“The Knife Of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness

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“War is like a monster,” he says, almost to himself. “War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows.” He’s looking at me now. “And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.”

The Knife Of Never Letting Go is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy.

This book was on my TBR list for waaaaay too long. When I picked it up, it was because I was in a kind of reading slump, and I have heard only good things about it. I had high expectations. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

Welcome to New World. Welcome to Prentisstown. In here, you’ll only find men. Most of them have died during the war with the aliens, the Spackles, along with all the women. In here, animals talk. In here, you can hear all of the men’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming Noise. You would probably think that because you can hear everybody’s thoughts, there’d be no secret in this town. That you would know everything this town has to hide. You would be wrong. Todd Hewitt, last boy in town, to be a man in one month’s time, is about to find out horrible secrets have been kept from him all his life.

“…the lesson of forever and ever is that knowing a man’s mind ain’t knowing the man.”

I think what I loved most about this book is that it is original. Finally, a YA book with originality. It has been a long time since I’ve stumbled across an original (and good) YA book, and I can’t tell you how happy finding one made me. Not only is it innovative, though, it’s also very smart, fast-paced, action-packed, a bit funny, beautifully written and… I felt everything deeply with this book. I cried and laughed and gasped in horror.

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

I have to tell you about the writing style, first. I personally loved it, and it made me think of Shatter Me and Half Bad in that unique way it had to make you hear, as if the protagonist was talking. It’s very lively, with either very short or very long sentences, sometimes with no punctuation. The words are often misspelled, since Todd isn’t supposed to have had any education and doesn’t know how to write. Patrick Ness has some humor, but I didn’t really laugh at loud many times; I thought Todd’s way of thinking and talking was funny sometimes, though.

“you can eff off, too,” I say, except I don’t say eff, I say what ‘eff’ stands for.”

There’s this whole world organization, and the idea everyone can hear our protagonist’s thoughts is really interesting and I’ll admit it, could be frustrating some times. How do you plan an attack or hide from your enemies when your thoughts are flooding out of you for everyone to hear?

“That’s another thing about Noise. Everything that’s ever happened to you just keeps right on talking, for ever and ever.”

I don’t want to tell you too much about the story itself; it has a lot of mystery, and what I can tell you is that you won’t ever get bored, because it’s fast-paced and the mystery is just good enough that you don’t get too annoyed because of it, just good enough that you have time to collect the pieces of the puzzle before it clicks into place.

As usual, I attach a lot of importance to the characters and relationships; these were interesting. I can’t say there were crazy character developments or amazingly interesting characters, but I sure got attached to Todd and his friends. Todd’s character development, his self-discovery path was very intriguing.

Now, you would probably want to know about the romance? Well, there’s hardly any. Only suggestions of it; and it didn’t bother me one bit. It’s slow, not rushed like it seems to be in many YA books, starting with friendship. Which is to be expected, since both protagonists are around 14. I find books with slow romance-building are my favorites : you have time to feel the characters fall in love. But, really, the thing is, with that much action and just the idea of surviving, surviving, saving each other’s skin, the protagonists simply don’t have time to analyze their feelings and build a romantic relationship.

This book literally has everything I ask in a YA sci-fi book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who’d like a fast-paced, clever and exhilarating science-fiction book. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating : 19.5/20

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One thought on ““The Knife Of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness

  1. Pingback: “The Ask and the Answer” by Patrick Ness | Alice's Book World

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