Books I Read: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Published: 2008
My Content Rating: R for violence and effing language (except he doesn't say effing)

Todd has grown up his whole life being able to hear everyone else's thoughts, and having everyone else hear his. A germ that hit before Todd was born killed all the women, and the men who survived couldn't keep their thoughts to themselves. But it turns out you can keep secrets even if you know everyone's thoughts, and the men of Todd's town have been keeping a lot of secrets. Todd's first hint of this is when he finds a spot of complete, impossible silence in a world filled with Noise.

If you feel like there's a lot I'm not telling you in that summary, then you understand the one thing I didn't like about this book. To me, the withholding of information felt artificial at times, and was put off for so long that I'd basically guessed all the answers already.

But don't take that the wrong way, because I LOVED this book. The world, the narrator's voice, the frigging dog . . . it was all pretty amazing. And it says a lot that, even though I felt almost cheated by the secrets, I didn't care. I was willing to let the story drag me along anywhere it wanted.

Fair warning though: the story is dark and leaves it wide open for the next book (gah, I hate book-ending cliffhangers). Still a good story, though, if this sounds like your thing.

6 comments:

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Could definitely be my thing, except for that withholding part - makes my skin itch. But I've heard a lot about this story and I really should put it on my TBR. Maybe for reading after my trilogy is done. :)

Angela Brown said...

I've had this book suggested to me before when I wanted something post-apocalyptic to read. I've had it on my reading list, tried the first page, but was having a little difficulty. I'll have to give this one another try.

Matthew MacNish said...

I've been planning on reading it. The only Ness I've read is A Monster Calls, which was actually someone else's story, even if he executed it well.

maine character said...

Thanks for the tip. Cool title, for sure.

Daisy Carter said...

I LOVE this book, especially when I read somewhere (maybe in the back of the book?) that Ness wrote it partly as a commentary on how we live with a constant stream of "noise" from the internet/media/etc. This book also stayed with me for a really long time after reading it, kind of in a creepy way, but still. Love it.

And yes, the dog was effing fabulous.

linda said...

This book is intense! I enjoyed the thrill ride but feel somewhat conflicted. It was hard for me to keep rooting for Todd after the incident with the Spackle. It gets even worse in Book 2. :(