Heather's Reviews > The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
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's review
Nov 16, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: ya, dystopian, 2009, ala-s-best-books
Recommended for: Guys and fans of Dystopian novels
Read in November, 2009

The Knife of Never Letting Go demonstrates my qualms with male authors perfectly. The story as a whole was a good one, and rather suspenseful to boot, but as is usually is the case with books written by male authors, the characters never became alive for me.

The story is narrated by Todd who is Twelve years and thirteen months old. On the cusp of being a man, and yet still spurned as he is technically a boy, Todd is forced to spend time with his only companion, his dog, Manchee. What would seem slightly isolating is made less so by an odd quirk in this alternate universe called Noise. The Noise allows men and animals alike to hear and share their thoughts, voluntarily, and more often than not, involuntarily. One day, while playing in the swamp, Todd hears and odd thing, or rather, he doesn’t hear a thing. Suddenly, life as Todd knows it is about to change and everything he thought was true proves to be false.

While I’ll admit to finding this plot intriguing, I was incredibly annoyed throughout much of the story. First of all, Todd would often be given bits of information, while we, the readers are left in the dark. That is very very grating and a major writing no no. If the writer is unwilling to inform their readers at that time, they should not inform their narrator. Second, both Todd and Viola caused me a great deal of frustration throughout various points of the story. At first, I loathed Viola, her silence, and her condescending nature. Once I finally managed to tolerate her, I began to detest Todd. Seriously, it felt like the author couldn’t move his story along without making his characters stupid or completely unbelievable, which brings me to Aaron. Aaron is a beast that I can’t exactly tackle in this review as it is very spoilerish, so I’ll just say that throughout the story, I was expecting Aaron to have some sort deep dark secret identity that he does not have. Not only was this a major let down, it made the events surrounding his character entirely unbelievable. Lastly, Ness killed the only decent character in the story. I can’t even begin to tell you how miffed I was to be reduced to tears by this writer. Normally I am a huge fan of having a good cry, but I felt as though Ness was playing with my emotions because his book was otherwise crap and needed a sympathy vote.

Overall, I’ll give the book 3 stars for inventiveness and for the fact that the author is clearly willing to sucker punch his characters and his readers.
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11/11 page 75
15.66% 9 comments
10/16 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Tatiana (last edited Nov 16, 2009 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tatiana You are a bit too harsh here... Crap? Don't tell me you read it just for Manchee

Heather Oh well, that is how I felt as I was reading it and I still feel that way. Besides, I'm too tired to write another one, so this one is staying for the time being.

message 3: by Annabelle (new)

Annabelle I haven't read this book yet, but I completely feel you on the male authors thing.

Heather I don't know what it is about male authors but it is rare for me to find one that can write good character based book. They can be brilliant with plots but their characters tend to lack something. In this book, the concept was interesting, but he ruined it by dragging it out.

message 5: by Venkat (new)

Venkat Have you tried A Song of Ice and Fire Series by GRR Martin. It is a great series and the characterisation is brilliant.

message 6: by Onin (new)

Onin generalizing much? LOL

Sandra I didn't feel like there was any need for Aaron to be a crazy energizer bunny psycho. They had an army chasing them and had enough problems, he was just an annoying and unnecessary villain IMO.

Brandon Berry The Army was far behind them. If Ness used the army as the only antagonist it would definitely be in he critic reviews as a duller to the story. If there wasn't multiple major antagonists and troubles that are thrown in, the story would be just like every other cliche in creative book. Books should not ever have plots or story lines where you expect something to happen and it does to your liking. That's just dull and in creative. If every author did this with every book, it would get so incredibly boring to read books. That's what's so great about Ness. He makes the story unbelievable and reaches into he readers emotions and can effect the reader so heavily it brings them to tears. That takes incredible skill as a writer.

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