Tuesday, 2 October 2012

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt lives in a world without women, where everyone's thoughts are projected into the world as a deafening Noise. When he finds a silent spot in the swamp, he is forced to run from everything he's ever known and discover that everything he's been told since he was born is tainted with untruths.

Hm. This book is one of those books that's really raved about, I've never heard from anyone who didn't love it. Not just like it, love it. Now, usually, that's a sign that I'll hate a book. Some people suggest I do that just to be contrary, they could be right. But I liked this book. I didn't love it, and there were things about it that I really didn't like, but it's a good book.

My main issue with it is that I didn't like either of the main characters, Todd and Viola. At one point, I started to actively dislike them both, but by the end I was back to simply not particularly liking them. Now, normally, that's not necessarily a problem for me. I tend to dislike the heroes and like the villains in a story, but this time it was a problem. In this book, we are completely in Todd's head, we see things only as he sees them and are constantly listening to his voice. There's no reprieve, and so it's quite a lot to take. And the voice itself irritated me quite a bit, mainly because I'm a real stickler for spelling and punctuation and Todd is essentially illiterate.

As books go, it's something a bit different. It's quite clearly a dystopian novel, although where we are and what's going on and how we got there aren't especially clear, and I read a lot of those but this was something really quite different. Firstly, it's from a male perspective, which seems to be getting rare these days. And then there's the fact that it appears to be a dystopian that features aliens. And finally, the structure is a relatively straightforward quest. In my opinion, the quest wasn't quite enough to sustain a novel of its length, it could have done with a strong subplot, maybe, but overall it's a good book. It's certainly interesting and if other reviews are to go by, it's entertaining. And hey, I'm more than two-thirds finished with the second in the trilogy, so it can't have been all bad, can it?



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