Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
As you begin the book, you find Todd Hewlitt is the last boy in Prentisstown, the last town on New World. He hass been told that he will turn thirteen in one months time and it is then he “will become a man.” Until then, he is isolated from everyone else, doing chores that no one else wants to do. It sounds like a town from Little House on the Prairie with Todd going through the usual resentments about having to do farm chores but you soon find out there are major differences. Why is he the last boy? Because the Christian settlers who arrived from Earth seeking a better, simpler life fought a brutal war with the native Spackles during which the Spacks released a virus that killed all the women and infected all the men with Noise. This is what you learn in the first part of The Knife of Never Letting Go BUT……………. IT IS A LIE.

The Noise, which can be described as hearing what everyone is thinking is a large part of the novel. You would imagine, if this was possible, that no secrets can be kept, but instead it becomes a cacophony of everything all at once and becomes just Noise.
Everything seems to be going along for Todd, when his foster father tells him he has to leave Prentistown. But where? He has been told that there are no settlements outside of Prentistown. With only The things you know right now, Todd, those things ain't true, to guide him, he is given a journal by his long dead mother and a knife from his foster father and pushed out into the world to survive. He finds most of what he has learned about Prentisstown is a lie. Why? He meets a girl, finds a settlement and is pursued by the men of Prentisstown. How can he hide when they all emit noise to give away their location.
Todd was given a dog, Manchee which at first, he finds annoying. In this world, animals can talk mostly what Manchee says is “poo”—what else can dogs say. He starts off the novel as a sort of comic-relief; however, as you read more, Todd changes his perception of his pal along with his perception of the world.
A definite page turner, if you enjoy dystopian novels.
Rating: 10
Reading Next: Marcelo in the Real World by Frances Stork

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