The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Published by: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Date Read: 13/10/2016
“Knowledge is dangerous and men lie and the world changes, whether I want it to or not.”
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.
The premise was interesting–settlers on a new world are infected with a disease that makes all men’s thoughts audible and apparently kills off all the women. The story is about the last boy, Todd, who in a months time will go through whatever ritual makes him a man. Todd is many ways a typical young teen – full of anxiety about growing up, certain he knows much more than he actually does, prone to rash actions, and lacking impulse control.
The Majority of the time, I felt agitated. I didn’t like the way the story progressed, I had read so many good reviews but I just found that the whole book was the same thing over and over again. Todd and Viola were being chased. They would get caught, get in a fight and get away. Then they would get chased again. There really were no surprises in this book. I found some of the dialogue quite cheesy.
The first 80% of this book is Todd running from some unknown danger. He doesn’t know what it is or why he’s running. Neither does the reader. It’s just running and running and running and never knowing why but keeping on running.
I was really disappointed in this book. I kept reading this book hoping that Todd would get smarter or do anything that would make him more likable, that something good would happen, or that there would be some resolution. Unfortunately, there was just a lot of hopelessness, violence, swearing, stupidity, then more hopelessness, violence, swearing and stupidity.
The characters were slow-witted and unlikable. The kid spent twelve years in this town, fully accessing everyone’s thoughts, and never caught on to the town’s secrets? There was no logic at all to what anyone was doing. Gaping plot holes. Too much information was withheld for no reason. The ending was awful.
A major irritation in the novel was that characters that I thought were incontrovertibly dead from horrific injuries kept jumping up again, their injuries not slowing them down at all. This was very unrealistic and it was left unexplained. Characters such as Aaron and Mr Prentiss Junior were human, just like Todd and Viola, although they seemed to demonstrate superhuman abilities like rising from the dead.
Further on, I have to criticize the language. My staunch belief is that this is an embarrassment to English. Overall, while I felt The Knife of Never Letting Go had potential, I did not like this book at all as it left me thoroughly frustrated by the end of it.