The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness Review

IMG_2526I can’t believe I completely forgot to write a review on this book immediately after having finished it because all my thoughts had been racing and were brimming at the top of my head after the cliffhanger of this book. To be honest I do excuse myself because I had read this book over a flight back to uni and then I spent the past week entertaining a friend who came to visit me till Saturday. The only downside to this is that my feelings aren’t going to be as realistic as they were at the time but I’ll try to recreate them as much as possible.

First off, this book is definitely a must-read. If any of you follow me on GoodReads you probably saw I gave it 4 stars out of 5. Any person who loves a dystopian/ world in which we as humans move to a different planet to live, would definitely enjoy this book. Just the way in which it has been written and created is so interesting.

Here is a brief summary from GoodReads to the ones that are curious:P

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?

In this book you get to experience a world in which Todd, the main character is living in a place where he is the only “boy” left to turn into a man. In this town though the “boys” turn to men at the age of 13 which is extremely weird and they also have 14-month years so technically he is 14. The only problem I have with this book is that the characters act and think a lot older than they actually are. Whenever I picture Todd I always picture a 16-year-old almost 17-year-old boy and then other characters keep referring to how young he is and I keep shaking my head in confusion. There are no females in this town due to an “infection” that killed them off and made the men able to read each other’s thoughts. This is referred to as the “noise” and it was probably my favourite part about the story. But I’ll get more into that in the review below. If you haven’t read the book then I strongly recommend reading it before reading this review but I really believe it’s worth it.


So first off, I just wanted to say I eventually I did thoroughly enjoy this book. At first, I do admit you take a while to really get into it and adjust your mind into the world that Patrick Ness has created, but once you have it’s so addicting that you can’t stop.

Second off, the way in which the “noise” is portrayed with the different writing styles was beautifully done. There was this one page where it was completely filled with words spilt all over the page in different directions showing all the individual men’s thoughts in the city and it was the first thing that drew me to this book the first time I saw it in a bookstore I worked at and I just randomly flicked through the pages.

When you’re first introduced to Ben and Cillian (also known as Todd’s adoptive parents) they are the sweetest characters that I’ve read and yet they don’t show it obviously. It was a realistic portrayal of showing a parent’s love for their child that wasn’t over the top, it was from the heart. When they rushed him out of the city and had everything packed and ready to protect him it almost brought me to tears.

Another character I loved was Manchee and the slow development of Todd’s relationship with him. I think the reason we connect with Manchee is because apparently animals also talk in this world. This way we get to actually understand the thoughts running through Manchee’s mind and it feels almost as if it’s another person on the journey with them. When Todd abandoned him with Aaron I almost closed the book and left it there and then. I was not okay with that move. I would have definitely rather Viola had gone instead of Manchee.

That brings me onto the character of Viola. I enjoy her character, honestly I do, it’s just she wasn’t really on the top 5 for me. The one thing I liked with the introduction of her and the female characters is the fact that nobody can read their minds and yet they can read the male’s mind. It gave them a lot of dominance over the male population and I especially enjoyed that when Todd and Viola met that woman who took them to that settlement that the men from Pressitown burnt down. It was interesting seeing the contrast in leadership with a woman and a man in this world as well as the way the male interacted with the females with this disadvantage they had.

The journey that Todd and Viola have throughout the book is really thrilling, so many different things occur as well as that moment where Todd murders the Spackle only later to find out they weren’t even a threat like he had been taught. The character development with Todd is so interesting not only from a psychological view but also just as a reader on the adventure with him. It makes me think how I would react in his position. To find out everything I’ve been told is a lie? I don’t know how any of us would act.

The ending though…let’s just think about that for a minute. The way Todd is so close and you feel as if Ness is dangling this happy ending in front of your face and in the last 3 pages snatches it from you. The hanging fate of Viola’s life and well as Todd’s sanity destroys all the enthusiasm that was created with Aaron’s defeat. Viola getting shot and Todd begging her to hang on, only to be met with the Mayor who has already taken over the Haven just frustrated me. I wanted to slap the Mayor in his face. Now all I want to do is find the next book and see what happens. I mean it’s not necessarily Viola that I am worried about it’s more Ben’s life after battling Prentiss Jr. because apparently he’s still alive which means…and I also want to see what happens to Todd and all the characters we met on the way. Ughhh so many loose ends.

Characters: 8 points
Originality: 9 points
Plot: 8 points
Language/Style: 8 points

Giving this book 33 points out of 40 points and an anxious reader who is desperate to find a copy of the second book. Leave your thoughts down below or also on any other parts of the book which you wish to discuss! I’d love to hear them.

Favorite Part: “Hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare in the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?”

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