13 April, 2017


Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Walker Books
Release: 2008
Source: Kindle Edition, Audiobook
Pages: 479

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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? 


EXPECTATIONS: I had hear of the Chaos Walking series around the time The Hunger Games and Divergent were skyrocketing. I wish I had read it before because it is a good dystopian :)
This book was also chosen as the November read in ThatOneReader's Book Club and it was good timing because I already had it in my November to-be-read list.

THE WORLD: Where do I start? The world is set in a different planet. Most probably in another galaxy as well... so as a summary: humans screwed up Earth (Old World) and were forced to launch space ships in order to find other suitable planets. Eventually a ship with a few people found a suitable planet which they just called New World and settled there. These early settlers were mostly religious people, from the Church and they only wanted to "go back in time" when people lived in villages and subsisted thanks to farming and fishing. Therefore, we have a new planet where humans arrive but surprise! there are aliens living there already called Spackles, which were actually civilized and kind, and surprise 2.0 there was some kind of virus in the air of the planet that made men sick. After they recovered from the sickness they were able to read everyone's thoughts! Obviously, everyone could read your thoughts as well... except women. Women could read men's thoughts but men could not read women's (isn't that how it actually is though?). Also animals started projecting their thoughts and with all that Noise men went crazy, they went nuts... war with the Spackles and then more war but I can't tell what happened next because it would be a spoiler. Sorry.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Todd Hewitt. He was born in New World and specifically in a town called Prentisstown. I swear everyone in that town has lost their mind... oh, and there are only men in the town. No women at all. Todd is also the last "boy" in the town meaning he hasn't reach the age of 13 when he would then be considered a "man" by Prentisstown's laws. It's a bit confusing at first because years in New World have 13 months so technically Todd would be older. Anyway, one day Todd is walking his dog, Manchee, when he encounters a kind of "hole of silence" like a place where he can't hear any Noise and he knows it's strange and dangerous. He then returns to his home and tells his "dads" (because his real father and mother are dead) Ben and Cillian about it. They immediately tell Todd to run because he is in danger and so he goes off with Manchee. Right after leaving the town he encounters the "hole" again and turns out is not a hole but a girl. Todd had never seen a girl before but he knows of them because of videos and some books they showed in school. The story becomes even more confusing when the whole town, lead by the Major Prentiss and his son Prentiss Jr., marches after Todd like they're trying to kill him so Todd, Manchee, and the girl, Viola Eade, have to run for their lives and try to make it to the other settlements alive, specially the biggest settlement called Haven. That's what the book is about really but there is so much going on! Oh oh oh and there is this one character I hated with all my heart, ugh, the priest of the town, Aaron. Oh how I hated him!

ROMANCE: Nah, there is no love. Todd and Viola become friends but they're too young and innocent [insert angel emoji here]

GOOD: The story is very fast paced and, although you have no clue as to what's going on, the story really drags you in because it's interesting. I also enjoyed Todd's description of the Noise because he just does it very naturally, duh he was born to it.
Manchee! The dog is a big plus I tell you and an important character! Manchee the puppup.
What else? Oh yeah there is no forced romance or anything between Todd and Viola. They're just friends and they take care of each other.

BAD: One minus was that I could tell more or less what the big secret concerning Prentisstown was. You just see it coming miles away but Todd and Viola don't know anything and when they're told they are horrified. I was horrified too but I found out earlier... just put the pieces together Todd it wasn't that hard either. Anyway, my biggest minus was the language. Since they're settlers in another world who don't care for history or education in general (just farming/survival skills) they talk in slang. I have a big problem reading slang because I don't understand half of the words and I don't know which word they're the slang from. Ugh, it was annoying to read like that!
NOTE: friendly reminder that English is not my first language nor I have studied or even heard slang often.

OVERALL: 4 stars. Very solid ones. I thought the setting and the story were quite original and different from the dystopias nowadays. The end was not a total shocker but it really got me, I want to know what happens next! Why is "X" so crazy? Geez, he craves power as well. What is "Y" gonna do now? Is "Z" gonna survive? All these questions! I have to see if I can get my hands on the sequels hopefully with a discount :)


EXPECTATIONS: This book has been on my TBR on and off, something I felt like I really wanted to read it and once I even put it on not happening list but hey for some reason somehow I still ended up reading it. 

THE WORLD: So the world is pretty bizarre. Firstly we are introduced into this world where only men are alive. And they can heard each other's minds. Crazy. Also, animals can talk. Another crazy. But then we eventually learn of more broader world and what happened and what is happening and all whys whens and wheres. I won't go into too much detail now because a) Laura already mentioned a lot and b) I don't want to spoil you. 

CHARACTERS: We have a few main characters in this book: Todd who is a main lead boy, Viola his girl sidekick and Manchee who is Todd's talking dog. We also have Ben and Cillian who raised Todd as well as some bad guys but most of them Laura already discussed above so I will only talk about the main trio. Okay so let's start with Todd of course. Or no, let's first discuss the fact that both Todd and Viola are super young. Todd is about to turn 13 years old and Viola I believe is slightly older. But this is what book tells you. To be completely honest this book did not make me believe they were so young. I tried to make myself to believe this but nope, just not happening. To me these two kids where at least 17 years old, you will never convince me they were younger. 12 years old kids do not talk like this and do not act the way these two did, I don't care from what background they come. Okay so having that out of the way let's talk about Todd. So he is this last boy in his village who is about to turn 13 and become a man. Being a man, you see, is everything. Men do not talk to boys so Todd is of course lonely and that is why his parents got him Manchee aka a dog. And Manchee can speak. Of course his idea of talking is more of less 'Manchee Manchee Todd Todd pop pop pop' but hell it still made it funny most of the times. I think Manchee was a good idea as Todd's friend. And then we have Viola, the mysterious girl that, you see men can heard each other's thoughts but they cannot hear women's thought even tho women can heard theirs. So women must be evil. I liked this representation of sexism a lot, I think it was an interesting way and it was being addressed slowly and I believe by the final book it gets to be a good lesson young people can take away from this book. BUT I did not like Viola as main female character. I found her too of a tool. She was a girl alright but she was boring and always silent and just...to me she was done in a negative way to be honest. But maybe it is just me, we all know I have a problem with female characters in books. Tho there was a woman in one of the villages that I think was a great representation of woman so yeah...I am definitely not saying Patrick Ness is doing a bad job. Not at all. I am just not a fan of Viola. 

ROMANCE: I kinda got a feeling that it will come in next books but as of now there was no romance between main Todd and Viola, only friendship. 

GOOD: I normally am good at predicting things and this book was not an exception but I still enjoyed it and didn't think it was a boring story. 

BAD: Okay so Laura more of less already mentioned this but my main minus was that characters were kinda lacking common sense and just plain stupid at some point. I mean as a reader you live in a mind of the POV right and that is Todd. So how come you being in his head understand things and put too and too together by page 50 and it takes another 400 pages for Todd to figure it out? 

OVERALL: Unfortunately even tho I enjoyed this book I personally was not too fascinated to continue with the series. I just did not love it as much as I hoped and yeah...there are just other books that I rather be reading than next book of Chaos Walking. But that is my personal take and in no way should stop you from reading at least the first book of this series. Just try it, you might end up loving it! 

What do you think about THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO?