Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Reissue with bonus short story): Chaos Walking: Book One Paperback – July 22, 2014
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Todd Hewitt lives in a world in which all women are dead, and the thoughts of men and animals are constantly audible as Noise. Graphically represented by a set of scratchy fonts and sentence fragments that run into and over each other, Noise is an oppressive chaos of words, images, and sounds that makes human company exhausting and no thought truly private. The history of these peculiar circumstances unfolds over the course of the novel, but Ness's basic world-building is so immediately successful that readers, too, will be shocked when Todd and his dog, Manchee, first notice a silence in the Noise. Realizing that he must keep the silence secret from the town leaders, he runs away, and his terrified flight with an army in pursuit makes up the backbone of the plot. The emotional, physical, and intellectual drama is well crafted and relentless. Todd, who narrates in a vulnerable and stylized voice, is a sympathetic character who nevertheless makes a few wrenching mistakes. Manchee and Aaron, a zealot preacher, function both as characters and as symbols. Tension, suspense, and the regular bombardment of Noise are palpable throughout, mitigated by occasional moments of welcome humor. The cliff-hanger ending is unexpected and unsatisfying, but the book is still a pleasure for sophisticated readers comfortable with the length and the bleak, literary tone.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
*Starred Review* Chased by a madman preacher and possibly the rest of his townsfolk as well, young Todd Hewitt flees his settlement on a planet where war with the natives has killed all the women and infected the men with a germ that broadcasts their thoughts aloud for all to hear. This cacophanous thought-cloud is known as Noise and is rendered with startling effectiveness on the page. The first of many secrets is revealed when Todd discovers an unsettling hole in the Noise, and quickly realizes that he lives in a much different world than the one he thought he did. Some of the central conceits of the drama can be hard to swallow, but the pure inventiveness and excitement of the telling more than make up for it. Narrated in a sort of pidgin English with crack dramatic and comic timing by Todd and featuring one of the finest talking-dog characters anywhere, this troubling, unforgettable opener to the Chaos Walking trilogy is a penetrating look at the ways in which we reveal ourselves to one another, and what it takes to be a man in a society gone horribly wrong. The cliffhanger ending is as effective as a shot to the gut. Grades 8-12. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
I can't even begin to explain how completely entranced I was by this series. The heroes are flawed. The situational circumstances are real and mercilessly raw. I had to set the book down a few times to catch my breath because of how utterly realistic it was, as if I was actually in the scene. Patrick Ness is a genius. He manages to mold a story where you care about the characters as if they were your own friends, your own family. He forces you see the villain's opinions clearly and even has you wonder who the real villains are at some points. There is really no right or wrong in this series. That's what is so thrilling and frightening about it. Ness takes on politics, feminism, nature of man, power struggles, discrimination, genocide, discipline, murder, heroism, villainy, right, wrong, and literally everything in-between, and it is so deeply written into the story that you won't notice these relevant lessons are there until Ness WANTS you to know they're there. He created characters who are smart, cunning, manipulative, sympathetic, passionate, deceptive...there is no good or evil. He operates everyone in this gray area that makes you question your OWN morality when you find yourself almost EMPATHIZING with the bad guys. He turns good guys bad and bad guys good. You just don't know sometimes who is truly a good guy or a bad one, and he ingeniously did this so that you wouldn't be able to decide the certainty of who these people really are, until he WANTS you to fully realize who they are.
Another incredible thing about this series is that you can cry and laugh while reading the same page. There are so many different emotions, such open and heartbreaking feelings, that you feel as though it's happening to you. You question what course of action you might've taken in the same situation, and find yourself wondering if you could or would actually choose to do the right thing.
The character arcs and development are stunning. You hate the heroes. You love the heroes. They are HUMAN BEINGS in this book. They are authentic and genuine PEOPLE, not made up characters in a story, but PEOPLE. SO many authors make the mistake of writing characters who are almost not human. They are indestructible, emotionless, unrelatable, falsified, INHUMAN. They don't bleed. The bullet always ends up missing them by half an inch. Why? Because they're the GOOD guy. Ness does not make this mistake. He properly portrays HUMAN BEINGS. I think that is the heart of this story. HUMANITY. Not morality, good nature, doing the right thing; the heart of this story is what it means to be human. The heroes are faulty, shameful, guilty, terrifying, vicious, fierce, harsh, they've done horrible things, they've committed acts that are far from humane. But they are also compassionate, forgiving, empathetic, loving, admirable, noble, fearless, daring, epic...they are heroic while being completely in opposition to the definition of the word. Todd and Viola are among my favorite heroes in any story I've read in recent memory.
I couldn't set any one of the books in this trilogy down. I've read tons of books. Mountains upon mountains of books. And never, not once, has a book left me thinking for weeks and weeks about what I might've done, or what they did, or what the outcome would be in reality...then realizing, this HAS happened in reality, there are people like this today...and Patrick Ness only exposed the truth behind the fabric of our very own society. The truths we choose to ignore, or write off as fantasy. The truths we can never empathize with because we haven't lived through them ourselves.
This book opens your eyes. It makes you scream, it makes you cry, it makes you smile, laugh. It takes you through every emotion imaginable. The way it ended was unforgiving and heartbreaking, though in hindsight, it was inevitable and bitterly rational. God, I love Patrick Ness, but I hate him for that ending.
This series will forever hold a special place in my heart. If I could give it a million stars, I would. Please, read it. It will make you a better person.
I cannot recommend these books highly enough.
You might have noticed though that I've given the book 4 stars and that is because despite the fact that the overall trilogy was tiresome, I actually enjoyed the first book in the series. And no matter how I feel about the books in general, there is no denying the brilliance and genius of Patrick Ness, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, both YA and Adult. He is incredible, his writing is remarkable and his mind is a thing of wonder.
The Knife of Never Letting Go was a very exciting and thrilling read with everything happening very quickly taking us on an eventful ride. It starts out with Todd Hewitt, who is twelve years old and on the brink of manhood (which is when he turns thirteen as is the law in Prentisstown - where he's from), and lives in a town of only men. In fact, as far as he knows, there are no more women existing in his world and there is no world outside of his town. His world is full of "noise", which basically means that every man and animal's thoughts are heard by one and all. We first meet Todd when he stumbles upon an area in which the noise suddenly disappears and he hears something he's never heard before - silence.
Todd's parents are dead, and he lives with Cillian and Ben, brothers who raised him since he was a child. When Todd tells Ben of his discovery, he is suddenly thrown into a whirlwind of mystery, confusion and danger. Ben tells him he needs to leave immediately, never to return. He gives him his mother's journal, and a map, and asks him to get as far away from Prentisstown as possible, using the map as guidance. Todd, who cannot read or write, is unable to read his mother's diary which explains the history of Prentisstown and how the women had all disappeared. Unable to hide his thoughts and his noise, the people of Prentisstown and the mayor, all realize what Todd has discovered and hurry to silence him before he escapes.
Todd, along with his loyal dog Manchee, escape into the forest where they are stopped by an insane preacher, Aaron, who holds particular hatred towards Todd and beats him to a pulp. This is when Todd meets the first female in his life, Viola, and their journey towards self-discovery and a safer world begins. Viola has just lost her parents in a crash, and has no one left in the world, until she meets Todd, who is the strangest boy she's ever met. One whose thoughts she can hear as clearly as her own voice.
It was very entertaining watching the back and forth between Todd and Viola, and witnessing their friendship blossom. I loved how they both had each others' backs and their protectiveness towards one another was admirable.
There were many ideas presented in this book that were quite thought provoking, such as the idea of "lying". Todd doesn't even know what the word means, because of the fact that no one can keep any secrets where he's from due to the "noise". Yet when Viola demonstrates her uncanny ability to imitate anyone's accent and voice, he is taken back and feels like he almost cannot trust her. I found that idea fascinating, in the way that Ness presented it in the context of the book.
That being said, I don't know that this book can be considered Young Adult since it discusses many serious themes and is actually very violent and brutal. I went into this not knowing much about its contents, but was really surprised at the violence and deaths. I quickly learned not to get attached to any of the characters, similarly to how I feel about Game of Thrones.
The idea behind this story is outstanding and very impressive, the execution however was tedious. A very well written, fantastic book. Deserving of 4 stars as a stand alone. Not my favourite series as a whole, however.
Most recent customer reviews
I’ve been meaning to jump on the Chaos Walking bandwagon for the longest time; all my friends who have read this series have enjoyed it...Read more