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