Lacey Librarian's Reviews > The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: at-library, dystopia, science-fiction

Based on some of the reviews I read of this book, it seemed like at some point it received a lot of "hype" -- but as far as I can tell, it's one of the least-appreciated dystopian series for teens. The paperback copies in the library are still in remarkably good condition -- they deserve more than that!

Although I should add as a caveat that I think the ideal way to experience this series is through audiobooks. The book has a strong narrative voice, one that manages to sound "uneducated" without being insulting or without compromising the observations the narrator is able to make, the conclusions he's able to draw, throughout the book. Nick Poedehl nails not only Todd's voice, but also the voices and various accents of the other character Todd meets throughout his journey; his depiction of the crazed preacher Aaron is also especially good. But most of all, an audiobook gives you the best feel for the "noise" -- thoughts that everyone can hear from one another -- by including several passages of these thoughts tumbling over one another chaotically (this is depicted pretty well visually in the book, but there's something a little more eerie and impactful about actually hearing it.)

At first, I wasn't sure I was going to buy the whole talking animals bit, but the world that Patrick Ness has constructed here is so compelling that I was able to quickly suspend my disbelief and soon the talking animals became a highlight of the experience (once again, an area in which the reader shone).

The pacing was nice and even, with the secrets being strung out throughout the book without making you feel too frustrated or employing unnatural dialogue or circumstances to draw the tension out a little longer. I know that I had a few criticisms of this book that kept me from giving it five stars, but I'm writing this review so late that right now I don't remember exactly what they were. :p I'm happy to recommend this book to teens looking for some good sci-fi or dystopia, and I think it would be equally compelling for both boy and girl readers. There's a lot of swearing, but the content doesn't push the envelope too much. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.