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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick…
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The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008)

by Patrick Ness

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chaos Walking (1)

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3,0222301,882 (4.08)1 / 356
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English (225)  French (3)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (230)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
I have to think about my review.

Two things are clear to me.

A. I think the book was very well written. It provided a way to think about interesting moral choices in a way that was not didactic in the least. Ness did a great job with building identification w/ the characters without hinging that on the characters being good or bad per se.

B. I really liked the book.

Those two things said, I'm still not sure what to make of the book. I gave it two stars (it was ok) because I wasn't sure how to think about it and because I've been re-calibrating my review scores. But it grows on me with the thinking. Ness has done some really good work here. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
Todd Hewitt is almost a man. He is exactly 12 years and 12 months old, and in one month will be a man of Prentisstown in New World, a place where Noise seems to fill the air and women are curiously absent. But before he can become go through that boy to man transition, secrets are revealed and a it becomes a deadly escape to runaway from the clutches of an army. On the escape, he meets a girl, discovers secrets from the past, and tried to get to Haven.

I was initially very skeptical about liking this book because in the first few pages the intentional spelling errors to give that country hick slang threw me off. Words like creachers and usage of yer and other intentional misspellings... those usually annoy me even when it's intentional. But luckily I stuck with the book because I actually ended up liking it. Ness doesn't overuse that slang, so if you're bothered by that as well, I can just say that it's palatable after a while. One thing though... it's a little strange sometimes to see ain't, yer, explanashun, and then suddenly see the word "percolate" or something like that. That just struck me as a little jarring, but mostly amusing.

Todd is a very easily likable characters. Everything is written in first person point of view, so you better like him. But I liked him because his tone felt very genuine, his response was very much like a boy trying to figure out what to do next, but still be a man. It was a convincing boy-goes-on-an-adventure story.
Similarly, Viola is a good female contrast to Todd. She should be

The plot is fairly engaging, though at some points I felt like it was contrived. For example (mild spoiler?) Todd builds a boat by lighting a fire in a tree. Really? No. Not that easy. Or when key villains manage to cross paths with Todd and Viola... contrived. Would they really cross paths that easily and so frequently? No. But it's okay, these little things I can let slide by suspending my disbelief a little.

The world was interesting because there are still a lot more unexplored questions to be asked - even at the end of the story. The rural setting juxtaposed by spaceship colonizing new worlds is very, very interesting. As well as the native world differences (Spackles, Noise, etc.) I loved the dialogue between Todd and Viola when these differences were brought up in conversation.

It's a fast read because it focuses on action: running away and discovering secrets. It detracts away from the world building, but that's okay. There's still two more books. Character development was fine because everything was in first person - you really do feel like you know Todd at the end of the story.

I appreciate the lack of blatant romance. Seriously. Thank you.
I also appreciate literary references (Robert Frost, a little too heavy handed though, but still fun to catch; and Viola's name - maybe Shakespeare Twelfth Night?)

On character deaths (spoiler for the paragraph): There are two major ones. The first one was pointless and I don't understand why the author did what he did. There is nothing gained from it. The second felt a little fake because he reappeared and then died, intermittently telling the truth behind everything. No. Things don't work that easily. No!! Argh, I felt like the author just wanted to kill them off for emotional drama, rather than actually increasing the value of the story.

It's definitely a cliffhanger ending, but the book was such a fast read that I'm actually okay with it. There was enough action, enough character development, enough story to make it worth the read - despite it didn't "end". I actually like how it increases the anticipation and sets the tone for the next bit.

So three stars because I liked it. I don't have too much to complain about except little details. But the thing is... it's not a book that makes me go wow, that was amazing. It was just a light, easy read that brings you along on a fun journey. Although it gets dark in some moments, it's still an adventure. Don't expect thought provoking social commentary or moments that make you really sit back and go whoa. But it's still fun, so three stars.
Recommended for people who want an adventure that isn't too difficult to get through. Definitely shelved in the YA section.

-edit-
Okay, I finished the series and I have to say... the series only gets better from here. The second book is worth reading and I loved the third book. So definitely recommended to people who want a good series that ends well. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Todd Hewitt is almost a man. He is exactly 12 years and 12 months old, and in one month will be a man of Prentisstown in New World, a place where Noise seems to fill the air and women are curiously absent. But before he can become go through that boy to man transition, secrets are revealed and a it becomes a deadly escape to runaway from the clutches of an army. On the escape, he meets a girl, discovers secrets from the past, and tried to get to Haven.

I was initially very skeptical about liking this book because in the first few pages the intentional spelling errors to give that country hick slang threw me off. Words like creachers and usage of yer and other intentional misspellings... those usually annoy me even when it's intentional. But luckily I stuck with the book because I actually ended up liking it. Ness doesn't overuse that slang, so if you're bothered by that as well, I can just say that it's palatable after a while. One thing though... it's a little strange sometimes to see ain't, yer, explanashun, and then suddenly see the word "percolate" or something like that. That just struck me as a little jarring, but mostly amusing.

Todd is a very easily likable characters. Everything is written in first person point of view, so you better like him. But I liked him because his tone felt very genuine, his response was very much like a boy trying to figure out what to do next, but still be a man. It was a convincing boy-goes-on-an-adventure story.
Similarly, Viola is a good female contrast to Todd. She should be

The plot is fairly engaging, though at some points I felt like it was contrived. For example (mild spoiler?) Todd builds a boat by lighting a fire in a tree. Really? No. Not that easy. Or when key villains manage to cross paths with Todd and Viola... contrived. Would they really cross paths that easily and so frequently? No. But it's okay, these little things I can let slide by suspending my disbelief a little.

The world was interesting because there are still a lot more unexplored questions to be asked - even at the end of the story. The rural setting juxtaposed by spaceship colonizing new worlds is very, very interesting. As well as the native world differences (Spackles, Noise, etc.) I loved the dialogue between Todd and Viola when these differences were brought up in conversation.

It's a fast read because it focuses on action: running away and discovering secrets. It detracts away from the world building, but that's okay. There's still two more books. Character development was fine because everything was in first person - you really do feel like you know Todd at the end of the story.

I appreciate the lack of blatant romance. Seriously. Thank you.
I also appreciate literary references (Robert Frost, a little too heavy handed though, but still fun to catch; and Viola's name - maybe Shakespeare Twelfth Night?)

On character deaths (spoiler for the paragraph): There are two major ones. The first one was pointless and I don't understand why the author did what he did. There is nothing gained from it. The second felt a little fake because he reappeared and then died, intermittently telling the truth behind everything. No. Things don't work that easily. No!! Argh, I felt like the author just wanted to kill them off for emotional drama, rather than actually increasing the value of the story.

It's definitely a cliffhanger ending, but the book was such a fast read that I'm actually okay with it. There was enough action, enough character development, enough story to make it worth the read - despite it didn't "end". I actually like how it increases the anticipation and sets the tone for the next bit.

So three stars because I liked it. I don't have too much to complain about except little details. But the thing is... it's not a book that makes me go wow, that was amazing. It was just a light, easy read that brings you along on a fun journey. Although it gets dark in some moments, it's still an adventure. Don't expect thought provoking social commentary or moments that make you really sit back and go whoa. But it's still fun, so three stars.
Recommended for people who want an adventure that isn't too difficult to get through. Definitely shelved in the YA section.

-edit-
Okay, I finished the series and I have to say... the series only gets better from here. The second book is worth reading and I loved the third book. So definitely recommended to people who want a good series that ends well. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Patrick Ness-I have no clue why it took me until this year to find your awesomeness. I read "A Monster Calls" and was just blew away by how really good that book was. So when I saw this one I knew I had to give it a try.
This effing book! Todd grows up in a town called Prentiss town. A place where I'm so glad that I'll never see. Well I couldn't anyways because there are no women. Men that have continuous "Noise" coming from them. Now I love my husband but I don't think I want to hear his every thought.
Todd has been raised by his foster parents Ben and Cillian. He goes into the swamp one day and finds a girl. Ends up Ben and Cillian have to kick him out and tell him to run. This story! I don't want to give away too much because this book needs read.
Here I am right now
( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
When you open up this book the first thing you notice is the language of this book. When I first looked at what the writing was I thought I would not be able to enjoy it because of the way it was written but a few pages into the book and you get every thing they are saying with out any real big issues.

Something I try to avoid is books with a pet in them like a dog. Manchee though was amazing to read about. His loyalty to Todd was amazing plus the fact that he could talk made me a tad bit disappointed in my own dog!

Viola and Todd's relationship (non romantic) is amazing it really does grow and evolve through out the book and is really amazing to watch unfold. One of the major problems I had with this book was Todd which sucks since he is the main character.

Todd was a very stubborn and just plain stupid character at many different points in the story. His pride showed at the randomness time ever and made me want to groan in frustration every time he did something stupid. It wasn't over small things that made me upset it was big things like the fact he can not read but wouldn't let anyone else read the paper he needed to read.

Viola on the other hand was very clever and wise through out the story. When ever Todd did something wrong and made me angry with him Viola always had something to say to him that made me go "Thank You".

The most annoying part of the book though is the reoccurring pop up of a character that seems to pop up at the most random of times. It kinda felt like the author got stuck in his plot so he decided to bring back this character any chance he could get.

Lastly the ending of this book was a huge cliff hanger. It was rather predictable but it was still pretty interesting. I think I would of been more upset about the cliff hanger if I I would of read the book back when it was first published since the next two books are at my library I wasn't really desperate to check out the new book.

I give this book a 3.5/5 ( )
  AryaDragon | Aug 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Nessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. George Eliot, Middlemarch.
Dedication
For Michelle Kass
First words
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Silence in the noise,
questing and learning to trust,
dangerous New World. (leahdawn)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763645761, Paperback)

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

» see all 6 descriptions

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