Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: 2008 Pages: 479
Genre: Fiction (Young Adult); Sci-Fi?
The Knife of Never Letting Go follows twelve year old Todd Hewitt who is about to become a man within his society. Once a boy turns thirteen in Prentisstown–a town absent of women due to a germ that killed them all–something happens to push them over the brink of boyhood into manhood. Right before his birthday, Todd witnesses something just outside his village that changes the plans for him and he is forced to flee Prentisstown. One thing about Prentisstown? Everyone can hear the thoughts of everyone else in a jumble of words called Noise.
I hate this—writing this post—because everyone seems to have really loved The Chaos Walking series, including The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is the first in the series. I have seen a few other lukewarm reviews, but the overwhelming consensus seems to be that this book and series is awesome. If you’re interested, please check out Google Book Blogs Search for more thoughts.
Why I read this book: I picked this one up after seeing several rave reviews in a row. I had heard about its emotional pull—and I’m a sucker for books that can make me cry.
Thoughts in general: I started off really liking this book. I was intrigued by the premise and really wanted to figure out what was going on in the novel. Part of me thinks my “eh” feeling for the book is just me. Perhaps it’s because I read this book over a course of a month and couldn’t really get sucked into the story properly? Or maybe it’s because the mystery seemed to be too dragged out for way too long? Or maybe just a bad month for reading (also read and was “eh” about True Grit). Bloggers love this book, so if nothing else *I* feel like the failure!
Where things went wrong for me: Instead of going on and on about the book, I’ll try to keep this brief and short (I’ve noticed my reviews are getting pretty lengthy and rambly lately!).
*characters that just wouldn’t die
*phonetic spellings of words Todd didn’t know how to spell (see last quote below)
*a mystery that was too mysterious for too long
*lack of emotion within the characters (not always, but sometimes)
*one chase scene after another after another
*too much repetition (length of the novel could have been cut significantly)
I’m sure there are other things as well, but it’s been a few weeks since I finished. In short, I closed the book having no desire to continue with the series. I hate that! This book does ask some great questions and bring up some important themes, but unfortunately the way the novel was executed just didn’t work for me. Oh, and for the record–I didn’t cry. I found some parts really sad, but no tears for this gal.
Some parts I liked and dogeared:
“Men’s minds are messy places and Noise is like the active, breathing face of that mess. It’s what’s true and what’s believed and what’s imagined and what’s fantastized and it says one thing and even tho the truth is definitely in there, how can you tell what’s true and what’s not when yer getting everything” (42).
“As long as I hold it, as long as I use it, the knife lives, lives in order to take life, but it has to be commanded, it has to have me tell it to kill, and it wants to, it wants to plunge and thrust and cut and stab and gouge, but I have to want it to as well, my will has to join with its will” (341).
“‘Everything on this planet talks to each other,’ he says. ‘Everything. That’s what New World is. Informayshun, all the time, never stopping, whether you want it to or not. The Spackle [aliens] knew it, evolved to live with it, but we weren’t equipped for it. Not even close. And too much informayshun can drive a man mad. Too much informayshun becomes just Noise. And it never never stops” (391).
Have you read this book? Why did you like it or not like it?
Do you ever feel like a failure because everyone loved a book but you? Which book?
Happy Friday!! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.