Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. (-synopsis from Goodreads)

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking (Book 1)
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Number of Pages: 479
Where I Got It: Ship-To-Store Barnes and Noble,  Huntersville, NC
Dates I Read It: August 14-October 13, 2013 (!!!)
Number Of Stars: 4/5
Read For: Pure Pleasure

You may have noticed that I've been away for a few months, toyed with a new blog format, then ditched that for my regular book blog and then disappeared again and now, suddenly, two months later, I'm back. There is a very specific reason for that. I had a MASSIVE book hangover. The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book that I have finished since I read A Game of Thrones. I have been having book hangover from the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series for two months! I finished A Game of Thrones and then I couldn't read anything else. Nothing was as good as the epic adventure of the Starks and Targaryens and Lannisters and Baratheons and I could not read anything without comparing it to GOT.
Finally a few days ago I finally felt ready to try another book. I only chose The Knife of Never Letting Go because I had started that book back in August right after GOT and never got past the first one hundred pages. So, the other night I picked up right where I had left off and I decided to finish it once and for all. The first 3/4 of the way through the book I did not like it at all. There were several elements that combined to make me dislike the book, and I will get to them in a bit. However, the ending pushed this book from 2.5 stars all the way up to a solid 4!

What I liked:
The story was very fast-paced. At first I just wanted it to end so I could move on and it felt like a tedious chore to read. After finishing it though, I am really pleased that it was set out the way that it was as it allowed for some stellar character growth and development. There is a TON of action in this book and in retrospect I do have to admit that it moves along at a great pace.
I loved the relationship development between Todd and Viola.
Manchee! By far my favorite character in the entire book!
The ending. Like I said, I didn't care for it much at the beginning, but after reading that ending I am now actually really excited to read the rest of the series.
The sci-fi aspects of the book. After reading Ender's Game in June I have been really intrigued by the idea of space travel and the possibility of colonizing life on other planets.

What I didn't like:
Todd had a specific dialect that was grammatically incorrect and the spelling of certain words was wrong throughout the entire book. This was especially noticeable at the start of the novel and got somewhat better towards the end, but every time I came across it, it pulled me out of the story and interrupted my reading flow. I'm not sure what it was supposed to represent, I didn't understand the significance of it and I ended up resenting it.
The fact that it took me so long to read. Granted, that is probably not the fault of the book since I was suffering from that GOT hangover, but it still shouldn't have taken me so long to read, and the beginning really shouldn't have felt like such a chore to read.

Overall the first book in the series was pretty good. I would recommend this one and did in fact suggest that G read it last night. I think that it will appeal to boy readers and fans of action and/or science fiction.

4/5 stars

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