Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: young adult, science fiction

In Their Words:
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhleming, never0ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from th 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?

In Mine:
Some of you may remember my post a few weeks ago, about Wordstock, in which I mentioned meeting Patrick Ness and being very impressed. Well, it took me two weeks, but I finally finished this first book in his Chaos Walking series, and I have to say, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

I knew I was in for good writing, a unique setting, and a powerful character voice; I didn’t expect to be as physically and emotionally effected by the book. It should be said, this is not a happy feel-good book. You really get attached to these characters, who are dealing with some really rough shit, and when they get hurt–well, it makes you mad. The ending is especially frustrating, because it leaves off at a cliffhanger. I actually had to read a few chapters of another book just so I could relax enough to fall asleep.

In addition to having a very strong character-voice, The Knife of Never Letting Go has amazing pacing. If I taught a writing class, I would use this as am example. This is how you pace a thrilling, gripping story, without exhausting your readers. There are quiet moments in the book, here and there, but for the most part it’s running, running, running. The action scenes are painful and powerful. The sad scenes are heart-wrenching. All-in-all, this is really just a great book.

Design:
I have to admit, my copy has a different cover than the one I used above, but I just love this cover so much that I couldn’t resist. The version I have’s not bad, though, just not quiet as powerful of an image. There are some great visual elements in the interior, specifically how they depict Noise. The designers clearly took the book’s content into consideration, and did a great job.

Final Rating:
5/5 and I’m desperate for more.

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About Lucy

If you want to get fancy, Lucy lives in Portland, OR, and has a MA in Writing/Book Publishing, with a focus on Young Adult Literature, and a heaping disregard for literary snobbishness (she was an English Major–she’s seen and spouted her fair share). She works as a social media marketer, and has dabbled in developmental editing as a freelancer.
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2 Responses to Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

  1. Alyssa says:

    You know, this is helpful. I’ve seen this book in a lot of places, and have heard tons about it recently. I hadn’t quite decided to add this to my TBR-pile, one I take terribly seriously, but I’m glad now that, after reading this review, I’ll be safely say I had a good idea of the plot before picking it up.
    Nice post.

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