In the future, when humans have left Earth to colonize habitable planets, Patrick Ness brings us a story about a pre-teen boy, Todd, and his dog, Manchee, who reside in Prentisstown on an alien planet called New World. Prentisstown consists of only men, who claim all the women and most of the men of the town died during a great war with the local native inhabitants, called Spackle, around the time of his birth.
During the war, Todd is told that the Spackle released a “germ” that caused the deaths of the women and created the “noise.” The “noise” is the sound of everyone’s thoughts, including that of animals. When Todd learns a secret about the town and its history, he runs away just days before his thirteenth birthday. The story follows Todd and Manchee as they discover the truth behind the town’s past and what really happened to the citizens of Prentisstown and New World.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, yes, I would definitely recommend this book!
This is one of my favorite science fiction books of all time and I recommend it to almost anyone looking for a great young adult science fiction read. It is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, and I believe it is the strongest of the three.
My favorite part about this book is the characters. Hearing their “noise” only makes it better as their thoughts aren’t filtered by the author’s writing. Ness specifically dedicates two pages to an illustration of the “noise” to show just how overwhelming it can be in a town where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. It’s messy.
Todd not only hears the “noise” of the Prentisstown citizens, but that of his dog, Manchee, as well. Manchee almost feels human because he has his own noise where he can communicate more clearly with Todd, although it is rudimentary. His thoughts are simple, and somewhat annoying. But he is a lovable character.
Another part I love about this book is the plot and its quick pace. You won’t be able to put it down when Todd leaves Prentisstown with the knowledge of its past and someone pursuing him. Ness takes us through the surrounding area of New World to discover nearby towns and people who live outside the rule of Prentisstown. But Todd never has enough time to stay in one place for long. Ness has a gift for translating imagination into a story; to create an intricate world, New World.
Overall, I would recommend this to a busy mom. Especially one who’s looking for books for her middle-school or even high-school boy to get them reading more. The ending is quite the cliffhanger and sure to make anyone eager to read the second book. This book is a quick and easy read. It may look like a long book, but you’ll get through it in a breeze!
Five out of five stars
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If you enjoyed my review of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, you might also like The Anomaly by Michael Rutger. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing The Knife of Never Letting Go, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.