Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This book grabbed my attention and kept me reading until I finished the story, but I found it disturbing.

If you have a boy who doesn't like reading, this one should catch his attention and he'll finish it, don't worry about that. But I think you should pre-read it, so you can discuss what he's reading and how he feels about it.

This is the first book of the Chaos Walking series, and it's not a gentle walk in the park.

A young boy lives in a town of all men, who have to live with the constant noise of other's thoughts. He's near coming of age, and can't wait until he'll be a man, too. However, he has no idea what the ritual of maturity is, and the men who adopted him after the death of his parents appear to be worried about it.

They can't tell him anything, because he doesn't know how to hide his thoughts well yet. And they hesitate to tell him because it's going to turn his life upside down.

But then Todd sees something that is dangerous, and his adopted parents plead with him to leave town and find a new life. He doesn't believe there IS another life. All he knows is what he was taught as he grew up.

But when the men of town come after him, he goes as he is told, and his adventures begin.

First, he finds a girl. He was told all women were dead, had died from disease. Where did she come from?

He also finds his tormentor from town has followed him and is now even more of a danger...

He and his dog (who can talk to him telepathically also) first work on locating the girl, then on following the map to the next town in hopes they will be welcomed there.

Along the way, he finds that much of what he was taught as a child was a lie, that the ritual of manhood is a horror, that there is no real place to run to, and that he may have to kill to stay alive.

The book is full of good and evil, but it's not apparent who is which right away.

And people do die along the way.

There is a real cliff hanger at the end of the book, which will make you wait on pins and needles for the next book. What can happen next???

I enjoyed the read, but this book touched me emotionally, and I think it would be good for parents or siblings to discuss some of the issues with each other.

It's fantasy and science fiction, but it reads like "real" to me.

This would be a good fit for the young adult audience. This book is already available for sale.

If you would like my advance reading copy, leave a comment on my blog and email me to indicate your interest and why you would like it. I'll do a drawing and send it one of you.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have read some rather disturbing books recently. Not sure why I'm "into" that right now but this appears to be something that would be in that same vein. Please put me in the drawing.

D.

Brenda said...

Sounds like a great book - would love to win this for my son! Email is on its way!

joe said...

best book ever!

i'm 12 years old, and a boy.

The ending was so sad, is viola gunna die?? and we really have to wait till may 2009 for the next book?

They must make a movie out of this!

Joe.