The Knife Of Never Letting Go- Patrick Ness

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Book Review By Gemma E McLaughlin

This week my review is on a book I’d been considering reading for quite a while and had been recommended by a close friend so I found myself with high expectations. So far, this series is everything I wanted it to be. It is rare I am impressed by books with mystery and action themes but I have been more recently drawn into the excitement of it all and found myself pleasantly surprised.

The story follows a young boy named Todd living in a small farming town Prentisstown. As far as Todd is aware Prentisstown is the only settlement that remains after a war that lead to the death of all women and many men. Those that remained became able to hear each other’s thoughts in something they called The Noise. Todd is the youngest there and the story starts when he is one month away from ‘becoming a man’, though everyone seems concerned about this and no one is willing to say what it entails. Ben and Cillian, Todd’s adoptive fathers give him some food, a mysterious diary (despite him barely being able to read) and a map and send him out to get as far away from Prentisstown as he can.

As Todd journeys on he meets new people, sees places he never thought existed and learned things he was told could never be possible. The saddening and fascinating history of Prentisstown begins to unravel just a little more on each page, the truth tantalisingly close at every unique twist and turn. The plot is intense and gripping, lightened by the presence of Todd’s charming talking dog Manchee.

What I love about this book is the author’s choice to write it from Todd’s perspective. This not only allows us to understand his thoughts as though we too could read his ‘Noise’, but also creates a rather odd and intriguing reading experience. Since growing up in Prentisstown, reading and writing of books was strictly banned, Todd could only learn so much which means that there are spelling errors sprinkled around some of the more difficult words and a slight sense of rebellion knowing that Todd would have had to break rules to write it.

I loved the idea of this book, the way the plot was explored with such attention to detail, and of course the mystery surrounding it. There were of course moments that were darker, some of which made me put down my book and never want to pick it up again, but I found it to be worth it. Patrick Ness delivered on the excitement and mystery I wanted a hundred times over and this is a book I would recommend to absolutely anyone I can.