Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.
But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there?
Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he's going to have to run...

This is the first installment of the Chaos Walking series. Though at first I was slightly skeptical about this book's quality, I have to admit it is an undeniably good book and a plea for freedom like none other. It is comparable, in terms of themes and mood, to Feed by M. T. Anderson.

It took me some time, at first, to get used to the strange writing of certain words. It is said, later on, that the protagonist, Todd, doesn’t know how to read very well, but that isn’t a reason to confuse the reader with weird words, faltering grammar and impossibly long sentences. It kind of threw me off until I got used to it, though I have to admit it did serve its purpose well, and installed the mood very quickly.

Todd, being the youngest man on New World, is quite lonely at the beginning of the book. He annoyed me greatly, mainly because his swears were so strange and his way of speaking so... bizarre. It felt like he had a perpetual head ache clouding up his head, which, in a sense, he did. Since everyone hears everyone’s thoughts as soon as they are thought, it must get quite hellish inside one’s head. This phenomenon is called Noise.

Of course, the perpetual Noise brought many emotions, but I felt like there were too many at times, and this gave me a headache. It felt more or less saturated with feelings at every single moment. Therefore, when a truly sad or more emotional chapter came along, I didn’t quite feel any difference between it and a normal, non-emotional chapter, like when Todd was picking apples at the very beginning of the book. This truly disappointed me, seeing as some chapters really felt like they could be beautiful, and some gave me the feeling I should be crying. I just couldn’t bring myself to appreciate this feel.

I really liked, though, how nothing was ever explained. Since everything is seen from Todd’s point of view, he doesn’t unnecessarily say things he already knows. The reader has to deduce everything from snippets of information given from time to time. It keeps you on the edge and always craving for more.

It was a very harsh vision of a faraway world, and I like harsh visions of faraway worlds. This one was well built and furnished, though I did long for more information about it. Though, as I said earlier, explaining things raw would’ve broken the mood too much.

Overall, I was really impressed with this book, even though it took me about half the novel to actually get into it, and the emotional overload annoyed me. I recommend this to science-fiction and action lovers. When I find the second book, I will read it, even though the novel could be considered a stand alone with a really, really frustrating ending. . I need to know what happens next!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ross
Rating : 8.2/10

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh, so that explains the long sentences and wrong spellings. I'm currently reading it right now :) I like it so far...except that when I read it, I have the feeling of running out of breath. Can't wait to keep reading! :D


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