Rating: 5/5 stars.
Men are Noisy creachers.
In the small community of Prentisstown everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. There are no women, and Todd Hewitt eagerly awaits the day he turns thirteen and becomes a man. Luckily, he only has about a month left. But Todd’s luck turns against him when he is forced to flee the town after uncovering something shocking. While on the run, he realizes that Prentisstown is far from the relatively pristine and peaceful place he thought it was.
The Knife of Never Letting Go was the seventh book I completed on my nine-night cruise, and the first out of those that I gave five stars. Even though I finished almost every book in a day, this one gripped me more tightly than the rest and ate my attention span whole.
It is a dark, fast-paced story about a boy who has grown up in an unkind world – and his struggle to survive in that world. Patrick Ness writes in a powerful and captivating manner, using only the necessary words. The experimental writing style with the Noise and Todd’s somewhat lacking (in a completely understandable way) language skills only heightened the book’s quality.
Todd was a well-rounded character too. Just like any other twelve-year-old boy, he blows up and gets angry, but he also learns from his mistakes and makes sure to keep fighting. The Knife of Never Letting Go is as much a bildungsroman as it is a science-fiction/dystopia story.
I highly recommend this one. A well-written adolescent male protagonist, plenty of action, and themes ranging from the right to kill to the cost of conformity. I only wish I could access The Ask and the Answer sooner.