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Chaos Walking #1

The Knife of Never Letting Go

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Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Then, just one month away from the birthday that will make Todd Hewitt a man, he unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible.

Breathtakingly exciting and emotionally charged, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a compellingly original story of fear, flight and terrifying path of self-discovery.

512 pages, Paperback

First published May 5, 2008

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About the author

Patrick Ness

42 books18.2k followers
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for Radio 4 and The Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

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5 stars
72,233 (37%)
4 stars
65,654 (34%)
3 stars
34,305 (18%)
2 stars
11,535 (6%)
1 star
6,650 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 20,457 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 14, 2018
i have 2,410 friends on goodreads.com.

199 of them have this book on their shelves.
of that number, only 28 have read it.

to the other 171 of you, i say - "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???" and you can see i am serious about this, because i have done math in order to convince you.**

and i know, i know. there are a lot of books in the world, most of us are mortal, who has the time, etc. i myself had all three of the books in this trilogy just smooshed in the middle of piles of other books at my place, thinking, "i will read those when i get around to it." and you may be feeling the same way. so allow me:

now you have no more excuses.


but seriously, folks. i don't even know where to start with this book.

i really thought it was going to be a low-impact tale of a boy's adventure's through a damaged land with some sort of eventual self-discovery and that it would have good action sequences and some obvious metaphors and blah-di-blah and people said it was sad, so i figured someone would die at some point.

understatement in all of the above.

this was much richer and deeper and so very dark. ness touches upon the problems of colonization and group mentality and dehumanization and helplessness and loyalty with a skill for storytelling and characterization, and always skirting that fine line between emotion and sentimentality.

it has been awhile since i have been immersed in a book. this world - these characters - it consumed me. it is so hard to talk about books that do this to me. it is easy to pick apart books that are "good" or "okay" or "the worst", but the ones that i fall into - the ones that i hate having to put down for anything as mundane as sleep or work, those are incredibly difficult to put into words. but "mmmmmm" comes close.

i think todd is a very solid character. there are times when he makes unfortunate decisions, but they always seem consistent in terms of his character, and the background from which he is coming. there is such an opportunity for growth in him, but you know, despite anything that may happen, he is trying to do the right thing, as he sees it; as he is learning what "the right thing" even is. i mean, he's twelve-thirteen, right? and he is a lot more resourceful and insightful than i was at that age, and i didn't have to go around hearing everyone's thoughts all the time. oh, did i forget to talk about the plot again? quickly - everyone can hear everyone's thoughts. all the time. even the most mundane, subconscious, or embarrassing ones. even thoughts of animals. but not, however, the thoughts of women. we are still mysterious. todd grows up in an all-male town, but soon will leave and discover... well, he will discover a lot. better you read it than i tell it.

aaron is a little...unrealistic,sure, but after a while, you gotta sort of do that horrified slow-clap at his stubbornness and persistence, right? it is impressive, if nothing else.

viola. great here. even better in the second book. mmmmmmmmm

talking animals. yeah, i usually don't like it either. however, these animals talk exactly how animals should talk. they don't have conversations; they have a limited vocabulary that seems appropriate, and can be so heartbreaking in certain situations, oh my god. manchee is the best dog in literature. his voice is exactly right. very reminiscent of the dog in up, and although he has a small range of words at his disposal,his emotions come across loud and clear.it is a wonderful relationship, despite todd not wanting a dog and resenting him at the beginning of the book, the two of them, through their adventures, become the best "boy and his dog" team i can think of.

definitely have the second book on hand to pick up immediately after finishing the first one. you are going to need it. i can't imagine how people reading this when it was new had to suffer - to have to wait for the next book to be published. this is the mother of all cliffhangers. or, at least, it was until i finished the second book yesterday.

it is even worse.
in terms of agonizingly wonderful cliffhangers.

** although i am looking closer now, and i am realizing that my math is all wrong (i thought those numbers seemed low)- but that this time it is not my fault. when did goodreads.com change things up so that all the reviews are together at the bottom, regardless of whether or not the are reviews by your friends. isn't the whole point of having "friends" that you have created this trusted community of readers whose values you respect? now i have to scroll through the three or four people on this site who aren't my friends to see the reviews of people whose opinions matter to me? this is insane! and it isn't even arranged by number of votes or anything - it is just - here are a ton of reviews - have fun finding the useful ones (like this one, surely!) in a sea of stranger danger. i hope this is just a temporary thing that is happening because it is taking one of the strengths specific to goodreads and pooing ("poo, todd!") all over it.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
July 3, 2015
“Knowledge is dangerous and men lie and the world changes, whether I want it to or not.”

Every once in a while I find myself back on the Goodreads page of a book I read and adored a few years ago. I see the cover and remember first holding it in my hands and not knowing I was in for a magical experience. My eyes scan the description and I get goosebumps as I'm taken back into the story, feeling echoes of the emotions I felt once again. Then I glance down... and see my "review".

That's when I start to wonder how I possibly made it through high school English. I mean, really. Some of the words I used aren't even words. Which is totally unacceptable for a book - a trilogy, in fact - as fantastic as this one.

And it is amazing. I have read all three books several times and count them amongst my all time favourites, across all genres, adult, YA or otherwise. It shouldn't be so incredible - an adventure/survival story about a thirteen year-old boy and his dog doesn't sound so impressive - but, oh, it's just so much deeper, thought-provoking, sad, funny, chilling... everything than you would imagine. It's one of the most rich, meaningful stories I've ever read.

It tells the story of Todd, the last boy in Prentisstown, who will become a man on his 13th birthday. Prentisstown, though, is not your average town - everyone in the town is male and they can hear one another's thoughts (called "noise"). In a town like this, you'd think keeping a secret would be impossible.

But we soon find out that noise can lie and that Prentisstown has some very dark secrets. What really happened to the women of Prentisstown? What lies on the other side of the swamp? And why is it so important that Todd, just one boy, reaches his birthday and becomes a man?

It's a novel with fantastic characters and possibly my favourite animal character ever. And it's built on some seriously dark themes. You might not expect that from a YA book promising talking animals and adventure, but there are underlying themes of dehumanization, colonization, slavery, racism and sexism. And - as if that wasn't enough - it's a ridiculously addictive pageturner that demands you pick up the sequel immediately after (I'm warning you).

When I try to put words together for the books I really love, they never seem like enough. I read back over my review and get frustrated because nothing I say seems to capture that inexplicable pull of wonder, excitement, horror and delight that was flooding through me while I read the book. I'm sorry for that. At least, though, I have written a better review than before.

You may be thinking "that's a bit arrogant of her to come along and say that this is a better review". But, really, you should have seen the last one.

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Profile Image for Shannon.
3,096 reviews2,383 followers
January 25, 2012
Things that didn't bother me:

The grammar and misspellings - normally this would bother me, but I quickly got used to it, so I don't fault him there.

The swearing - you will notice from my status updates that I don't mind a well-placed curse.

The violence - I play violent video games, watch violent movies, and I don't mind violence in books when it makes sense.

The cliffhanger - maybe if I didn't have a copy of the second book on hold at the library I would be upset, but cliffhangers don't normally bother me. It is a doozy though.

Things that did bother me:

The unlikeable main character, Todd

Aaron the Energizer Bunny - 'nough said.

The two senseless deaths - one made me start bawling and set the book down, wondering if I could continue on.

I had a friend say to me that Ness must be a great author if he can incite so much passion from me; if you take a look at my updates you can see how up and down I was, but is it a good book if for the most part all it did was make me pissed off? Is any emotional response at all the sign of a good writer? I don't think so. I think if you make me hate your characters and the actions that they take to the point where I don't care if they survive, you haven't been all that successful. You have to give me someone to root for. I wasn't even all that attached to Viola, and she's the only character who actually did the RIGHT thing by the end of the book.

The way the author just kept piling onto the characters was absolutely ridiculous. Seriously, how many bad things can you think of to put your characters through? It got to the point where it was all so implausible that, much to my chagrin, I could guess each and every time the villain was going to jump out and attack Todd and Viola. It got so predictable that I just kept getting angrier and angrier each time it happened. His characters talk about hope so much in this book, yet I felt like Ness never gave me any.

Was it the worst book in the world? No, not by any means. I can't give it more than 1 star though, because 2 stars means: "it was ok." This book was NOT ok. I didn't like it, nor enjoy it, but that doesn't mean I won't check out the next book to see what happens. In this, Ness has succeeded, but only because I can always get the next books out from the library.
Profile Image for Rachel Hartman.
Author 15 books3,839 followers
January 19, 2012
Boy oh boy. I can't remember the last time I felt so simultaneously positive and negative about a book. Hence the three stars, averaging everything out.

(Just realized that I reviewed this at my blog but not here. Here's the cut-n-paste)

This review will, by necessity, have lots of spoilers, because the things I liked (and disliked) are very specific. Insofar as I can give you something spoiler-free, here goes: I love the concept; the world is unique and well-realized; the relationship between the main characters is believable and well-developed; there is a wonderfully realized dog; the narrative voice is a bit irritating; there are whole pages you can just skip because there’s nothing worth reading on them; there is quite a bit of extremely graphic violence; the author CHEATS most egregiously at narrative; while the overall message of the book is solid and good and right, I hate the way we get there; the villains are completely eye-rolling over-the-top; and it ends on a giant cliffhanger.

It is the best of books, it is the worst of books. I seem unable to speak of it except in gross hyperbole. Here come the spoilers:

First of all, a salute to the best character in the whole damn book, the dim-witted and noble hound, Manchee. He was such a good dog, and a good depiction of a dog. His death was heartbreaking, and maybe that’s my real problem with the book: I will never forgive the author for killing him off.

I thought the relationship between Todd and Viola was also handled well. Their friendship followed a realistic trajectory. Yes, Todd is protective of her, but Viola’s as tough as he is — plus smarter — and I felt she held her own pretty well. Todd, having been raised in a world without women, has few preconceived notions about what women should do or be, or what the male-female dynamic is supposed to be. He treats her as a friend and equal, hardly an inkling of sex or romance in his head. The scene where he realizes that he can tell what she’s thinking and feeling, even though he can’t hear her Noise, is — for my money — the best thing in the entire book, a genuine, human moment of recognition.

The whole “endless fleeing punctuated by extreme danger” plot, however, I found utterly tedious. I think I have Mortal Danger fatigue when it comes to YA. I’m choosing to blame Hunger Games — not that I didn’t like Hunger Games, but when I heard that the second volume was basically Hunger Games II, I decided I didn’t need to read that one. The other book this reminded me of is Graceling, where she’s fleeing over the mountain pass with Bitterblue, and it’s just endless page after page of running! And surviving! And OMG the tedium of the endless chase and getting more and more sick and injured and will they survive? WILL THEY?! That part of this book made me cross-eyed with boredom.

Also: the villains made me want to poke my eyes out with the ubiquitous knife. They’re CRAYZEH! And they’re indestructible! And did we mention CRAYZEH? No subtlety to evil here, no nuance. No temptation. No point.

But y’know, I could have forgiven both those flaws. I really could have. I forgave them in Hunger Games, after all (though the evil was more nuanced there, in my opinion, and less CRAYZEH). There were two things I can’t forgive.

One: the way the killing of the spackle was handled. OK, I get that it’s supposed to be some kind of commentary on how people can be brainwashed into hating, and scapegoating people, and it parallels what happened with the women in the town, and blah de blah. But it was incredibly jarring, then brushed off like no big deal (by Viola and then by Ben), conveniently forgotten when Todd needs to be “not a killer”, but then retrieved to illustrate the overarching Eden theme?

Todd is still somehow “pure” and “innocent” — right? Because if he’s not, then what’s the showdown with Aaron about? Why can’t he just say to Aaron, hey, I already killed someone? Wouldn’t Aaron have self-destructed, now that he can’t be the sacrifice? But then again, Todd’s NOT pure and innocent because he gives Viola that speech about how we all fall, and we all get up again — a speech which I would have taken for another genuine human moment except FALLING = KILLING PEOPLE (or spackle), and no, we don’t ALL do that. They’re reaching really hard for some kind of Garden of Eden metaphor, and I’m just not buying it.

Two: the misuse and abuse of first person present tense, and by extension, of the reader’s trust and goodwill. Just like Hunger Games, where it was used to excellent effect, this book is in first person present tense. The entire POINT of first person present tense is to make it feel like you are there, as close as you can possibly be to experiencing AS the narrator. If that’s the case, then I think it’s cheating to have the narrator say, essentially, “Then he told me the truth and it was so awful I couldn’t believe it” — without revealing anything to the reader. NO YOU DON’T. I would accept the narrator dissociating, or doing some version of “lalala I can’t hear you!” such that he doesn’t completely hear what’s said either. But I cannot accept that he is told something, IN REAL TIME, and he has the option of keeping it from the reader. This isn’t a journal he’s writing after the fact. This is his experience, IN REAL TIME, and he doesn’t get to edit it that way.

It’s like the author couldn’t think of any other way to create suspense. The character had to know, so he’d get out of town, but if the READER knew, that would spoil the surprise. You can do that in third person. You can do that in first person past tense. I do not accept it as fair play here. The Big Reveals, when they come, are utterly anticlimactic. Nothing you couldn’t have guessed; I guessed, and then rejected it as too obvious. My version had mind control and cyborgs (TELL me Aaron’s not a cyborg!), and I liked it better.

Would I read the next one? This, I do not know. I feel like I spent a lot of time complaining here, and didn’t really elucidate all the things I liked: the world, the premise of Noise, all the possibilities of a frontier planet, Wilf, the singing cow-things. There were things here I liked. If I had some assurances that the next one wasn’t a rehash of this one (the way Hunger Games II sounds like it is), then maybe. There were ideas here. Poorly executed, some of them, but still. I think part of the reason the bad parts made me so mad was that I really liked the good parts.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
March 12, 2019
i have never considered myself a maternal person. it takes effort for me to be around babies and children. i have always been told ‘its different when its your own kid.’ they couldnt be more wrong.

all it took was a young boy named todd, his dog, and how his love became the loudest sound in a world that is never silent. i would literally do anything for todd, my precious son. i felt like such an overprotective, yet proud, parent throughout this entire book.

and my bond with todd was only strengthened by the remarkable storytelling, a kind of storytelling that could only come from patrick ness. this is a story about bravery, loss, humility, acceptance, and growth. i clung to every word of this book and was transported into a world that ended up being a knife that went straight to my heart and never let go.

this touching story is nothing short of remarkable and one i know i will be reading for the rest of my life.

5 stars
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
October 31, 2017
3.5/5 - Read for my young adult literature class.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,208 reviews19.7k followers
February 10, 2017
Reread! 5 stars, of course.

Initial review:
Perfect! Just perfect! Complete work of art. Everyone should read it and bless their sights with its glorious pages. I have nothing else to say.
Profile Image for Laini.
Author 43 books38.1k followers
November 10, 2008
Hard to know how to rate this book. It is amazing and powerful, but so sad it made me angry and made me not want to recommend it to anyone. If you're up for a punch in the stomach. . . here's your book.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,881 followers
February 15, 2021

Some books make you confused. Conflicted. Did you really like them? Can you recommend them? Would you read them again?

And you sigh, sigh, sigh.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is not this kind of book. Hey, I'm not afraid to say that it was insta-love for me.

☛ Does it make me a NA heroine? You tell me : I read 3 or 4 pages and I was like, "Oh. My. I'm gonna love this book!"

Yep. But perhaps you want to know why? How could I move from "pretty rational reader" (I think. I hope. Oh, shut up) to "bad romance heroin" (freaking insta-love, I said) so quickly?

The writing. I must admit, I was a little worried when I opened this book. I mean, what could be more difficult to read for a French reader than slang? I have this horrible memory of being totally lost when I read this awful book, you know, Inescapable. OMG THAT MESS. Long story short : it was horrible there was a character that I could not understand at all because of his accent, and it was SO. FUCKING. ANNOYING. Anyway - Given the clichés and other creepy stalkers' fantasies, we parted ways quickly. I am not (always) a masochist

But this one? I wanted to enjoy it. And thanks to the perfect writing, that was the case. All the sentences are fluid, and even if I know it annoyed some readers, I loved the rhythm and the orality of Todd's voice. I loved the repetitions. Patrick Ness took a risk, but it was splendidly executed.

There's just no such thing as silence. Not here, not nowhere. Not when yer asleep, not when yer by yerself, never.
I am Todd Hewitt, I think to myself with eyes closed. I am twelve years old and twelve months old. I live in Prentisstown on New World. I will be a man in one month's time exactly.

*whisper* I must confess that I often talk to my books. Yeah, I know, they're not really alive and all that stuff. But you know? My weird habit makes me enjoy every tiny wink the narrator directs to the reader (except if I HATE that narrator, but it's a story for another day *cough* The Player and the Pixie *cough*).

In The Knife of Never Letting Go, all these "You see?" are well used.

Perhaps I answered sometimes. Okay, Always. But Todd is so alone, I was sorry for him, OKAY?!

Now, this structure. The chapters are short. And that's completely subjective, but I love when a book is organized that way, even though I barely can explain why. It increases the rhythm, maybe? HUH. Moving on.

Todd and Viola.

Oh, you, little boy who can't kill and can't think straight with all that noise and feels so lonely, you've won me from the first page (insta-love, remember?). What can I say? I loved Todd. Really. Okay, he can't stop complaining sometimes but hey! He's just a kid who lives in a rude rude world, trying to go on, and go on, to find hope even if it seems more impossible than a child's dream. Throughout the story, we have the chance to be witnesses while he's growing up, becoming a man of whom we can be proud. All of his feelings seem so real, so understandable, I couldn't help but feel my heart actually ache for him. I cared about him, and above that, I was there, with him, and with Viola as well.

Viola, who's exactly how I like my heroines : smart, loyal, outspoken. I couldn't choose a better partner in crime for Todd. .

I lean down again and (shut up) I cry, I cry, I'm crying but it has to pass cuz I have to figure it out, I have to figure it out, it's down to me, there's only me, I have to find a way, I have to save her, I have to save- ❞

Manchee. This dog is awesome, RIGHT?

Ready, friend?" I say.
"Weddy, Thawd!

Okay. Maybe, I mean maybe I'm a sucker for little pets, but I couldn't avoid to say "Good boy!" all the time. You know the locution, "a dog is man's best friend"? That says it all. In the beginning of the book, we're stuck with Todd's opinion, which is basically that his dog is stupid. Freaking dumb. He considers that Manchee is useless, and it took me some chapters, I must admit (Sorry sorry Manchee), but there was a moment I thought, "Listen Todd, you're great, but you're fucking WRONG".

Because this dog? He's loyal and definitively not a coward. A MEDAL FOR MANCHEE. WHO'S ON?

To be short : I loved this dog, I often wanted to heal him and pat him and say him that he was a wonderful dog. Yes. I'm not exaggerating. At all.

He's a good bloody dog, have I said that?

And who doesn't want to understand his dog's barks? I'm asking, WHO? Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure my cat always says "Food", "Mice", "Bird", and "Here's a gift", and "That's mine", "That's mine", "That's mine", "That's mine", "That's mine". Cats.

*roll eyes*

The plot and the world building. When I started The knife of Never letting go, I haven't a damn clue what the world created by Patrick Ness was. Maybe that's why I felt more and more amazed as I went along in my reading. Honestly? That's brilliant. The New World is complex, fearsome and yes, there is a real plot here. I know, I know. I'm excited too. I don't want to spoil you, so the only thing I'll say it's this : Read this book, but plan enough free time, because you won't be able to put it down until the end.

But I must complain : what was that freaking ending? Do you know we, readers, have to work and to actually sleep? I'm speechless right now. That was brilliant, really, and blew me away because I was too smug, I thought I could see where the story went, but I was far away from the true. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome and I admire Patrick Ness for this but wow. That was rude.

Todd and Viola's story was excruciating, mind-blowing, even hard to stand at some point, yet filled with such gems of awesomeness I often find myself thinking about it, reliving it -

Here's a book which moved me in a way no other could.

*picking The Ask and the Answer from my bookcase*

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Priscilla.
146 reviews9,678 followers
January 26, 2011
Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

Okay, here's some first impressions:
1) Awesome.
2) Great.
3) EFFING awesome.
4) Manchee!!
5) Seriously?!
6) Non-stop, action, adventure, twists, unexpected relationships, character development unlike any other, heartache, anticipation, lovely, sweet, horror, anger, unique writing style, original and fresh.
7) Seriously chaos walking.

Watch out for a video review tomorrow :)
Profile Image for Samantha.
440 reviews16.8k followers
January 25, 2016
Edit: I originally rated this book 2.5 stars, but on further consideration, it is more of a 1.5-2 star book for me.

The writing and themes explored in this book are excellent. The writing style is unique and part of the world building in a lot of ways. I found the actual plot, particularly the "twists", as well as the characters, especially the villains, to be lacking. A predictable plot and villains who are evil for the sake of being evil can really kill a story for me and that's what happened here.

I will not be continuing with this series.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
May 19, 2022
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1), Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is a British-American author, journalist, lecturer, and screenwriter. Born in the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States, Ness moved to London and holds dual citizenship. The Knife of Never Letting Go is a young-adult science fiction novel written by Patrick Ness. It was published by Walker Books on 5 May 2008.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy left in Prentisstown, a small settlement on 'New World', an alien planet only recently colonized by humanity. Todd is within days of his thirteenth birthday, the age in Prentisstown at which all boys 'become men'. At the beginning of the book, Todd and his dog, Manchee, discover a lone patch of silence (a 'hole in the Noise') in a local swamp. Bewildered, Todd and Manchee make their way back into town. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش نسخه اصلی: روز پنجم ماه دسامبر سال2017میلادی

عنوان: چاقوی جدایی ناپذیر (چاقویی که هرگز فرونمیرود)؛ نویسنده: پاتریک نس؛ مترجم: مانی فرخی؛ ویراستار: مریم چراغپور؛ تهران، نشر آذرباد، سال1396؛ در480ص؛ شابک9786008537687؛ فروست مجموعه آشوب روان («هرج و مرج گام برمیدارد» یا «راهپیمایی کائوس») کتاب یک؛ موضوع: داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان آمریکایی تبار بریتانیا - سده21م

ماجراهای این سری، درباره ی نوجوانی به نام «تاد هویت» است، که در دهکده‌ ای زندگی می‌کند، که همه ی زنان، و شماری از مردانش، به دنبال یک بیماری مرموز کشته شده اند، و اهالی زنده ی دهکده، تلاش دارند تا گونه‌ ای از گیاهی را، که باور دارند چنان سرنوشتی را برایشان فراهم آورده، از بین ببرند؛ سری کتابهای (کائوس واکینگ) اثر «پاتریک نس»، با سه عنوان منتشر شده است؛ کتاب نخست: «چاقویی که هرگز فرونمیرود»، کتاب دوم: «پرسش و پاسخ»؛ و کتاب سوم: «هیولاهای مردان» نام دارند، داستانها درباره ی نابودی زمین، در آینده‌ ای دهشتناک است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 28/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,952 followers
February 24, 2021
The majority of my friends loved this book! But, I didn't and I hate that I didn't!

I love Patrick Ness but this book just wasn't for me and I won't be reading the rest of the trilogy. I will continue to read Patrick Ness books =)

I loved the whole concept of the book and it was cray. BUT, so much of the book made me feel crazier than I am and gave me a headache. =(

I'm so glad so many others enjoyed it because that's the beauty of books. I just wish I was one of them. Sigh......
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,284 followers
March 7, 2012

In this absorbing world Patrick Ness created, only men exist. All of the men can hear each other's thoughts, and these thoughts are called noise. When you turn 14 you become a man, and the anticipation for this is astounding.

Todd Hewitt is about to become a man. He was told that there are no woman, because they were all killed off. One day, when he's out with his dog, Manchee, he finds a spot where there is no noise. Surely, he thinks, this is impossible. Soon he is confused further, when his parents tell him he must leave his town, Prentisstown, and venture to a new town. He never thought other towns existed.

I felt that this book picked up really quickly, and will demand your attention, with action and suspense that keep you constantly guessing.
The adventure in this book is amazing. Todd's being chased, he's learning new things every minute, and finding out about all of the untruths he's been grown up to believe. The plot is moves so quickly, but there are a few slow parts that I struggled through. Not many, though.

The ideas here are very creative, especially in regards to the noise. It was interesting to see what animals would have to say (not much of interest, actually) and how differently the various characters Todd encounters along his journey have dealt with the problem of broadcasting their thoughts.

As far as characters go, it was easy to feel for them, because they felt very real. Todd has flaws that make him more loveable in my opinion. Manchee, his dog is another fun character that made me laugh.

The concept of this book was just so unique. The writing is well done, despite the fact that Todd's thoughts were often not grammatically correct. It was annoying reading through them in the very beginning, but then it get's quite easier to read after a few pages. I cruised through this book thinking it was going to be rated 4 stars...until the ending. The narrative is dark, but the ending is even darker and, it's an emotional sucker punch. The book has one brilliant cliff-hanger ending that will make you want to immediately get book two.

This book truly impressed me. Recommended to all action, adventure, dystopian lovers.

Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,307 reviews44k followers
March 23, 2022
What the hell! Why this book covers in dust, left at my chubby tbr for so long!

When I saw IMDb page of the movie adaptation, I realized moviemakers massacred another masterpiece by turning it into a meaningless adaptation. ( I love Tom Holland! But not every project he’s involved is box office hit) For paying my respects, I scanned my tbr and finally found the first book of the series and here I am!

This book has unique and captivating plot with impeccably portrayed main character. Tom’s genuineness, loyalty make you root for him. Slow burn start of the book shouldn’t fool you. After the introductions to the characters and the descriptions of the world they are living, full action packed and exciting chapters will keep you in your toes and you never want to let go of this book!

Here’s quick summary of plot:

There’s only one boy is surviving at an alien planet that is colonized by humans, living with men’s world.

Todd Hewitt’s the boy’s name and Prentisstown is the name of the town that is controlled by Noise, a gem released during war gives power to the men to hear each other’s voices, intentions from miles away.

Todd doesn’t know any other works exist but he cannot live in this one that controlled by vengeful men. When he decides to live the town, he realizes he might represent something valuable because townies have no intention to let him go!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
553 reviews60.5k followers
June 10, 2022
(3.5) I forgot how angsty YA books could be lol

This was darker than expected but the author handled the topic better than expected too.

Will continue but not in a rush.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,115 followers
March 4, 2018
3.5 rounded up. I’m so conflicted with this one. The first 75% I had so many questions and so few answers that I was struggling to see the point in this story.

Todd comes from Prentisstown, a part of New World. This world is one where people moved, to start their lives afresh, to begin again. Though on arrival, suddenly everyone can hear everybody’s thoughts out loud - a term referred to as Noise. All except the women this is - the women of Prentisstown could not survive the Noise germ and have all died. I did find Todd’s way of speaking a little irritating as my inner grammar psycho came out. In a town full of men they have little interest in their education so he often says “ain’t” And “we don’t say nothing to that” of course this is just a personal thing for me, and I did get used to it.

“The noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

As Todd’s 13th birthday approaches, and also the day he will become a man, he is told by the two men who brought him up that he must run away, that Prentisstown is not safe for him, he must flee.

So flee he does, along with his dog Manchee and Viola - a young girl whose spaceship has recently crashed in the swamp.

As I said, the majority of this story is Todd and Viola on the run, the numerous other settlements they come across and the overlying idea that what Todd has been brought up to believe about his town may not actually be the truth.

“Doing what’s right should be easy. It shouldn’t be just another big mess like everything else.”

The last 25% was action packed! We discover the truth of Prentisstown and the other settlements, while Todd tries to escape the Prentisstown men who are determined to bring him back by any means.

Plenty of twisty parts, and some seriously evil characters. I will be continuing with this trilogy.

“Killing someone ain’t nothing like it is in stories.”
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews786 followers
February 1, 2016
Cross-posted at Outlaw Reviews and at Shelf Inflicted

Young Todd Hewitt is on the verge of manhood and living in Prentisstown, a world without women and where the thoughts of men and “creachers” can be heard. Todd’s dad died of illness and his ma was the “last of the women”, according to Ben, one of two men who are raising him. Todd likes to go to the swamp to collect apples, because it is the only place where he can get a break from men’s “Noise” – their secrets, their thoughts, their memories. While out on a walk with his talking dog, Manchee, Todd encounters a break in the Noise, a pocket of silence. When Todd and Manchee return home, their Noise reveals what happened in the swamp, and Todd, with Manchee, a packed bag, Ben’s big hunting knife, and his mom’s journal, is sent away from the only home he’s ever known.

When Todd encounters a girl on his travels, and comes across towns filled with men and women, everything he’s ever known about the world is changed in an instant. The men of Prentisstown are harboring a terrible secret and will stop at nothing to get Todd back.

I really wanted to love this story. It won several major literary awards, including the 2008 Tiptree Award, and a few of my Goodreads friends enjoyed it. I had reservations about reading this, because it is the first in a series and I knew it had a cliffhanger ending.

It wasn’t a bad book. It took me just a few pages to get used to Todd’s language that reveals his innocence and lack of education. At the same time, he is a very well-developed character, with strong sensibilities, hope, and a will to survive. From the start, Viola and Todd are bonded together in a quest for freedom and survival. There is no romance, for which I am thankful. Since Viola doesn’t have any Noise, she is shrouded in silence. It takes a little longer for Todd to get to know her, but he eventually does and is able to read her thoughts. The development of Todd’s and Viola’s relationship is my favorite part of this story. One thing I am bothered about is there was no mention at all of Ben’s and Cillian’s relationship. Were they roommates, best friends, lovers? Why was the nature of their relationship kept a secret, while everyone else’s thoughts were laid open? Since they were such a significant part of Todd’s life, I would have liked to know more.

The Knife of Never Letting Go was fast-paced, dark, and compelling. I liked the plot, the suspense, the world, and the concept of hearing every man’s thoughts while women’s are much more difficult to read. I would have liked more well-developed secondary characters and less chase scenes. The story engaged my emotions, made my heart race, and left me exhausted. It also left me feeling vaguely empty and unsatisfied. I knew about the cliffhanger at the end, but nearly every chapter had a cliffhanger as well. At times I felt I was watching a TV show instead of reading a book. And I won’t even talk about Aaron, the charismatic preacher of Prentisstown, who was one of the most one-dimensional characters I’ve ever encountered in YA fiction.

Profile Image for Joyzi.
340 reviews422 followers
December 16, 2010
Complete, Edited and without effing Spoilers!

Caution: This book is not for sensitive and fainthearted readers. The book contains murder, misogyny, gore, violence against children, children doing brutal things and foul language. Seriously IMO this fits more to adult readers, it was just so sick and disturbing that a part of me believed that this probably should not be in the YA category (or maybe that’s just me). 16 years old and plus will do (I copy the same censorship of Elfen Lied and Higurashi no naku koro ni). Sidenote: I just found out that Battle Royale was R-18 because it contains sexual assault and that’s the difference between BR and Hunger Games (HG doesn’t contain sexual violence thus the censorship is 12+).

Another note: This review is an exaggerated imitation of Patrick Ness’ writing, his writing will get a little using to and you’ll be pissed off at first but trust me “feedback loop” is real and you’ll get use to the writing eventually(hopefully).

My Non-Spoiler Effing Hook Review

A-reading this book is like a-watching the vids Paranormal Activity! - Joyzi

Ahm ruddy don effing know where to start my effing review so I just tell yoo the story of me a-reading this book The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

So at first I picked this book up cuz lotsa my friends here in GR are a-talking about it. Lotsa them rated the hook 5 stars btw so cuz of all the hype I decided to fin’lly readit. (ruddy evil hype, shut up!)

Then ya I read the book and then this effing happens, effing happens, effing happens-

(Wadda eff is that line? you effing asking) That effing line btw is a representayshun of my undying love to Adrian Ivashkov *coughs* patience line while ahm starting to read the book.

Tho by the end of Chapter 2 my patience line goes like this-

Interpretayshun: Joyzi's mood: a-blazing fury

Pissed Off Cat Pictures, Images and Photos
[Image: pissed off cat]

I have to admit that before a-reading this I tot that Pretties by Scott Westerfield was the most horribly written and a-annoying kinda writing style I ever read in my entire effing life hut boy I was so wrong! Cuz reading the first two chapters of Patrick Ness’ book is much more annoying as hell!

Evaluashun twixt the two:

>The Pretty Talk- fond of a-using bubbly, bogus, a-dizzy-making, a-pretty-making, ouching, a-oxygen-missing etc etc etc…

>Character pet names- a-adding la or wa at the end e.g. Tally-wa, Shay-la, Zane-la

The Knife of Never Letting Go
> aka The Book of Typos

> Misspelled words and grammatical errors that will surely make a Grammar Nazi effing end his/her life

>neologisms that just made me infuriated like Ahm a-having a PMS or a-something

>Redundancy- the author was fund of repeating what he writes three times as ifs yer dumb. Redundancy- the author was fund of repeating what he writes three times as ifs yer dumb. Redundancy- the author was fund of repeating what he writes three times as ifs yer dumb. As ifs yer dumb, as ifs yer dumb, as ifs yer dumb (we geddit already! shut up shut up)

>I hated Manchee at first because his dialogues were ruddy retarded and it’s a-irritating. “Need a poo, Todd” “Poo, poo Todd” and the likes-

>Todd’s POV was a little bit juvenile thus the humor was juvenile at first.

>Todd was fund of a-using effing and that aggravated yet again the a-blazing fury mood in me.

pissed off Pictures, Images and Photos
[Image: pissed off cat]

I ruddy wanna kill the author at that point and I was like a-yelling, “Seriously ifs I ever see yoo Patrick Ness in person I gonna give yoo an effing dictionary!” Tho I still keep on a-reading it hoping that it will get better but no it was so horrendously written chapters after chapters that my mind was screaming, “Sunupahur! Someone effing enroll this guy in Writing101 or Ahm going to ruddy let you be eaten by crocs!”

Still I a-reading it, a-reading it, a-reading it tho half of the book I was so effing angry at it due to these reasons-
> The book was an effing alien story. If yoo happen to read my review of I Am Number Four yoo probably already know that I already have my mental note to myself a-saying:

MENTAL NOTE TO SELF: Don't ever read something about ALIEN again

>The hook lacks sexual tenshun eeeeeeeer romance. Oh okay *coughs* this one was a problem of the reader rather than the book. This might seem pretty shallow or whatever hut I really find hooks who lacks a love story a tad boring. I reckernize similarities from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins when Viola treated Todd's wounds and that reminds me of Katniss a-treating Peeta's wound too hut the difference about them is that in THG it is romancey unlike in this book.

>The character Viola at first didn't speak like she's kinda mute and I hate that parts too because I really don't get her character at all like what's her purpose if she isn't speaking?

>This was a chase story hut Todd and also the reader have no effing clue why the main character was chase by armies from Prentiss Town. And for most parts the story draaaaaaaags and it was effing plotless, plotless, plotless--

>There's a scene wherein Todd can't effing read his Ma's book and for some reason this reminds me of this vids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7AvpZ... (laugh guys, it's only a joke shut up!)

And then a-reading the second half of the book I started to like it cuz of this-


I effing love GORE! Can't yoo tell?

Miyo Takano Pictures, Images and Photos

[Image: Joyzi a-turning round and round with showers of petals a-falling on her]

Yeah gore gives me that adrenaline rush it's like my heart goes thump badda thump badda thump badda baddda baddda thump-

And it's like the feeling of a-reading The Hunger Games came back to me and I effing love this hook already!

*okay stop with this creepiness (shut up, shut up!)*

And secondly I effing love this because of Manchee-

I'm a dog person btw-

And these are my pups, ifs you effing care-

[Image: Joyzi's dog Hachi being coerced to have a picture taken, the pup is scared of the camera flash btw so that explains her pose (someone ruddy calls the PETA! shut up!)]

[Image: Joyzi's dog Dango, haven't got a problem with this one, she effing loves it when someone takes a photo of her, she's a narcissist]

And then an effing miracle happens! (Feedback loop works crechers!) Joyzi changed her mind! (Hallelujah!)

Joyzi now-
>Loves the writing ergo it deserve the spot on my "writing-style-i-adore" shelf- For it was original and amazingly clever!

>Loves this alien story, this one seems surprising since aliens are not my cuppa tea. This was the first time I enjoyed a-reading something like it because I never really like The Host by Stephenie Meyer and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. It was just a breath of fresh air, all the ideas that are into this book and all the descriptions and rules of the planet I love'em all!

>Loves Viola and Todd's relationship. It may not be as romancey as Peeniss tandem(that effing means PeetaxKatniss) in THG but it was just a sweet friendship I s'pose. Like they protect each other and they comfort each other and they are just there for one another and it doesn't feel contrived at all. It feels natural, how their relashunship builds and grows.

>Empathize with Todd being illiterate. Oh honey I hate myself! I felt like I misjudge his character and when I know more about Todd he reminds me of Liesel Meminger from the Book Thief and Zero from the Holes. I mean I really don't know why I'm so hard on him at first hut then I realize he's just so vulnerable and I wanted to protect him and root for him. I just felt so bad I was so wrong about him and for that he's certainly one of those characters I will never ever forget. And he kinda reminds me of Peeta btw he's so like my Pita bread. Like his problem is he can't effing kill another person just like Peeta's dilemma on THG.

Okay thassall I don't wanna spoil things hut I just wanna say that the twist in this book is a very disturbing event that even right now I can't stop a-thinking 'bout it. It was so sick and repulsive. I don't know how to really express my feelings about it. Just read the book and yoo'll be the judge. It will definitely keep you thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking-

It will keep yer heart racing-

It will blow yer mind-

One of the best book ever, second to Hunger Games I s'pose!-

There are just three things that I wanted right now-
One. I wanted yoo to read the book.
Two. I wanted to read the second book right now.
Three. I wanted an effing movie!

Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,065 reviews1,474 followers
May 10, 2021
This is the first instalment of the Chaos Walking series.

The book opens in Prentisstown, a fictional town in a fictional world. The occupants of this town are predominately farmers, entirely male and, oh, they can all hear each other's every thought.

The reader is immediately introduced, in the form of first person narration, to the first protagonist, who remains with us for all three of the books, Todd. Now I initially found Todd an unlikable main character: he appeared moody, quarrelsome and quick-tempered. This was something I could abide with, as I foresaw a personal transformation as the book progressed. It transpired that events in Todd's short life gave him every right to act as the petulant child that he was. It was the honest, considerate man he quickly became who gained my heart, though.

Now I know that many people find untrustworthy and initially unrelatable characters a bit of a faux pas, but this only depicted to me that Ness was not afraid to transgress the boundaries of what is deemed 'acceptable' in writing.

And he doesn't stop there.

This book is a series of shock after shocks as Ness continually took you to the limits of your expectations and then transgressed them. This book featured continual cliffhangers and false hopes as Ness lay the foundations for the climax of the novel. Or should I say climaxes, plural. This book is synonymous with choppy waters as you crested a wave not knowing if you'd find calm waters or rapids beyond it.

And one such climacteric moment was the introduction of our second protagonist, Viola. The chance meeting between Todd and herself altered the course of the story and aligned two separate stories as one.

The first-person style of narration highlighted that the inner-thoughts of the protagonist weren't always what was revealed in his Noise (or, thoughts). Noise was a precarious thing, only revealing a portion of the man beneath the outward portrayal of his thoughts. This, combined with Ness' beautiful writing gave a rich, dense narrative that stunned, staggered and surprised me.

I have honestly never read something so richly-coated with action and substance in such equal measures. This book, and this series, is like no other!
Profile Image for Ashley.
828 reviews484 followers
December 20, 2020
RE-READ! 12/18/2020: —> 5 Stars

Star Rating: —> 5 Stars



[March 6th, 2019 - Just wanted to add the actual star rating & an original review date because I didn’t do that below! This is one of the first reviews I wrote on here I think? Anyway. This is one of my favorite series of all time. Its life changing stuff, Truly; it literally is for me... as I tentatively wrote a few sentences about (you don’t have to read if you don’t want, just skip the italics haha)]
My life changing so drastically when I got sick (rare immune deficiency blah blah blah no complaining), books & music were my only constants- both things I’ve loved practically since birth lol- and I just could NOT read. This left me in an awful state of chaos (eeyyyy Chaos Walking ! Lol).
The Knife Of Never Letting Go & the rest of The Chaos Walking Trilogy saved me from this.

So yeah; this is extremely close to my heart;

Gosh, March, 2017, I believe?
(Although my first read was allll the way back in 2013! To say I need a re-read is an understatement haha).


Just FYI this is my first attempt at a more “review” review haha, so I’d really appreciate feedback!

This whole series changed my life. Such unique amazing concepts... I will forever love this freakin book and it’s companions in the chaos walking trilogy. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND READ THIS NOW. It has everything!

For starters,

Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts for a certain distance, EVEN FREAKIN ANIMALS, MAN.

( sayyyy whaaaa?!? )

and so there’s constant “NOISE” which is talked about a lot by the main character, Todd, the narrator. This also means ANIMALS CAN “TALK” ! Rather, they use their thoughts to talk to you, in a way, which is absolutely perf. Ugh I loved this aspect.

There are NO WOMEN In their world, which is a HUGE, mysterious plot point. I mean, what good is a
society without women, amiright ?

It’s dystopian and post-apocalyptic.
It’s sci-fi and fantasy at the same time (perfection).
It’s an amazing coming of age story with a beautiful boy-and-his-dog forever friendship, ahh! ; oh how I love you, Manchee. <3.



(Also, no worries, it’s not set in awful prentisstown forever 😉 )

There’s so much more. I could go on and on. Like, forever. This was definitely a multiple re-read kinda book.

Also, can I just say- Patrick Ness - is just fantastic? Bc he seriously is. Beyond fantastic. I would read anything this man wrote. Anyyyything!

READ. THIS. NOWWWW, Guys! You will not regret it!

100% recommend!
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
395 reviews696 followers
March 11, 2018
“I think how hope maybe the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, too, that’s it painful and risky, that it’s making a dare to the world and when has the world ever let you win a dare?”

Total mixed feeling.

Maybe I chose wrongly for my first Ness book but for some reason this story or more specifically, this plot is just not my thing and/or confused me. I can’t say I wholly grasp the deeper meaning of it, still.

I did like the main characters quite a lot. I want to give them hearty hugs, I want to feed them, I want to tell them how incredibly brave they have been and I want desperately to see them play and laughed in the big green field. Man, woman and dog.

But even though I did, I do, I can’t seem to decide if I should continue this series. The last pivotal scenes - then the actual ending - took a real toll on me. If I need to decide right now, I would probably say ‘no’ more than ‘yes’.

I don’t know, man.

But whatever I decided to do,,,,,,,,


rating: ★★½

Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
June 23, 2018
Patrick Ness, how could you do this to me?

Bleakness. A terrible cliffhanger. Inhumanity and loss and disappointment. Oh, yes, and first person present tense narration, by a 13 year old undereducated boy.

SO MANY REASONS this book should irk me. And yet.

There's loyalty and love and hope, even in the midst of darkness. There's being a man by being true to your convictions, even if it's not what everyone around you is telling you defines manhood. There's stumbling and disappointing yourself and those around you, but picking yourself up and struggling on, because that's what we need to do.

Also there's some great writing in this book. I didn't always like Todd's backwoodsy narration, but sometimes his descriptions or insights would really smack me right between the eyes.

This book has an interesting science fiction setting: people have come from Earth to settle this planet with two moons that circles a far-distant star. The original settlers were looking for a place to live that would allow them to get back to the basics of life, a farming and horse-and-cart level of existence. But something went wrong somewhere along the way. Todd doesn't really understand this, and a lot of the planet's history is secret and is divulged bit by bit during the course of the novel; I wouldn't want to spoil any of that.

But what Todd does know is that everyone in his town broadcasts their thoughts to everyone else, day and night, waking or sleeping. It's telepathy run amok. Even the animals speak, though in a very animal-level kind of way.


It's possible, but difficult, to try to hide what you're thinking from other people. And there are only men in his town: no women. (Todd thinks he knows why, but there's a lot that he doesn't understand.) Todd is the youngest boy in his entire town, and in less than a month he'll turn 13 (years run a little longer on this planet) and he'll become a man. Another event Todd wrongly thinks he understands. It's really quite fascinating, how many things Todd is wrong about.

I'm going 4 stars here for an overuse of some tropes that bugged me: While I did like a lot of things about this book, I'm not sure I was enough into it to want to read two more volumes of angst and bleakness to get to the end of the story. I'm not dashing down to the library to get the next book, but I might pick it up sometime.
Profile Image for F.
294 reviews251 followers
September 21, 2018
The dog was my favourite.
Enjoyed this more than i expected.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 5, 2018
(A Poo-Todd Audio Reread)

*4 Stars*

This book was a pleasant surprise, and not at all because I thought its storyline wouldn't work, but I was skeptical as to whether it would work for me.

Told through the candid and youthful perspective of a twelve year old boy on the cusp of manhood, The Knife of Never Letting Go presents an incredibly unique plot that's both simple in its storytelling and layered in its depth.

Todd is the youngest boy in a society consisting solely of men, and this is his normal: The Noise. As a result of a potent "Noise germ" released during war, every man in town can physically hear the thoughts and intentions of every other man around for miles, as well as every animal. Todd was born into this world of Noise, so consequently knows no other way of life. The Noise plagues him as most of the men's thoughts are deceitful, impure, and vengeful. When Todd is urged to flee town, he quickly learns that he represents something valuable to these men; something they'll go to any length to obtain.

This book had a slow start that gradually evolved into tons of action; plenty of chasing/running, and an all around fight for survival. Todd's inherently 'good' and loyal nature conflicts with his need to survive at all costs—igniting an internal war in the midst of all external struggles. The romance incorporated was more of a vague insinuation; young, gentle and based purely on perseverance. However, the connection between Todd and Viola steadily progressed alongside the plot.

What I loved most about this story was its genuine, unfiltered voice; Todd's perspective was youthful and portrayed in a believable and refreshing manner. However, as young and inexperienced as his character appeared in writing, his thoughts and actions were every bit as honorable and profound—which felt like the sweetest contradiction. He was a loyal, inspirational hero, and singlehandedly brought messages of never letting go or losing hope, to life.

I must mention the phenomenal ending, which was hands-down incredible. It became a pivotal point of the story, and intensively pushed the plot into new territory. There is a huge cliffhanger, but luckily the series is complete ... and I look forward to seeing where this story goes.

I think everybody falls ... I think maybe we all do. And I don't think that's the asking. I think the asking is whether we get back up again.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Dystopian/YA
▪ Romance: Vague and gentle, but progresses.
▪ Characters: Youthful and genuinely portrayed.
▪ Plot: Action-packed and inspiring. More focused on survival than romance.
▪ Writing: Raw and lifelike. Intense.
▪ POV: 1st Person: 12 year old hero.
▪ Cliffhanger: Yes
▪ Next Installment: Follow up
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
April 25, 2021
“War is like a monster. War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows. And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.”

I found it kind of hard to rate this book, because I have many and very mixed feelings towards it.

First of all, Patrick Ness is an amazing author. He is creative and sets up a very special, dangerous, dark and unique fantasy/dystopia world. His characters are incredibly interesting.
I like the relationship Ben and Cillian have even though I'm never sure if they are a couple or not. But maybe that's exactly what I like, not needing to make them gay/heterosexual...they're simply Todd's parents.
...and Todd. I don't like Todd. He's an idiot. He kicks his dog, he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes, he doesn't listen. He made me mad.

But now the worst thing:

So to say, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the sequels, but decided that I will definitely keep reading. This series has big potential! I hope it gets better though, because there were so many bad things happening and it just kept dragging me down. I need some ups, some rays of light to not let me lose hope entirely.
Please Mr. Ness, don't let me down.

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Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews314 followers
January 3, 2020
For some reason I really want to start 2020 with this book.
And glad I did, I bumped up the rating to 4 stars.
I missed my boy Todd aka the 13 year old punching bag. And Viola! ❤
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