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Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Updated on July 29, 2016
Cover of my edition
Cover of my edition | Source

The Cover

There isn't much to this cover, which doesn't help in giving you an idea of what the book is about. And even after reading it, I still don't even know why this was the title. Yes there was a knife in it and it belonged to Todd, the main character in the book, but why is it the main picture on the cover? I still don't understand the cover or the title of the book. In The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness narrates the book as Todd and we go through his struggle of living in a town where all women were killed and men were struck with the Noise, making them be able to hear everyone's thoughts. As I stated above, nothing to do with the title or the cover.

Only Boy in a Town Full of Men

Todd is twelve, almost thirteen. And in Prentisstown, thirteen means becoming a man. In a normal world, that isn't anything fantastic. But Prentisstown is different. It's a town where everyone hears each other's thought. There's one problem, all the women have been killed by what people believe is from the germ called the Noise. Todd is the last boy to become a man and now the mayor and priest of the town are forming an army to catch him before it's too late. What is so important about Todd being the last boy around the town that they have an army out to kill him?

My Thoughts

Rated 1 Star

  1. The style of writing was horrible. I almost put the book down after the first page because the writing was bothering me. Ness wanted us to really see how Todd spoke in the town and used the words tho, creachers, the list went on. Those are the only two that stuck with me cause it was at the beginning of the story. It seemed like it was misspellings to me until I realized we were supposed to be reading it as the way Todd would be speaking to the reader. Personally, Ness should've used the real spellings such as though and creatures. If the words were correct, maybe it would've been easier to read.
  2. The Mayor Prentiss who we learn from the beginning of the book has taken over the whole town. For some unknown reason, he wants Todd captured right from the beginning, but we don't find out until the very end. Ness dragged this on for way too long. Yes, we saw Prentiss chasing Todd throughout the whole book but never found out why. A little more explanation during the chase would've been better.
  3. If you love animals DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!!!! I am big on animal rights and Ness's writing about how the dog, Manchee was treated was beyond horrible. I cried every time he had Todd abuse the dog. And without giving too much away, what he had happen to the dog was uncalled for. Ness should realize a lot of people don't like to see animals getting abused. This was a major reason I didn't like this book.
  4. Ness wasn't clear about the setting. Todd lives in the New World. Alright, that's fine. But where is this New World? Until the character Viola appeared, I thought the New World was a new settlement on Earth. It's not. It's another planet somewhere in the universe. Why not mention that from the beginning? It was confusing not knowing where the setting of the story was.
  5. The plot twist I wouldn't say was unexpected. By the time I got to it, I went "Oh, alright. That's not a surprise." It was something you could've seen coming and I by that point I didn't even care anymore.
  6. It was a struggle to get through this book because of Ness' writing. The style of writing, the lack of character for the characters...the only character worth liking was the dog. The characters lacked personality and not to mention the same thing was mentioned over and over, it got annoying. I also couldn't stand when two or three pages were taken up by random words written to make us feel the noise that Todd heard. I skipped over those pages, not even being able to make sense of the writing.

Like I said, I almost wanted to give up after the first page, but I pushed through it. I would not recommend this book to anyone, even if you do like science fiction or fantasy. There are a lot better books in that genre to read.

Would you read this book based on the review?

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I hope you enjoyed this review. The next book I will be reviewing is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


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    • Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image

      Cee-Jay Aurinko 17 months ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Congrats for making it through Christine! Self-published science fiction novels really work on my nerves, considering that Sci-Fi used to be one of my favorite literary genres. But indie sci-fi? Please let me know if you come across a really good one.