The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

There is a lot of love in the book blogging world for The Knife of Never Letting Go, book one of the Chaos Walking trilogy. I was excited to see it on sale several months ago for Kindle, and excited to have the impetus to read it for the FYA book club. The book was very interesting, and packed with a lot of emotion and adventure, but it might not have been the right time for me to read it. However, I am planning on continuing with the series.

Todd lives in New World, and his community has been infected by the Noise -- a germ spread by the hostile resident aliens that causes all the thoughts of men to be audible to others, and that causes women to die. Thus, Todd is the youngest member of a community with no women and no hope of advancement. Until one day, when he discovers a silent space in the Noise, and learns that the history he believed is in reality very different. Todd goes on a journey to escape the specters of his town and hopefully find a life of his own amid the chaos.

There are many, many good things to say about The Knife of Never Letting Go. It is action-packed. It reveals secrets just slowly enough to tantalize you, without making you absolutely bonkers-crazy with cliffhangers (although it definitely walks dangerously near the line). It has an intense and intriguing fantasy world. It has vivid characters (I love and adore Manchee (THE MOST), Ben, and Viola). And the writing, although occasionally distracting (it is written in Todd's perspective and therefore his dialect) is poignant and vibrant.

I think for me, I just wasn't in the mood for this kind of dark, plot-driven novel. I was definitely affected by the many powerful, emotional scenes. It was definitely an enjoyable book. I just didn't connect to it on a personal level. However, I do plan to continue with this series, and now that I am familiar with the tone of the book, will keep The Ask and the Answer in check for when I am in the mood for this kind of story.

3.5 stars

Warnings: Language with one f-bomb, violence with some gory images, references to sexuality (it is a world where men's thoughts are visible to everyone so you get some of that sort of thing)


  1. Reviews were mixed at Book Club this month. I didn't finish it -- not my thing -- but others seemed to really like it.

  2. I still need to read this one. I've heard such great things about it but then I worry I won't like it and be the odd one out. I'm sorry you weren't in the mood for it though. That's always depressing.


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