Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go
479 pp. Candlewick Press. 2008 ISBN:978-0-7636-4576-2
Have you ever wished you could read other people’s minds? After reading The Knife of Never Letting Go you will probably change your mind. Todd Hewitt lives in New World, and like all the men in Prentisstown, he contracted the disease that enables him to hear the Noise. This Noise is other men and animals’ thoughts; it is never quiet, even when they sleep. One day while Todd and his dog Manchee are wandering through the swamp, they hear something scary and unusual, they hear silence. There’s something dangerous about the silence that forces Todd to run for his life, leave everything he knows, and learn horrible truths about Prentisstown and the Noise. Patrick Ness’s dystopian novel is a clever mix of humor, suspense, action and drama. Not long after a particularly intense section does a character like Manchee provide some comic relief. Ness has crafted this novel into not only a journey for truth, but a journey for manhood and what that word really means. S.A.