Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

KnifeNeverLettingGo_82764sThe Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness

Candlewick Press

479 pages

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ve likely seen this book on some other blogs.  It’s been doing the rounds a lot recently and I kept seeing it and thinking nah, not my thing.  But eventually, after seeing (almost) everyone raving about it, I figured I needed to pick it up at once.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the story of a boy named Todd Hewitt.  In a month’s time, he will be thirteen and thus considered a man in his village of Prentisstown.  Prenstisstown is inhabited by men only, all the women having died years ago.  Something else odd about Prentisstown?  The thoughts of every man are transparent.  Their thoughts are spoken aloud in what is referred to as Noise.  Now obviously, this is cause for concern, mainly for two reasons, the first reason being how would you like for everyone to know your thoughts?  I shudder at the possibility! The men have sort of discovered a way to conceal the thoughts that they want hidden by kind of tucking them away and putting more innocuous thoughts at the forefront, but still–it’s a bummer.  Plus, think of how loud it would be.  You’d never have any respite!  I know by reading some reviews that even some readers had a problem with the concept of the Noise and being distracted by it.  Imagine living with it!

The book opens with Todd being forced to flee Prentisstown with a girl he’s met named Viola, obviously not an inhabitant of the town as she is a girl.  Other than that, I won’t say much more, for obvious reasons.  Rest assured, however, that you’re in for an action packed adventure with this one.  This would be a book to choose for the facst moving plot as opposed to image5499literary quality.  In fact, the plot moves so quickly that that was another complaint I read in reviews regarding this book.  That didn’t bother me in the slightest.  With a book like this, I want my attention to be captured every second of the way and it was.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book of Ness’s Chaos Walking series.  (Is it supposed to be a trilogy?  I’m not sure.) Anyway, the second book, The Ask and the Answer, is already out.  Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I rarely ever am so bowled over by the first book in a series that I have to immediately read the following book(s).  Even if it was a book I liked, I’m likely to take a break of at least a few weeks before continuing with a series.  I just prefer to wait awhile and with some books I never even continue on in the series, even if I enjoyed the first book.  But with The Knife of Never Letting Go, I got to the end and then cursed myself for not having the second book waiting.  I need to know what happens and I need to know NOW.  So what did I do?  Within five minutes of finishing the book, I reserved the second book from my library.  Likely it will arrive in time for the read-a-thon, so it could definitely be a contender.  Which reminds me, for those of you who think you’ll be reading this book, it is a great choice for the read-a-thon.

So there you have it–another rave review for The Knife of Never Letting Go.  It was a fun, fast paced read and if you’re looking for an action packed book that will captivate you, this one is a great choice.

It also counts towards the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge over at Bart’s Bookshelf.

dystopia_lgeFor more reviews:

Bart’s Bookshelf

Farmlane Books Blog


Vulpes Libris

YA Reads

Fantasy Book Critic

Regular Rumination

Jenny’s Books

things mean a lot


A Book Blog. Period.

Reading the Leaves

Torque Control

Persnickety Snark

Karin’s Book Nook

Killin’ Time Reading


books i done read

Bookannelid Book Reviews

The Page Flipper

The Zen Leaf

There are even more reviews out there but I think it would take me a day or two to list them all!

6 Responses

  1. This book wasn’t my favorite. It was okay, but it was too fast, too much like one big long car chase scene to me. I started the second book, but didn’t get past the first chapter. And yes, it is supposed to be a trilogy.

  2. It is awesome to hear that this is a good readathon book as I have it in my readathon pile. Is it a quick enough read where it would be a good book to start with?

  3. If you cursed yourself at the end of this one, just you wait until the end of The Ask and the Answer! Not that the third one is out yet, but I’m sure you know what I mean! 🙂

  4. I fully agree with your review, it was a fantastic read, and I felt the same as you – when it ended i SO needed to know what happened. I have now bought the second one, but I am letting it sit for a few days more, because I am reading #2 of John Marsdens Tomorrow Series right now.

  5. Not sure I’d call this book a ‘fun read,’ but I agree with you on the bit about the pacing being just right. Intense, fast, crazy, but spot on with the urgency and menace of the tale. I’ll give myself a bit of time to settle down before I attempt the next one, though. Great review!

  6. […] The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness […]

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