February 11, 2016

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Title:  The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author:  Patrick Ness
Pages:  329
Genre:  YA Science Fiction / Dystopian Adventure
Publisher:  SFBC, 2010
Series:  Chaos Walking, Book 1

Synopsis:  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.
"Todd?" he says when I get close. "Tail, Todd?"
Review:  Todd and his new friend, Naomi, are great characters.  His adoptive parents, Ben and Cillian, are also good characters.  The Mayor Prentiss and his son, Davy, are truly bad, selfish men, which is just what they're meant to be.  So many lies have been told to Todd and we find out the truth along with him, which makes the story that much more believable.

But, the show is stolen by Manchee, Todd's dog.  He's loyal and brave and smart.  His conversation may not be all that interesting, but he can talk.  Which is just too much fun for words.  I can't say any more about Manchee without giving away some of the story.  But take my word for it, he'll steal your heart.

All of the animals talk and understand humans to a degree.  It's one of the most entertaining parts of this story to me.  The story itself is scary and thrilling and sad and hopeful.  It's just plain good reading.  Even though it's rated as Young Adult, I found myself unable to put this book down.  And of course, it ended in a cliffhanger.  So, I've started book two already.

Rating:  9.5 / 10

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