Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

review by Maryom

On a world where everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, you wouldn't think it was possible to lie or keep secrets - but the men of Prentisstown have been doing just that for years. Todd Hewitt has grown up there believing it to be the only surviving settlement on New World, that all the women and lots of the men have died of a virus deliberately spread by the native Spackles - but he's about to find out just how wrong he is! He's waiting anxiously for his 13th birthday- the day when, after an initiation test, Prentisstown boys become men - but his accidental discovery of a quiet space, a gap in the Noise that covers New World, leads to him running for his life....

I'm behind the rest of the world in discovering the Knife Of Never Letting Go - but at least that means I'm not left with the long pause while waiting for the subsequent books of the trilogy.

A thought provoking teenage read which despite its sci fi 'other world' setting deals with issues quite as likely to be encountered here in our world - knife crime, racism, sexism - particularly the important message that it's possible to become a man without having to kill to prove it.
I found the first person, stream of consciousness style a little cumbersome at times - while it captures what Todd feels, sees and does, sometimes I felt there was too much of it and it slowed down the action. A minor niggle though and maybe I was just too impatient to reach the end.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Walker Books

Genre - teen, dystopian

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