January 8, 2015

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

Publish Date: January 1st, 2008
Publisher: Walker
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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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?

Todd has been told his whole life that Noise and the death of all women in Prentisstown were a side-effect of germs that the Spackle, a native alien species on the planet of New World, released during the wars.

Ooohh.. That got me hooked.

Noise is interesting. You hear the thoughts of all the men and living creatures that surround you. It is visualized like this in the book:

I can’t even imagine.. I’d probably lose my mind. But then again, I wouldn’t be there. Cause Spackle and germs and war and all that.

Anyhow, one day Todd is out foraging with his dog, Manchee (who likes to poo a lot as made apparent by a number of passages in the book). They come across a strange sense of silence. A void in all the Noise. Todd later comes to find out that this silence is actually a girl. A real life girl! But what? The germ was supposed to have killed them all, right?

Well, dear Todd, you are about to embark on a journey where you realize most of the stories you grew up with are lies.

Unfortunately, I only rated the book 3.5 stars because:

One: The bad grammar and purposeful misspellings were put in place to show the lack of education in Prentisstown, I get it. Still, annoying! All the “yer” and “stayshun” and “direkshun”. Just, no.
Two: The deaths. There were a few deaths that were supposed to be meaningful, but I found it impossible to care. (Well, ok, I cared about one – see spoiler excerpt below) I just didn’t have an attachment to these characters.
Three: What is up with Aaron? Why is he everywhere? How did he not die any of the gajillion times Todd fought him? He’s running around without a nose and holes in his face. I do not understand.
Four: The cliffhanger ending was dumb. Just dumb.

TL;DR: interesting enough to keep turning the page, but kind of face palming sometimes. But this excerpt, though. Le sigh, the feels!

Spoiler Warning!
And I put my hand on her arm to stop her rowing.
Aaron’s Noise roars up in red and black.
The current takes us on.
“I’m sorry!” I cry as the river takes us away, my words ragged things torn from me, my chest pulled so tight I can’t barely breathe. “I’m sorry, Manchee!”
“Todd?” he barks, confused and scared and watching me leave him behind. “Todd?”
“Manchee!” I scream.
Aaron brings his free hand towards my dog.
And Aaron wrenches his arms and there’s a CRACK and a scream and a cut-off yelp that tears my heart in two forever and forever.
And the pain is too much it’s too much it’s too much and my hands are on my head and I’m rearing back and my mouth is open in a never-ending wordless wail of all the blackness that’s inside of me.

Ah, the tears.

Note: The Kindle Edition is on sale for $1.99 right now! Definitely worth a shot if you are unsure of whether or not you will enjoy the book!

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