Review of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Review of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessThe Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Also in this series: Monsters of Men
Also by this author: Monsters of Men, , More Than This
Published by Candlewick Press on 2010-10-18
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Social Issues, Violence, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. Includes β€œThe New World,” a short story by Patrick Ness.

I am an evangelist for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Seriously, you shouldn’t even be reading my review. You should be reading The Knife of Never Letting Go instead. The book starts off on an incredibly confusing note. You are just sort of tossed into Todd’s world. However, when this happens, don’t be discouraged, dear friend. Just trust the author. I am pretty sure for the most part, authors know what they are doing. Seriously, all will be explained and revealed.

The Knife of Never Letting go is definitely a new-to-me take on dystopia. First of all, we are in a world where your every thought is public. I mean how much would life suck if your thoughts weren’t private. You wouldn’t have any secrets. It would be hard to be polite, because people would definitely know you don’t like them. I know I couldn’t stand something like that. The crazy government scary dude in charge part, that is not new to me at all. However, it’s the premise that is unique.

Todd is a character whom I just want to hug. Life definitely deals Todd a bad card. He’s an orphan. He’s the youngest guy in Prentisstown, and has yet to go through his manhood rights. And of course, he is the hero of our tale, so you know, bad stuff will happen to Todd and he will grow and learn from it, because guys, that’s what happens to every main character, in pretty much every single book ever. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a broad sweeping untrue generalization, but chances are if it is a book I enjoyed, something bad has happened to the main character. Right, well I still just want to give Todd a hug.

Now, my absolute favorite part of the book was Manchee. As far as dogs go, I love them. And yes, Manchee was my favorite character of the book. He is exactly how I imagine a dog would talk. He says things the pups we have here would probably say if they could talk. SPOILERS PLEASE HIGHLIGHT TO READ:I pretty much lost my marbles when Manchee died. Seriously, I just got that bottom out stomach feeling. I was so sad. Like, I honest to God am almost scared to read the rest of the series because of Manchee’s death. I got so attached and you know how it is with those boy and his dog stories. And yes, I seriously am still grieving for Manchee, like I can’t even pick up my copy without feeling a little short of breath. Perhaps I am taking a YA fiction book a bit too seriously.

Now, that I have characters I liked out of the way, I want to talk about a character I could not stand. There’s this crazy character named Aaron. He is the bionic man, I swear to God. I honestly got frustrated and irritated and annoyed every time he showed up. He never ever died. He always brought trouble. I just, agh, dreaded him. You’ll see why when you read this book.

However, this is all tempered with a small thread of hope. Although, it seems like it’s consistently attempting to be extinguished, hope always remains, and I appreciate that. After all, it is such an important thing to hold on to. Here, let me show you this heart gripping quote:

“You’ve overcome obstacles and dangers and things that should’ve killed you. You’ve outrun an army and a madman and deadly illness and seen things most people will never see. How do you think you could possibly come this far if you didn’t have hope?” -pg. 376

and this

“….and I think how hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, too, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare to the world and when has the world let us win a dare?” pg. 423

Yeah, enough said on hope.

Back to things that annoy me. I keep pushing this book on my boyfriend to read, but he refuses to read it. How irritating right? When you could really bond with someone you love over a book, yet they refuse to take your suggestion. Maybe he needs a larger nudge, so perhaps you could comment here and say HEY TONY YOU NEED TO READ THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO.

Finally, I am dying to read The Ask And The Answer, however I am waiting for the PB to come out in August, because I like my series to have similar formats. I already have a copy of Monsters and Men to read, so yes, it really is eager waiting until August, and knowing myself I will probably break down and buy the hardback regardless.

Other Reviews:
I Was A Teenage Book Geek
Pepper Ink
Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin?

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Those spoilers are definitely not blocked out and I now definitely hate you a little because I saw the first sentence before I looked away πŸ˜› I'm going to go try and forget about it now…

    I really can't wait to read this trilogy!

  2. When I first heard about this book there wasn't anything about it that really hooked me but I've been hearing so many good things about this book lately that I feel like I definitely need to read it soon.

  3. Jan von Harz says

    Sounds like a book I need to read. Thanks for the review.

  4. This book is so fabulous that I'm getting shivery just thinking about it…


    Hope that helps. Great review!

  5. Felicia the Geeky Blogger says

    Great review and thank you for blocking out the spoilers. This would not have even appealed to me from the description but I might give it a try down the line based on your review!

    ~Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

  6. Juju at Tales of says

    Great review. I have been itching to read this.

  7. agirlreads says

    I keep hearing how great this book is. I definitely have to add it to my wishlist πŸ™‚

  8. ultraviolet2610 says

    I always wanted to read The Knife of Letting Go until I recently and accidentally stumbled across some spoilers for the ending of the third book (they were not blocked out like you've kindly done for us here :P). And it kind of put me off…but after reading your review, maybe I'll try it out after all.


  9. ultraviolet2610 says

    *The Knife of Never Letting Go. Seems I can't delete/edit my previous comment, so I'll just type up another one! πŸ™‚


  10. Fantastic review, and I have to say that I relate to your feelings about that spoiler more than I would ever have expected. Completely.

    I also relate to trying to convince someone you love to read a book you could *absolutely* bond over, when they just won't. In my case it's The Hunger Games, but this one is a close second. TONY DUDE, READ THIS BOOK!

  11. Michelle says

    This book is going to be in my top 10 from 2010 because I adore it so dang much!! And MANCHEEEEE! I love that dumb dog. I'm so glad you liked this one, I'm just dying waiting, (still waiting) for MONSTERS OF MEN to come out


  12. Honestly I think connection to Manchee has a lot to do with the enjoyment of this books. I actually couldn't stand Manchee, because I don't really like dogs, so the spoilers didn't bother me and this book ended up meh for me.

  13. I followed the link from your “Fill in the Gaps” project to get here because I too have been dying to read this trilogy! Every review I read of this book on blogs is just so positive that it’s exactly like how you put it: why aren’t I reading this like now?!

  14. I have just finished listening to ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’. After the first chapter or so, which I find rather confusing, I was hooked. The audio version is excellent. The voice of Manchee, just, well, a dog. I have not wept so much over a dog since reading ‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’. Just a great book for YA and adults alike. I am off to download the next instalment.


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