Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness

I fell in love with Patrick Ness' writing style last year when I read A Monster Calls but for some reason was always put off picking this one up; maybe it's because of the hype, or that it's classed as a children's book in a lot of book shops, or that it's the first of a series (I usually don't read a lot of series'). Whatever the reason, I had avoided this until now, when someone I know started recommending it to me after reading it. This book is the first in the Chaos Walking trilogy and is about a thirteen year old boy called Todd Hewitt who lives in a world of men where everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts, including animals. One day he goes off into the swamp and this is where he is forced to embark on a journey that will teach him the truth and also save his life.

First of all, I found that the plot, after hearing about it, was very intriguing and I think that overall it was well executed in this book. Although at points it was a bit slow, I think that it was paced perfectly because these slow sections were contrasted wonderfully with the fast-paced action scenes. I felt that although this is usually classed as a children's book, I would say that some of the themes and violent scenes were definitely not suitable for anyone under the age of maybe 14 as they were described in quite a graphic way.

I really loved the characters in this book. Todd, the protagonist, is very down-to-earth which makes him relateable and because it is written from his point of view, the reader can empathise with him quite easily. Manchee, Todd's dog, was one of my favourite characters even though his dialogue featured very little in the book and I think that overall all of the characters were very well developed.

The writing style in this book was unique to everything else I have read. As Todd cannot spell properly, some of the words in the book are spelt as he would spell them, which makes it a bit more believable to the reader. It took some getting used to but I really think that it added another depth to the story.

Overall I would give this 5 out of 5 stars and I will definitely be reading the second and third of this series and would recommend it to anyone who wants an action-packed yet emotional read.

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