Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Ninja Reviews. . .The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

What if you lived in a small town where you could hear the thoughts of every single living soul (man, dog, bird, squirrel) and they could hear yours?

This is how Todd Hewitt has grown up. In Prentisstown all 147 residents are male and every single one can hear each other's thoughts, which they call Noise, all the time. An individual's Noise can be picked out of the mass of thoughts, but there are also lies that are hard to tell apart from true thoughts.

Todd is the only boy left in this all-male town. When he turns 13, which is fast approaching, he will become a man. But there is something strange about becoming a man in Prentisstown, only Todd doesn't know what it is.

On a trek out to the nearby swamp to pick apples, Todd discovers a place of utter silence that should not exist. Why is there quiet when there shouldn't be? And what are the men of Prentisstown not telling him? The answer to these questions begins when Todd is forced to run from the place he grew up.

I absolutely loved this book. It grabbed my attention from page one and held it throughout. I immediately liked Todd and his loyal dog, Manchee. As Todd ran from Prentisstown, I found myself incredibly nervous, afraid for his safety.

The book is written in a somewhat mild form of dialect, meaning that some words are spelled out the way Todd pronounces them. Some people might not like this, but I didn't have any problem at all because it wasn't every single word. There is also a sense of stream-of-consciousness that really helps illustrate Todd's personality and his distress. Again, some readers may not like this. The ending is also a HUGE cliffhanger, which may irritate some readers. The book is actually titled The Knife of Never Letting (Chaos Walking, Book One), so a cliffhanger ending is really to be expected since there will be a sequel.

Recommended for mature or older teens because of violence and some language.

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