Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go

by Patrick Ness

Imagine never having a private thought. Imagine if everything you thought everyone could hear.  If everything animals thought you could hear.  It would be endless Noise right? Todd has grown up in Prentisstown. A town of only men. A town where no thought is private, even from your dog.  But in a town where you know every thought of every person, secrets can still be kept.  Secrets that can destroy a world.  When Todd discovers a girl named Viola hiding in the nearby swamp, a girl whose thoughts he can't hear, everything he ever knew is shattered.  And when they become the most wanted people in Prentisstown, and in all of the New World, they will have to find a way to survive.

At first I had a hard time getting into this book, but the more I read the more the book drew me in.  At first you are led to believe that Prentisstown is all there is in this world, but as Todd meets Viola we discover that Prentisstown is one of many towns on the New World; a world that was supposed to be a utopian society until the problems that plague all societies emerged.  The book kind of mirrors the hope of the Puritans landing in Plymouth, only to discover that the perfect world is not as easy to make as you want.  The book is extremely engaging and will be liked by any teen who enjoys dystopian fiction or epics. The characters are extremely interesting, especially Todd as we can hear every thought he has.  The book does a good job of discussing the concepts of good and evil, and as you get further in the series you see the characters struggling with the definition of both in the same way Katniss has to in Mockingjay (as in President's Snow v Coin, but in this book it is Prentiss v Mistress Coyle). 

Genre: Science Fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade
Series Information: Knife of Never Letting Go (Book 1), The Ask and the Answer (Book 2), The Madness of Men (Book 3)

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