Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
“Men lie, and they lie to theirselves worst of all.”
This book was a difficult one for me to review as I’m still, a month later, still so torn about if I liked this book or not. When I was in the book shop and read the description I was hooked. The idea of a book where you can hear people’s thoughts, as well as animals? – I’m in! However, once I started reading the book I found it distracting, and at times infuriating, how Patrick Ness has chosen to write this book. Due to the main character being severally uneducated, it is written in the same style he thinks. Therefore, it can take a few minutes to try and decipher which word he is trying to use as it is spelt how the character thinks it should be spelt. Now I’m no member of the grammar police myself, but this broke up the pace of the story and irritated me as it continued throughout the book. I eventually got the hang of it, but it held me back from falling into this world completely.
Plot wise, the story was great. It was interesting, unique and at times violent due to the nature of a settlement filled with men and no women to speak of. The true hero of the story for me was Todd’s dog, Manchee. What I wouldn’t give to hear my own dog speak. (Though I’m sure all I would hear is mostly, ‘feed me‘ and ‘pat me‘). Personally, I wanted Manchee to be the most valuable player but as you read on you’ll discover why he isn’t. The remaining characters in this novel captured my attention and at times made me fear for their safety – or root for their death. There was one main plot point I disagreed with as to it’s presence, but I wont spoil it for you as I’m still annoyed about it and it would ruin the story if you knew. Once you’ve read it, feel free to come back here and discuss it as I’m all ears and keyboard. 😀
The knife of Letting Go is the first in the Chaos Walking trilogy and, given some time, I will probably continue on to the second book. A fair warning – pack some tissues. If you like dystopian novels, and you don’t mind a little violence, then you will certainly enjoy this book.