The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking: Book 1)
We’re taking it back to basics a bit, this week, with one of the first ever books I read and really enjoyed. I’ve read this book a grand total of about five or six times, and it’s continued being amazing through it all.
I love Patrick Ness’s style of writing, and he’s hands down one of my favourite authors of all time. I wanted to start reviewing all the books I’ve read by him – which is pretty much most of them, apart from Release and The Crane Wife – as he’s just a generally amazing writer, and I’ve enjoyed everything by him.
The first book I ever read by him was actually Monsters of Men, the third book in the Chaos Walking series, but I decided to start with The Knife of Never Letting Go as it is, of course, the first book in this particular series. I’d also like to review a full series on this blog, so this is a step in the right direction.
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the story of Todd Hewitt, a boy from the fictional town of Prentisstown in a fictional world, where the years are 13 months long and boys become men at the tender age of 13. He’s the only ‘boy’ left in the town, which is populated entirely by men, who can all hear each other’s thoughts in the form of ‘the Noise’.
It’s a really interesting story, and I really love the idea and concept of ‘the Noise’ – something that makes it impossible to lie, and yet lies itself. Todd’s narrative is written with no punctuation and no capital letters, which shows how uneducated he is without being too overt, it starts the story off and it continues throughout the series.
As well as Todd, we have Viola – a girl whose family were travelling on a colonisation spaceship, when they took a smaller ship and crashed onto Todd’s world. When Todd finds Viola, she is silent, and has no Noise – something that of course, immediately intrigues him. There are no women in Prentisstown, this is the first girl he has ever met or seen, and it sparks a series of events that lead to everything in his life coming unravelled.
Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but it’s all pretty spoilery, so I’ll leave you to read the book and find it out yourself.
Patrick Ness is ridiculously good at incorporating darker, adult themes into his writing as well. This book touches on slavery, dehumanisation, death, colonisation, racism, sexism, and a massive amount of other important topics, but all in clever, subtle words that weave their way into the book’s subtext.
I will warn you, though, you will cry at this book. You will bawl your eyes out. I still cry at it, every single time that I read it.
Anyway, I gave this book a five star rating! I really love this entire story, and this particular book is just… Amazing. I can’t recommend it enough.
(HAVE YOU SEEN THE CAST FOR THE FILM? I HONESTLY CAN’T WAIT, I LOVE DAISY RIDLEY AND TOM HOLLAND, AND I’M SO GLAD THEY’RE LETTING NESS WRITE THE SCRIPT, I KNOW IT WILL DO THE BOOK JUSTICE)