THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (PATRICK NESS)This book has been on my "to read" list for ages. I finally read it. Sweet hallelujah. For other Librarians out there who may be reading this, you know what I'm talking about; the sheer pleasure of managing to ACTUALLY FINISH A BOOK from the ever growing pile. I feel like I should have a drink to celebrate.
And so, the talented Patrick Ness. We recently acquired The Rest of Us Just Live Here for the collection (another for the "to read" list), but I thought I would start with The Knife of Never Letting Go because it has awards slapped all over it, and it's been around for ages and y'know, people generally rave. Published back in 2008, it's been around a while now. And it's a sort of near-future sci-fi dystopian tale. Interestingly it was dystopian before The Hunger Games opened the floodgates.
Todd Hewitt is a boy about to become a man. He was born into the New World, a place where there are only men left, and they can hear each others Noise, all day, every day - a constant barrage of other men's thoughts. Nothing is secret... or is it? Can there be secrets in a society where everyone can hear your thoughts? Oh yes, there can. And that's just the first thing that Todd is about to discover. The more he learns, the more dangerous things get.
And what basically ensues is a lot of running.
The Knife of Never Letting Go has a pretty fast paced and action packed narrative, with a lot of hold your breath will-they-won't-they survive type scenes. It does get a little tiring after a while (and I mean almost physically tiring, what with all the running running running). There are the age-old underlying themes of truth vs. reality and good vs. evil being thread throughout the story, as well as the power of hope to inspire and redeem and allow us to stay true to ourselves. There is actually a lot to think about in this book. The idea of how an insular, protected life can really skew your view and affect your choices. The idea that you can never really "know" someone, even if you do think you can hear their thoughts. What is truth? How can truth change? How do people get influenced by what they hear and see? What is the power of one person to stay true to their beliefs? Hmmmm, lots of food for thought, in between all the running running running. I would definitely recommend it for teens 13+.
I will need to take a short break and rest before I hit the second of the Chaos Walking series, but I will, when I get through a few of the other books on my pile....