Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go


konlgThe Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness (2008)


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.

This book.  Wow.  I mean – have you read this book?  I’ve been hearing amazing things about this book; more than amazing, in fact.  The Chaos Walking trilogy has made its way into many a reader’s top books of all time, and everyone seems to be singing the praises of Patrick Ness.  I agree with everything.  Now, I took a bit of a leap of faith with this book.  It sits firmly in the 12+ Young Reader genre and I wondered about all of those amazing reviews.  But the language!  The story!  The themes!  I mean, how this book is for twelve year olds I will never know.

The story is crazy; your idea of the mysterious isolated town and sad and angry men who inhabit it is quickly turned on it’s head.  You come into the story knowing nothing and the confusion and immediacy your faced with is like a wall that you are desperate to climb, with small details being offered to you on what is sometimes a frustrating need to know basis (just read your mother’s book, already!).  Patrick Ness is amazing and his writing in The Knife of Never Letting Go is intense.  It’s something else entirely.  It’s brilliant and shocking and drives you straight into the heart of the action and the pain Todd feels.  Yes, it’s written in an accent, a dialect of sorts, and I know that some people have trouble with this, but I quickly became used to it and soon, I hardly noticed it.  It is beyond fast paced, the story moves so quickly that you have little time to recover from the latest in the series of jaw dropping, heart wrenching twists before another one comes at you head first, while another spear tackles you to the ground.

You have to read this book.  And me?  I’m off to buy the next two books in the series.



8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

  1. I’ve read A Monster Calls, which is also by Patrick Ness, and absolutely loved it, so I have no doubt I will love this book– especially now that you gave it a glowing review 🙂 I love it when a book has many themes and writing that is “entirely something else”. Great review!

    • Thanks! This book is crazy, and brilliant, and not at all what I was expecting. I don’t know what it was I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I’m excited to know what you think if/when you read it.

  2. This is on my list for the new year and I’m terrified to read it. Everyone says it’s awesome and packed with the feels, so naturally I’m afraid of being that outlier who hates it.

    • I’m really excited for you to read it; it’s absolutely crazy and ‘the feels’ is damn right. It’s honestly like nothing else I’ve ever read. I’m over worrying about being the outlier; you saw my opinion of Cinder, and I’m afraid my opinion of Throne of Glass was pretty much the same. I can’t see The Knife of Never Letting Go as being everyone’s favourite, but it’s definitely worth reading to find out.

      • I saw that Cinder fell a little flat for you. I haven’t read it and I’m not that interested, so no big deal there. What was your take on Throne of Glass?

      • Throne of Glass was really enjoyable, but it was a lot fluffier than I was expecting. Everyone raves about how awesome and badass Caelena is, and what an amazing assassin she is, but I didn’t get any of that. I thought there would be a lot more violence and less court life, if that makes sense. Bottom line? I read it in a few hours, and had fun doing so, but I don’t know if I’ll be reading the sequel.

      • That was COMPLETELY my opinion after reading Throne of Glass, and I was wholly disinterested in book 2. Badass? What book were they reading??? Because I was not impressed with Calaena, her skills, or her major attitude problem. BUT I read a review where the reviewer felt the same, and loved Crown of Midnight, so I gave it a shot. It was actually MUCH better, and showed some more of that fabled skill we’d heard so much about. I’m definitely glad I read it and now I’m looking forward to book 3!

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