The Knife of Never Letting Go
By Patrick Ness
September 9, 2008
Candlewick, 496 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description
A boy from a village populated only by men who can hear every thought of every living thing around them stumbles upon two things he never thought he’d find: a girl and silence. It’s sci-fi, fantasy, horror and dystopian all rolled into one thrilling book.
Patrick Ness uses a dialect for the main character, but it’s hardly a stumbling point. The plot if so well-crafted and quick-moving that you have no choice but to get over it and read on.
The tension is just breathtaking as Ness describes his main character’s dramatic highs and shocking lows. Ness was recently awarded the prestigious Carnegie medal for a later book in this series, and it’s not hard to see why. This book was a brilliantly executed, haunting look at human nature that left me breathless for more. Yes, it’s a cliffhanger ending.
Thankfully, the next two books in the series are out now, and I won’t have to wait long. Teen boys in particular will eat this one up.
I can’t let this review without saying one last thing: MANCHEE!