Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

3 Jun

Candlewick Press, 2009

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

From Candlewick Press website


This is one of those books that I kept hearing murmers about on Twitter. For a while it seemed like everyday someone was talking about The Knife of Never Letting Go. The buzz was good and the title definitely caught my attention. And when I looked it up and found out that is was not only a young adult book, but dystopia (my new fave genre) I knew I wanted to give it a read.

This was certainly a roller coaster of a ride. From the opening pages Todd is on the run, and the action and obstacles never stop. But it wasn’t all the ups and downs that caught my attention and kept me reading. Nope, it was Todd’s voice that hooked me. Very unique in tone and speech pattern, I found it captivating.

The concept of being able to hear other people’s thoughts  is unsettling enough, but when you throw in the fact that your thoughts can be heard it’s simply frightening. Ness does an excellent job of showing just how constant and jumbled a person’s thoughts can be. There were several times when a different font was used when Todd was hearing another’s thoughts, and that only added to the overwhelming feeling of contantly bombardment.

And it’s not just humans whose thoughts can be heard. Men can also hear the thoughts of animals and this was a fun element of the book that often lightened things up a bit.

As with most works of dystopia, there were a few scenes that were heartbreaking and I went back and forth between hating the author and loving him, depending on what was happening in the book. A couple of times I had a feeling I knew what was coming so I actually set the book down for a bit.

I did find somethings confusing in the beginning such as when and where the story was taking place. For me, if more would have been explained earlier on, then I wouldn’t have had as many “Huh?” moments and would have been able to enjoy the book more.

The ending was about as cliff-hangerish as you could get and totally left me shaking my fist at Ness, but in a good way.

Thanks go out to Candlewick Press for sending me a review copy.


3 Responses to “Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness”

  1. Amanda Makepeace June 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Not only does this sound like an excellent read, but a unique one as well. Very cool! Will have to see if I can find this through our library.


  1. Tweets that mention Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness « Lavender Lines -- - June 3, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by New Book Reviews, Colleen McKie. Colleen McKie said: What if you could hear everyones' thoughts and they could hear yours? The Knife of Never Letting Go. @Candlewick […]

  2. Review:The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness « Lavender Lines - July 22, 2010

    […] youv’e read my review of the first book in Ness’ Chaos Walking triology, The Knife of Never Letting Go, then […]

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