Monday, May 10, 2010

What I'm Reading Now-The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Hardcover)The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking:  Book One) by Patrick Ness-Here's what I wrote on Good Reads right after I finished this book:  This is a dark book with some difficult subject matter. I'm tempted to read the next book in the series, but I don't see how things can get any better, and I don't know if I can handle it if it gets any worse. It's not looking good for our hero. Do not read this book if you are already depressed and looking for something to get you out of your funk! 

I think that mostly covers it, but I suppose that doesn't tell you much about the book.  So:  In Todd's hometown, Prentisstown, he is the only boy left in a town of only men.  His birthday is approaching, and when it arrives he will have reached the age of manhood.  He knows there is some rite of passage associated with this, but he doesn't really have any idea what it is, just that once boys become men, they more or less stop talking to the boys in town.

Prentisstown is a settlement on another planet that is very similar to Earth except for one thing, the Noise.   Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, and the result is, well, noisy.  Imagine if all the random thoughts you have throughout the day were broadcast out into the world for anyone within hearing distance to pick up.  Animals' thoughts can also be heard, and I like the way that Ness handled this particular part of the story.  Manchee, Todd's dog, thinks about the way you'd expect a dog to think-a lot about food, poo, and squirrels, and not too deeply about any of those-but he's also got that dog sense that makes him able to pull through for Todd in tough situations.  When Todd and Manchee discover a spot of quiet in the swamp one day, Todd finds the lack of noise eerie and isn't sure what to make of it.  He returns home and tells his guardians, Ben and Cillian, about the hole in the noise, and all hell breaks loose.  They send him on the run with some cryptic information and tell him to get far away because the men of Prentisstown will have picked up on this thoughts and will soon be coming for him, and they won't be coming to congratulate him on his strange new find.

Todd and Manchee are on an adventure, but it is fraught with peril and mystery.  Todd finds out that a lot of the things he knew were not what they seemed, and he discovers a lot of dark secrets along the way.  I was thoroughly captivated by the story, but as I said, this is not a light and happy read.  I do have one tiny nit-picky thing, and that is the accents.  Ness tries to employ a...Southern?  Olde English?...?...accent for part of the book, and it was really distracting for me.  There didn't really seem to be any reason for it that I could garner, and I was just irritated with the people who were talking for using archaic clumsy language.  Not their fault, I know, but still...

I know there have been quite a few reviews of this book lately, but according to my notes, I was first convinced by Raych at books i done read and Darren at Bart's Bookshelf.

Other reviews:

Trish at Hey Lady!  Whatcha Readin'? 
Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made On... 
Nymeth at things mean a lot  


softdrink said...

I think I'm the only person in the world who couldn't finish this book.

Dreamybee said...

I'm sure there's somebody else out there who felt the same way! Was there something specific that you didn't like about it, or did it just never really grab you?

Jeanne said...

I'm in too dark a place to go seeking more right now, but am putting this one on my "maybe later in the summer when things look brighter" reading list.

Dreamybee said...

Oh yeah, definitely don't pick this up now. I'm sorry you're in a dark place now-I hope things brighten up for you.