Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

knifeTitle: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA science fiction
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy that was a gift from Vasilly
First line: The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the story of Todd Hewitt, the last boy left in Prentisstown. In one month, he will turn 13, at which point he will become a man, like the rest of the town’s residents. There are no women in Prentisstown, not since the virus that gave men the Noise and killed all the females. Having grown up on New World, Todd is used to the Noise, the constant flow of every man’s thoughts and emotions that continually flood the senses. In fact, Todd is so used to Noise that when he finds a place of silence outside of town, he knows that something is very wrong. His fears are confirmed when his guardians, Ben and Cillian, tell him that he must leave now, before he becomes a man, before it is too late. He runs, knowing the town’s men will follow him – and how do you run away from people who can hear your every thought?

This book is one I was dying to read after reading so many Twitter conversations about it – only our library didn’t own a copy. Then Vasilly surprised me with my own copy. I saved it to read over Christmas break, because from what everyone said, I knew once I started I wouldn’t want to put it down. They were right. It’s a long book – almost 500 pages – but a very quick read. The only thing that kept me from reading it nonstop from the moment I started was a little thing called Christmas, in which my family wanted me to participate.

I loved this book. In fact, if I hadn’t already named my top 20 books of 2009, I’m sure this one would be on the list. Todd is a fantastic character. He narrates the story – and we experience his confusion and the chaos the Noise creates right along with him. I figured out the big secret of Prentisstown before Todd did – or actually, before he was willing to admit he had figured it out, because I think he knew long before that.

Manchee, Todd’s dog, is also an integral part of the story. It is a testament to Ness’ brilliant writing skills that I came to love Manchee as much as I did, because I am not a dog person. I loved the way his and Todd’s relationship developed, and the selfless way that Manchee loved and served Todd.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book – because it simply has to be read and experienced. The only negative I can possibly think of is the fact that it doesn’t really end – it simply comes to a stop, and then reads, “End of Book One.” Thank God for Christmas money – I have already ordered book two, and it can’t get here soon enough. Of course, then I will have to wait until next September to find out how the story ends.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story, and especially for fans of futuristic science fiction.

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19 Responses to Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    See, this is why I can never get to my challenge books! I’ve heard so many great things about this book, that I’m sure I will need to read it this year. And by the sounds of it, its sequel as well.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Monday Movie Meme – Don’t Know Much About History =-.

  2. This sounds like such a good book. I confess I really wasn’t sure what it was about until your review, although I’d been hearing good things about it. Thanks for your great review, Carrie.
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens =-.

  3. Kathy says:

    Everyone seems to love this book, but I’m just not sure it’s for me. I do think my husband would love it, though.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – from what you’ve said of your husband’s taste, I think he would.

  4. I had to break down and order this; like Kathy says, everyone seems to love it!
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Moby Dick Mondays – Week 7 =-.

  5. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Every time I pick this up to read, I’m always distracted by school and other things. Maybe I should try again now. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on book two. 🙂
    .-= Vasilly´s last blog ..Sunday Salon: A Year of Blogging Deliberately =-.

  6. Glad you liked this one, The Ask and the Answer is slightly less hectic, but it’s certainly no less compelling. Just a warning though, you’ll be chewing at the bit for the third one!
    .-= Darren @ Bart’s Bookshelf´s last blog ..Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld =-.

  7. Suey
    Twitter: sueysays

    I just barely, this minute, finished this one too and everything you say, I agree! Wow, what a ride. I got #2 for Christmas, and I think I may wait a day or two just to breathe.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Suey – I know what you mean – it’s kind of a breathless read, isn’t it?

  8. Kailana says:

    Glad you enjoyed this book so much! It surprised me how much I liked it!
    .-= Kailana´s last blog ..7 Things I Love (Aside from Books) =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kelly – I was worried at first that the grammar and spelling would bug me, but it didn’t – I got used to it and didn’t even notice it after a while.

  9. Debbie
    Twitter: debworldofbooks

    When I first heard of this book it didn’t really grab me but after your great review I’m going to have to add it to my list of books to read.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..2009 in Review, My Top 2009 Reads & What’s to Come in 2010 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Debbie – thanks for the sweet compliment – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.