Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
(Summary from Goodreads.com)
Until I read The Knife of Never Letting Go, it felt like every other blogger had read Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy. I even met Ness in the fall of 2011 before reading the books and got the whole trilogy in hardcover signed. Even though several people told me how good Ness’s debut novel is, no one truly impressed upon me how awesomely fast-paced or gut-wrenching The Knife of Never Letting Go would be.
Even though Todd and Manchee’s story is immediately engrossing, I wasn’t immediately drawn in by the writing. Todd is only a semi-literate character, so the text is filled with deliberate misspellings, and some pages are filled with Noise, which is the thoughts of everyone around Todd. Once I trained myself to read Todd’s narrative as though it were spelled correctly while keeping his literacy level in mind, I was set.
The premise of Ness’s world is totally ingenious. Once you learn that everyone around Todd can hear his every thought, including the people who are chasing him, how could anyone not want more? I also latched on to Todd and Manchee quickly. Todd is obviously a good person and Manchee is the type of dog anyone would love to have. If you have read this story and know how much I love dogs, I’m sure you can guess how Manchee’s story made me feel.
The story of Todd and Manchee gripped me right away and didn’t let go until I was done. I cringed at the gruesome descriptions, cried, gasped, and was ultimately blown away. If you’ve already read The Hunger Games and are looking for another great dystopian novel, you must read The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.
Patrick Ness and I talking as he prepares to sign my large stack of books.