Kate 's Reviews > The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
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's review
Nov 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, bildungsroman, award-winner, library, 21st-century-fic
Read from November 02 to 07, 2011

The Knife of Never Letting Go starts in Prentisstown, New World, sometime in the future when Earth has become a squalid slum that a few people with the means have fled for a 'simpler life.' Prentisstown is all that is left of the settlers on earth - 140-odd of them, all men. Once the settlers landed, they made war with the native Alien species, who released a terrible virus upon the human population that killed all of the women and girls and made all men's thoughts known to all other men. The farm animals speak, as do dogs. Todd Hewitt is the last boy of Prentisstown, and in a few weeks, he'll be a man. Gathering apples in the swamp one day, though, he comes across something he's never experienced before: a being whose thoughts he cannot hear.

TKoNLG has a plot built on twists, and I won't make much more of it. This is a very scaryand well crafted story that explores interesting themes of gender and the social contract. Todd's voice is unique for a child-protagonist; though given the rash of The Hunger Games inspired childrens lit, and the post-apocolyptic dystopian setting Todd will no doubt draw comparison to Katniss Everdeen. He is, in many ways, the anti-feral child(Read of my love for feral children in literature here and here), raised by the laws of men fleeing civilization, not clinging desperately too it. His wildness, his outlaw nature, are in his refusal to kill and his desire for peace. He is desperate for more responsibility and more belonging not more freedom. Katniss Everdeen would have known the swamp outside Prentisstown inside and out. Todd Hewitt just wants to get back to the farm.

I recommend this to fans of the The Hunger Games and other dystopian young adult novels and anyone looking for a good fantasy read. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel, The Ask and the Answer.
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Reading Progress

11/03/2011 page 35
11/03/2011 page 159
33.0% "This is a can't-put-downer."
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