Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Released: July 28, 2009
Page #: 12 hour audio
Source: My public library
"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?"
"The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say. About anything.
'Need a poo, Todd.'"
Note: I listened to the audio of this book. And honestly, I can't imagine looking at the paper copy. The audio was that dynamic and wonderful. Plus, there are lots of elements to this story that I think really benefited from the audio version. I believe this book was recommended to me by a teen several months ago. I'm glad I finally listened to them!
The people of New World have endured lots of hardship - they've been through war, poverty, death, and unimaginable sickness. It's also a world where everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts. And animals can talk.... So there's that. :) But the story is about Todd. He's from Prentisstown and he's the youngest person at 12. Once he turns 13, he'll be a man. All of the women died off in the sickness and the men are just fighting to survive. Todd finds something strange while he's beyond the town - a strange silence. That is only the beginning of the amazing things he will find throughout the story.
Can you imagine being able to hear everyone's thoughts? And they can hear yours? And you can share images and feelings and everything? I can't. It sounds sort of spooky. Especially when some of the people aren't exactly the nicest in the world. Super eerie. But let me tell you, because the book is filled with so many different voices, the audio is perfect! I can't imagine seeing all of those thoughts on a page... but hearing them is intense.
Todd is a wonderful hero. There are things about him that are very rough around the edges - uneducated, illiterate, farm boy. He's been forced to grow up super fast because he's the youngest of his town. But the thread throughout the story is his ability to keep going - no matter what is going on around him. He sticks with a goal and does everything he can to take care of those he cares about. I was absolutely rooting for him the whole time. Not to mention the reader did a wonderful voice for him - made him come to life for me.
For some reason, I wasn't anticipating this book to be serious science ficiton - but it most definitely is. I mean, yes... the whole hearing people thing... but there's so much more than that. It's set on a whole new planet! Somehow, I missed that little tidbit. And when they first settled, they had a huge war with the natives. That's what caused a lot of the hardship the people face during this story. But there's so much more that you learn toward the end... that I'm not going to tell you. Obviously.
This book was amazing. The idea is so original and I cannot wait to read the second one. Actually, I just requested it from my library because I'm that excited. The ending of the book is a heartbreaker, so I can only imagine what the next book is going to be like. I had put this off a little bit because I wasn't sure what it was really about - and the books were on the large side. But I'm so glad I picked up the audio. I think it will be great for anyone who is looking for an original sci fi story.
Other Blog Reviews:
Nerd Fighters (little spoiler warning, but great review)
Turn the Page
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
Escapism Through Books