Glee's Reviews > The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
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Apr 20, 12

Read in April, 2012

I am really, really conflicted by this book. I was in a rage last night when I finished it, now just angry. This is a really unappealing story with unlikeable characters (only likeable character gets killed, I guess to prove this is a really harsh world we've entered). The talent of the author, however, is considerable. The first third of the book flew by - first person narrative by illiterate protagonist is a device I like a lot, where you have to figure out what is going on by decoding the events as seen through the eyes of someone for whom communication is a stuggle. Lots of nifty stuff - talking dogs. I mean TALKING DOGS!!! Almost worth it just for that. Half the population (women) able to hear what is going on in others' (men) heads, and, in fact, can't shut it out as much as they would like to. Author does a really good job depicting the downsides of such a system - the trilogy is not subtitled "Chaos Walking" for nothing.

But the big reveals were telegraphed early and often - very anticlimatic when ACTUALLY revealed. (Side note: annoyingly, when the narrator gets an important insight, it is not always shared with the reader. I mean, what's up with that? Part of the payoff of a first person POV is being in the character's head. So having a curtain drawn for big insights is truly mystifying, although, as I already commented, not much of a curtain, since the plot points were so obvious in coming.)

And for anyone complaining about the violence in The Hunger Games, they should avoid this series. Graphic gore, and evil characters WHO WILL NOT DIE. The author might as well have made some of them zombies - I mean, when a bad guy loses an eye, and enough facial meat that you can see his jaw and teeth, hasn't bathed in probably a couple of years, and has lots of dried blood festooned all over his body, what is the difference between him and a zombie for general unattractiveness?

And for the last third of the book, which is basically an extended chase scene (actually the whole book is an extended chase scene, but this part is one continuous one), the author uses his considerable writing skills to shamelessly create a page-turner. And every one of those mini-climaxes is culminated by yet another seemingly mortal wounding, where on the next page, THEY DON'T DIE. (Did I mention that already?)

So I will not be reading parts 2 and 3, because it is hard for me to believe that such a sadistic writer will have the kind of payoff that keeps me reading.

I'm going back to my safe world of Jamie and Claire and their world travels through 18th century European and American history for a while. Still think that series is one of the best of all time.
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message 2: by Denis (new)

Denis Farley Boats & horses ~ boats & horses !


Lindsay First review of this book that I agree with! The author is clearly talented, but...no.


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