2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
On a far-flung world newly settled by humanity, twelve-year-old Todd Hewitt of Prentisstown is a boy on the brink of becoming a man.
When settlers came to this world, they found it already inhabited by aliens known as the Spackle, and a war was waged against them to colonize the planet. Now, almost twenty years after the first settlers landed, the world is...
Published on Jan. 6 2009 by TeensReadToo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
I'm quite new to the wonderful world of fiction so take my review with a grain of salt. I felt that some of the events that occur in the book seemed a bit too forced. I also couldn't get over the fact that it is a teen fiction, and many of the things such as dialogue and theme all seemed a bit, childish. Overall however, I found that it did grab my attention almost...
Published 1 month ago by Joonha Shin
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Hardcover)On a far-flung world newly settled by humanity, twelve-year-old Todd Hewitt of Prentisstown is a boy on the brink of becoming a man.
When settlers came to this world, they found it already inhabited by aliens known as the Spackle, and a war was waged against them to colonize the planet. Now, almost twenty years after the first settlers landed, the world is low-tech but free of the "spacks." However, they left behind them the "Noise germ," a chemical contaminant that causes all the men who come in contact with it to broadcast their thoughts for everyone's hearing--and kills all the infected women.
On the eve of his thirteenth birthday, Todd has never seen a woman. He was the last child born in the settlement before his mother succumbed to the Noise germ and died, and now he's the only boy left in the village of Prentisstown, all the others having turned thirteen and been proclaimed men. Now, with Todd's birthday approaching, the entire town is anxious, and Todd can hear it.
The men of the town are keeping something from him; although they can hear each other think, it's possible to learn techniques that allow one to control the information that others can hear. Ben and Cillian, his adoptive guardians and old friends of his parents, are both worried for him, though Todd doesn't know why.
And then, with less than a month to go until Todd's thirteenth birthday, he stumbles across a secret that no boy is meant to know and all men have been forced to forget, a secret about the history of his world and the lies he's been told. Todd has no choice but to escape from the town he's called his home and the people who have been his parents, on the run from something more terrible than the alien Spackle, and more familiar.
The sheer intensity of the story Ness tells kept me reading straight through this book, despite its length and occasionally hefty prose. Todd's first-person, present-tense narration has an inexorable pull that places the reader within the context of the story and keeps you turning the pages. The plot is full of twists and turns, the world is immaculately and innovatively crafted, and the characters' pain and longing seeps from the pages.
My largest complaint with this book was the way in which it ended, without resolving some major issues that had been significant throughout the story. It is the first book in a series, so this sense of incompleteness may be slightly forgiven, but I felt like I'd spent the entire book hurtling forward into empty space only to be slammed at the last minute against a brick wall.
That said, I'd recommend THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO to anyone who enjoys dystopia or slightly darker fiction, and I know I can't wait to see what happens next!
Reviewed by: Candace Cunard
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for teens and adults.,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)Pros: high tension, action packed, interesting concept, character growth, good use of literary techniques to achieve the above, great message, you'll be left reaching for the next book in the series
Cons: There's some violence, so it's rated 14 and up, some actual swearing (and lots of 'fake' swearing), for stronger teen readers
Unlike the older men in his village of Prentisstown, Todd Hewitt was born on this world. He was born with the Noise - the sound of everyone's thoughts - man and animal, night and day. Born after the war that killed all the natives, the Spacks. Born after the Spacks unleashed the germ that caused the Noise and killed all the women.
Todd Hewitt is 30 days from his 13th birthday. Thirty days from becoming a man when he and his dog Manchee come across something they've never encountered before. Silence.
This encounter turns Todd's world upside down, as everything he thought he knew about his world is brought into question. He's forced to flee with the source of the silence in an attempt to find answers and safety from the men of Prentisstown. Men who are finally putting into motion a plan they've been brewing for years.
Patrick Ness is a master of the craft. He uses first person to get the reader into Todd's head and, despite the Noise, Todd and those around him manage to keep secrets - from each other and the reader.
Repetition is used for emphasis, while clipped phrases are a means of ratcheting up the tension. Ness also cleverly sidesteps the use of profanity by using 'effing', while letting the reader know the boy isn't REALLY saying 'effing'.
Every time you get close to understanding what's going on something else happens, forcing Todd further along his journey, and pulling the reader along for the ride.
There's also a great message towards the end. And you'll want the sequel on hand when you finish this one.
This is one of the best teen books I've ever read. It's great for both teens and adults, and you'll be hard pressed not to read on.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelming, intense, addictive,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)Sometimes life is not what it seems; most people would say often it is not what it seems or even what you expect. But for Todd Hewitt it is even more so. Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown. Todd was raised to believe that all women on the settlement planet had been destroyed by a germ from an alien species called the Spackle. That same germ allowed men's thoughts to be visible to others and for men to hear the thoughts of animals and for animals to speak. In thirty days Todd becomes a man, for on your thirteenth birthday on this frontier planet you become a man. But for now he is the last boy and it is lonely because after 13 years of 13 months you become a man and Todd cannot wait, but his world is about to be turned upside down.
Todd is out picking apples when he notices a spot of silence, a void in the noise he is accustomed to coming from everything. He tries to follow the noise and it moves away from him. Soon he loses track of the void in the noise and heads home. He tries to hide this secret as he passes through Prentisstown. When he gets home, his adoptive parents panic when they find out about it, and start gathering stuff to send him away. Bewildered, confused and feeling rejected he struggles against this plan, a plan they have obviously been preparing for a while. Soon he discovers the void in the noise is a girl, and he and the girl are running for their lives.
This book was a wild ride, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. From the minute I picked it up, I did not want to put it down. A few of the plot twists I figured out well before the story explicitly told us, but there were so many, and the way they were all woven together was thrilling to read. Of the over 300 books I read in 2010 this is one of the best; I just hope the rest of the series lives up to it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)I'm quite new to the wonderful world of fiction so take my review with a grain of salt. I felt that some of the events that occur in the book seemed a bit too forced. I also couldn't get over the fact that it is a teen fiction, and many of the things such as dialogue and theme all seemed a bit, childish. Overall however, I found that it did grab my attention almost immediately and I felt I wanted to continue reading until I was finished. Towards the end of the book however, I was reading more for the sake of finishing the book rather than because I was curious about what was going to happen next.
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking Series, Book 1 (Kindle Edition)Very engaging hero with a great talking dog. Kind of Hunger-Games but very original at the same time. Interesting villains too!
4.0 out of 5 stars a not so perfect new world,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)Life can get very noisy when you hear the thoughts of all those around you. Todd Hewitt has grown up on such a planet. He is the first generation born on New World, and has never known any other type of life. He has always heard the thoughts of all the men around him. From a young age he's heard the stories of how the indigenous population, the Spackle, released a Noise Germ that infected all the men and animals and killed all the women. He is the last child left in Prentisstown, and when he has his thirteenth birthday in one month, he will become a man.
Todd doesn't question his life and planet until one day he is in the swamp collecting apples, when he hears something unexpected, rather he doesn't hear something. He notices an area with no sound. He has never experienced this before.
Viola has no experience on New World, she has just arrived and is totally unprepared for what and who she finds.
I so want to tell you more about this world but that would spoil the story for you. It is definitely a coming of age story for both Todd and Viola, but also for the settlers to the planet. They have been there over twenty years, but they are still adjusting to hearing everyone elses' thoughts. Their plans for a new society could not work with this 'hearing' and they have splintered into many small settlements that are out of contact with each other.
There are several interesting characters in this story. Recently,Todd had been given his first dog. He didn't want one, but he and Manchee become inseparable over the first few chapters. I grew quickly to like him. He played a larger roll than expected of a dog.
From the first moment I was introduced to Aaron, I despised him. If he lived near me, I would go out of my way to avoid him. Something very creepy about him.
The Mayor of Prentisstown is a secretive man. He gathers his men to him and they do mental exercises that Todd doesn't understand. What is he preparing for or is he just trying to teach the men some control such that they can live together in a more peaceful manner.
It is interesting how the various small communities have found very different methods for dealing with this noise that the men hear. Each seems to work, though some seem much more effective than others. I wonder if the planet born generations will fare better than the earth born settlers. Guess I will have to keep reading and find out. Thanks to author Patrick Ness for a thought provoking story.
This is the first book in a trilogy. it is followed by The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sigh,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Hardcover)I read the previous comments from others here before getting this book, but turned out they were very deceptive.
The story is simply another running scared version in a different setting. An average under-educated rude boy urged by his parents to escape from a hopeless gangster town to find new life. He was expected to join the gangster when he turned adult age. So when the mob boss found out he was escaping, the chase began. Running away, making mistakes, getting caught up by some bad guys, fighting, some luck helped getting away, running again, making mistakes, getting caught up, fighting, getting away, ... and the whole book is just repeating this same theme over and over, again and again to the end.
Unfortunate enough, the author tries to set it in a very futuristic scene where he has no idea what it could look like. People were using rifles, riding horses, and (funny enough) adding a Taser gun, while settled on another planet after light-years of travelling to another galaxy. Could he not just use a little bit more imagination? I would rather he has set it to Texas a century ago and all things in the book could have fallen into the better places.
Todd, the main character the author created, was a typical angry teenager. So it is very intense because he was consistently shouting, yelling, complaining, and swearing, whenever and whomever he talked to. The author used some self-created words to replace the swearing words to make it to print, but he obviously worried very much about readers not understanding that Todd was actually swearing throughout the book so he repeatedly jumped in to explain that he was swearing. Gosh, what's the point.
The story is so simply and badly written, after done reading a quarter of it I wanted to stop. After reading half of it I wanted to throw it away. This is one of the very few books I have to force myself to finish it just because I want to make sure I have not missed anything and mis-judged it. But no, there is nothing in there worth anybody's time.
If you are just curious how bad the book is, go ahead. If you have better use of your time, try something else. Wonder why there is not a NO STAR rating.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but depressing,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)Summary
Life in Prentisstown is tough. Being the last settlement in the New World, and having lost all their women to the terrible Noise Virus, life can seem very isolated for the men (and one boy) who remain. Except for the fact that no one is ever really alone when everyone else can hear your every thought. Todd is the last boy left in Prentisstown, but less than a month remains until he will finally be a man. He believes things will be better once he can be counted among the men in town, but when he discovers a strange silent spot amongst the Noise in the swamp, suddenly everything Todd knows is thrown into question. His family sends him away, telling him to run for his life and never look back. Angry and confused, Todd has no choice but to flee the only life he believes exists. As he makes his way into the unknown, he discovers that everything he once thought to be true was a lie.
The premise of The Knife of Never Letting Go is fantastic! The idea of being able to hear the thoughts of everyone around you is original and unique. There's plenty of non-stop action to keep the reader flipping pages. The characters are believable, well developed, and grow throughout the course of the novel. And once you get used to the strange grammar and horrific spelling, the dialogue is interesting. So really, it's got all the factors that make up a great book right? Right. Except that I hated it. I mean I read the whole book and have no complaints about the quality of the writing, but everything that happens to the characters throughout the course of the story is AWFUL. There might be one or two brief moments of happiness, but that's it. I almost stopped reading 2/3 of the way through because something so terrible happens that I didn't think I could take any more. I managed to soldier on, but there was definitely no happy reward for my efforts. And don't even get me started on that ending - or rather complete lack of an ending. I'm all for a well-done cliff-hanger, but this book just stops (at yet another horrible thing) about 10 pages short of an actual ending. I almost wonder if my digital copy was missing some bits it was so abrupt.
If you're OK with a really dark and unhappy story, then The Knife of Never Letting Go is a great read. If you want to feel a little bit good while reading, then skip this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every minute!!!,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)For some reason I had a hard time getting into this book right away....but I am so glad I kept reading. This is one of the best if not best ( yes even better than The Hunger Games ) trilogies that I have read. The books just keep getting better with each one and that is hard to do!!! I think that Todd is my absolute favorite YA book character ever and he never disappoints. There is a reason this book has won awards and not only is it immaculate writing style....but incredible story line as well!!
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what it should be for YA,
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One (Paperback)I tend to agree with a fellow reviewer here that this book isen't the best one out there. I was expecting very little when I picked up this book but the interesting title caught my intrigue so I decided to take a peek. It got off to an incredibly slow start that held my attention for the first couple of chapters but a pattern started to emerge that is as repetitive as the Hindu reincarnation circle. Run, get caught by crazy priest, run away, find settlement, get caught by crazy priest, run away...
It never did really break the cycle and this continues more or less for the whole book with our anynsty teen boy on a foreign world were you can hear all the mens thoughts psychically through their noise but not the womens. Good concept but not entirly well executed. One thing it did good was conveying feelings and its prize wining talking dog.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness (Paperback - July 14 2009)
CDN$ 11.00 CDN$ 9.90