Narrative is fast-paced with alternating POVs spanning only a few days in time and should make for a quick read.
Initial Thoughts

Has a concept like Proxy been written before in literature or television? I feel like it’s been done before but I’m not quite sure…it feels very familiar but I can’t seem to think of what it could be related to. I’m flabbergasted.

Onward to my confusing thought train.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

Continue reading [Review] Proxy – Alex London