Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run...

My thoughts:
Before beginning this novel, which is the first in the Chaos Walking series, I had read a lot of praise for it from both friends and fellow book bloggers. As I read I kept waiting for that moment when I would get completely caught up, but unfortunately it never came. Part of that may be because of the language used. I can certainly see the appeal of using dialect, slang and misspellings, and how it adds to Todd's personality, but I just ended up being annoyed at how he only misspelled certain words without much of a pattern, while others were spelled correctly. It just didn't work for me, and for me it's so important to like the way a book is written.

The story itself is both original and exciting, but I just never cared that much about what happened to the main  characters. I don't feel like there was enough interaction between them, and even reading everything from Todd's point of view he never became a very likable character, as he was just a bit too whiny and uncertain for my taste. (Although what can you really expect from a 14 year old boy who's just had his life turned upside down?)

All in all, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a good dystopian novel built on a great concept, and enough people love it that it's worth checking it out. It's still far from being among my favorites though, and I'm probably not going to read the last two novels

The cover:
Simple, yet it perfectly describes the book.

My rating of this book:
3 stars out of 5

Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews written by some of my book blogging friends:

Want to know more?
Add The Knife of Never Letting Go to your Goodreads wishlist
Visit Patrick Ness' website
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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Published: May 5th 2008
Pages (hardcover): 479
Publisher: Candlewick
ISBN: 0763639311 (ISBN13: 9780763639310)
Full disclosure: Checked out at my local library

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. This whole series was one of my favourite reads!

  2. I agree with you, Nina. However, I'm going to read the two next books in the series :)

  3. I really liked this one :D Book 2 was good and then book 3 was an utter disappointment. Why does that always happen to em and dystopia? :(

  4. I'm one of those who loved loved loved it. I will definitely be re-reading the series many times. But I've read lots of reviews from people who didn't love it too - most of the time it's the things they didn't like which are the things I liked!

  5. I'm intrigued to read having listened to a friend talk about it. Had bypassed it up to this point. The whole concept of the novel seems fascinating - pretty deep I would say. Could be read on so many levels.

  6. Nice review. I actually just finished this one and I agree about the weird spellings. That really got in the way for me for the first 100 or so pages. But I did end up liking it so I'm going to give the other books a chance.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)