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The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, 1) Paperback – July 14, 2009
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"Sets a high standard in an already crowded fantasy fiction genre."
— THE INDEPENDENT (U.K.) — Independent, The (UK)
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal–winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.
From the Hardcover edition.
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But the story! So fast. So fast paced from beginning to end. So fast I'm galloping through it, breathless. Racing through eye strain and lack of sleep...just got to read faster and faster.
And I'm in love. I'm in love with the stupid story. I'm in love with Todd and Viola and Manchee oh my gosh Manchee. I'm in love with Ben and Cillian and the terrible, difficult choice they made, choosing the best of two evils to try to bring something good out of it. And they did, didn't they? Because Todd. I'm so deeply in love with the Spackle. I hope we find out more about them in later books.
A story of making mistakes and learning from them. A story of falling and growing and redemption. A story of men taking God's words and twisting them, making them evil, using them for their own warped craziness, and of people rejecting that version of what they're told God is, and becoming what God really is - kind and loving and thoughtful and forgiving and helping. A story of hope and the danger of hope and the pain of hope but still hoping and moving forward.
I liked it so much I may possibly purchase and read the sequels. But I'm waiting for a bit, because I hate cliffhangers so much. Have I mentioned how much I hate them? This story is so riveting though, I may overcome my hatred of them and read more. Possibly. After I read another book or two if I find this story still swirling around in my head I'll continue the series. Or maybe I'll just look online for a synopsis.
Given time to think I'm sure I'll find many more gaping holes. This is not the great American story. It's a teen book. Pretty dang well written teen book, actually. Even though it does have a cliffhanger at the end. Can I tell you how much I hate cliffhangers? Really Really really hate them.
To all authors out there. Cliffhangers make your stories weak. Skilled writers don't need such cheap tricks. They leave the reader satisfied at the end of the story, but with a lingering desire to know more. Cliffhangers turn your book from something really good into something trite.
*Ahem* Sorry about that rant. Cliffhangers really irritate me.
Oh Manchee. I love you. What a good dog.
I'm not going to fully review this one because my husband reviewed it for my blog already. But know this: this is one of the most exciting dystopians I've read in awhile. The concept is awesome. The writing is fantastic. The characters are amazing. And you are definitely compelled to keep on reading. I read this in four days, partly because I had to get it done for a book club meeting, but mostly because I was flipping my Kindle pages super fast to find out what would happen. I seriously had Hunger Games-esque feels for this one.
That said, I had quite a few of the same issues that my husband did, mainly that the plotting and pacing were kind of uneven. The suspense/payoff was a little obvious and kind of annoying because the character knows more than you do, and he's not telling you what's happening. Basically, he has all the information, but he's either not interested in learning about it, or he just doesn't want to think about it. And that's really annoying.
Despite those issues, I will definitely be picking up books two and three as soon as I can. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
Ooohh.. That got me hooked.
Noise is interesting. You hear the thoughts of all the men and living creatures that surround you. I can’t even imagine.. I’d probably lose my mind. But then again, I wouldn’t be there. Cause Spackle and germs and war and all that.
Anyhow, one day Todd is out foraging with his dog, Manchee (who likes to poo a lot as made apparent by a number of passages in the book). They come across a strange sense of silence. A void in all the Noise. Todd later comes to find out that this silence is actually a girl. A real life girl! But what? The germ was supposed to have killed them all, right?
Well, dear Todd, you are about to embark on a journey where you realize most of the stories you grew up with are lies.
I knocked off one star because:
One: The bad grammar and purposeful misspellings were put in place to show the lack of education in Prentisstown, I get it. Still, annoying! All the “yer” and “stayshun” and “direkshun”. Just, no.
Two: The deaths. There were a few deaths that were supposed to be meaningful, but I found it impossible to care. (Well, ok, I cared about one – see spoiler excerpt below) I just didn’t have an attachment to these characters.
Three: What is up with Aaron? Why is he everywhere? How did he not die any of the gajillion times Todd fought him? He’s running around without a nose and holes in his face. I do not understand.
Four: The cliffhanger ending was dumb. Just dumb.
TL;DR: interesting enough to keep turning the page, but kind of face palming sometimes. But this excerpt, though. Le sigh, the feels!
And I put my hand on her arm to stop her rowing.
Aaron’s Noise roars up in red and black.
The current takes us on.
“I’m sorry!” I cry as the river takes us away, my words ragged things torn from me, my chest pulled so tight I can’t barely breathe. “I’m sorry, Manchee!”
“Todd?” he barks, confused and scared and watching me leave him behind. “Todd?”
“Manchee!” I scream.
Aaron brings his free hand towards my dog.
And Aaron wrenches his arms and there’s a CRACK and a scream and a cut-off yelp that tears my heart in two forever and forever.
And the pain is too much it’s too much it’s too much and my hands are on my head and I’m rearing back and my mouth is open in a never-ending wordless wail of all the blackness that’s inside of me.
Ah, the tears.