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Guest review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

June 16, 2012

My sister is back with another great review!  She was really raving over this book, so I want to give it a try even though it’s outside of my comfort zone.

Thirty days away from his thirteenth birthday and officially becoming a man, Todd Hewitt finds himself on the run.  Raised in Prentisstown, Todd has only ever known a world of Noise and men.  Told a germ caused all the females to die and all their thoughts to be broadcast for all the world to hear, New World is fraught with danger.  Given a backpack, his mother’s journal and a map Todd is told to flee from the only home he has ever known.  Imagine his surprise when he comes across Viola.  A girl, and she has no Noise!  His world is turned upside down.  Confused, he doesn’t know whom to trust.  What’s the big secret?  Will Todd and Viola ever escape their relentless pursuers?  Why do they want Todd so badly anyway?

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is the first book in a trilogy called Chaos Walking.  It’s dystopian YA fiction set on a planet called New World.  Fast paced, action packed with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.  Yes, the ending of this book does leave you hanging.  I expect you will have to read books two and three to find the answers to all the questions, but it is an engaging story rife with danger seemingly around every turn of the road.  I came to find myself really rooting for the characters of Todd and Viola, and I adored Todd’s dog Manchee – so brave and loyal.  I think this coming-of-age story would be an excellent choice for a family with young teens to read together.  There is so much here that would make for some lively family discussions like how power can corrupt; zealotry; misogyny; the importance of education; and morality.   With vacation time upon us, I recommend everyone add this book to their summer reading list.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

 Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2012 5:43 am

    Great preamble to the book. I need to now read it.


  2. June 16, 2012 6:56 am

    Sorry, but what is Noise? is it the germ that causes all the women;s thoughts to be broadcast?
    Dystopians are really chartering new terretory with every book :/
    Do visit!

  3. June 16, 2012 7:25 am

    I loved this series. If I did not step out of my comfort zone, I would have never discovered dystopia. I absolutely love it now!

  4. June 16, 2012 7:28 am

    I didn’t like this YA book at all! It was filled with swearing, violence and negativity. The only thing it had going for it was the adventure. I’ve tried other books written by Ness, and I’m simply not a fan. I’m surprised you enjoyed it so much.

  5. sandynawrot permalink
    June 16, 2012 7:32 am

    I enjoyed this series immensely, even though I felt that at various times the author was manipulating me! These are three books that you just can’t stop reading.

  6. June 16, 2012 8:14 am

    Oops! This was your sister’s review! I started reading at the second paragraph and missed “Guest Review” at the top.

  7. June 16, 2012 8:20 am

    This was a great series. I was literally running (well driving fast) to the library to get the next book.

  8. talesofwhimsy permalink
    June 16, 2012 8:26 am

    I must get this one.

  9. June 16, 2012 8:31 am

    I like dystopian but I hesitate reading this one because of the content.

  10. June 16, 2012 9:25 am

    I loved loved loved this series, and tried to get my husband into it, but he couldn’t get past page 3 or so! LOL

  11. June 16, 2012 10:29 am

    I bought this series when it was on kindle sale and I really must get reading.Your sister makes this book sound fantastic. Sounds like an addictive series to devour this summer.

  12. June 16, 2012 4:53 pm

    I just realized I have this on my Nook..I should read it! So many little time…

  13. June 16, 2012 5:36 pm

    This book, and the rest of the series (but especially this one) were favorite reads of last year. Fantastic – I hope you try it Kathy.

  14. June 16, 2012 9:19 pm

    Sounds fascinating. I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games and then Divergent. I will have to give The Knife of Never Letting Go a try! Thanks!

  15. June 17, 2012 7:17 am

    Great review 🙂 I loved this one too! Sadly after that it went down

  16. bookingmama permalink
    June 17, 2012 9:58 am

    This is a fantastic review and I think the book will appeal to you! Sounds terrific!

  17. June 17, 2012 3:25 pm

    Just recommended this one to my husband based on this review. He’s a big fan of dystopian novels.

  18. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    June 17, 2012 8:01 pm

    Excellent review and this is one that I’ve thought about picking up more than once!

  19. June 18, 2012 2:32 pm

    I’m finding that I enjoy dystopian YA a lot! Sounds like another winner!

  20. June 23, 2012 11:34 am

    This is one of the few YA trilogies that gets stronger as it goes along!! And it is almost impossible not to continue on after finishing book 1.

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