Jan 9, 2014

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Series: Chaos Walking, #1
Author: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: May 05, 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Paranormal
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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.

My Thoughts

After reading this, I finally understood why the title is, "The Knife of Never Letting Go". I have a like/dislike relationship with this book even though the story has progressed into something very interesting and ended with a thrilling cliffhanger that makes me want to read the next book as soon as I can. The beginning was absolutely slow and chapter 4 was the start of me getting confused as Todd about what's going on given that he was told with short and vague reason/explanation.

Prentisstown is full of crazies. Crazies that aren't actually crazies but their drive to rule the whole planet seems to scare me considering that some of them look like normal people (or men since the town has been a settlement for only men) with every day smiles and soft nature. The main characters, Todd and Viola, gave me mixed emotions towards them. I'm torn between feeling angry, frustrated, sad, awe and scared. Todd made me those things the most for him, especially in chapter 25 where I first cried. His constant, "I will be a man" or "I'm not yet a man" is like a mantra that has been irritating me during the mid-part of the book. But by the end, I ended up liking him a lot. Viola's the same. If Todd's mantra irritated me, her silence did the same. Then throughout the book she grew on me, like Todd, and when she opened up on how she got in that place and her life the landing, I finally understood her silence. It saddens me that she had to go through it. I feel numb for Manchee. It hurts me when animals, especially the ones we consider as pets, gets tortured/kicked just because they're trying to protect us from the bad ones. He's such a loyal dog and it hurts so much more that we have Todd's POV and he can hear the Noise so we know what Manchee is thinking. It's just too much sadness that at the end, the numbness made me rethink if I want to continue reading the book.

The idea of creating this Noise was very good. Hearing people and animals' thoughts and given at times that there are pictures (memories) when someone's Noise is like an open book and you're able to look at it. Although if you're a character in the book, I don't think 'very good' is the best choice of words to describe it.

There have been graphic images relating to violence, war and blood that is truly uncomfortable for me. But the thing that happened to Manchee, the dog, has been the most uncomfortable thing to read mixed with sadness that I don't think I could discuss further. And the women. The treatment of the women was just utterly unfair. Although not every man treats them like they only need to stay at home and not to speak, some settlements in this area (or place) just felt like the men are the superior ones which makes me fume with anger. The progress was really good and we see a bit of character development which was even better. Still, my like/dislike is present and my anticipation to read the next book is on its highest peak.

My Rating:


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