The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This book frustrated me, but not necessarily in a bad way. It’s definitely a page-turner and has a really unique premise and great plot. I find Todd not exactly likable, but there’s no debating that he is a very well-written character. The writing in this book is a little hard to get into, since it’s written in Todd’s voice, who is fairly illiterate, meaning that certain words are misspelled and wording is sometimes strange, but it’s well-done. After the first thirty or forty pages, the writing stopped annoying me and I was able to focus on the story.
In some ways, this book reminds me of Unwind in that Ness is not afraid to take on big topics like war, innocence, and the loss thereof. Even though on the surface this book is action and adventure-packed, at its core are some pretty big questions about morality. This is not really a book for the faint of heart(except I normally am), at times it’s rather gory, at least by my standards.
The main issue I had with this book is the lack of information. For awhile, both Todd and the reader don’t know why it’s so important for him to run away from Prentisstown, and this reason is used to build suspense. That’s fine, for awhile. But by the time we actually got to the big reveal, I wasn’t full of suspense anymore, I was truly annoyed. I just found the information was withheld a little too long, and the book would have had just as much of an impact if that information had been revealed earlier.
My other more minor complaint is more of a personal one. This book ends on a cliffhanger, but by the time I got to the end I was so emotionally exhausted from reading this book and slightly impatient with the pacing of information that I really don’t feel like reading through the rest of the trilogy, despite the fact that I really do believe this is a great book. As much as I want to know what happens, I don’t want to go on another journey with Todd again just to find out what happens in this world.
Final Impression: This is no doubt a really well-done book, but I also found it incredibly frustrating at times. I want to find out what happens next, but I don’t care quite enough to run out and buy the rest of the trilogy right away. 4/5 stars.