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Book DetailsISBN: 9781406326314
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Book Review: Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - Reviewed by Aye.Me?M (17 Jan 2010)
Ten pages into this book and I thought I was going to hate it. It is full of misspellings and slang. Station is spelt 'stayshun', direction is spelt 'direkshun'. It took me a little while to get used to this, but once I did I realised how much it adds to the story. The story is told in first person from the point of view of Todd who has never had a proper education and can only go on the way others around him pronounce words, so it makes sense for words to be spelt the way they sound. Another unusual thing about the way this book is written is that Todd very occasionally talks directly to the reader, almost like an aside.
Todd is a very likable character. He is loyal and his motives are clear. Throughout the story he grows unbelievably as a character as he is subjected to horrors that none should have to go through. His self doubt over things he has done or wants to do make the reader really question what is right, what is the moral thing to do, and his doubt over the truth of what he has been told all his life makes the reader question everything. To me, that's the sign of a good, meaningful book.
My favourite character in this book has to be Manchee, Todd's adorable doggy side-kick (who can talk). His limited understanding makes him so sweet and innocent he's impossible not to love. For example, the book starts like this:
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say. About anything. "Need a poo, Todd." "Shut up, Manchee." "Poo. Poo, Todd."
Can't you just imagine your dog running around full of energy, tail wagging, saying that?
As a whole, I loved this very unique story. For Patrick Ness's debut in the young adult world it is amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel sorrow and it made me downright angry. The characters are intriguing, the setting rich, and the storyline thrilling.
Overall, I'm giving this book 5 stars out of 5 and I can't wait to move on the next book in the Chaos Walking Series, 'The Ask And The Answer'. I recommend it to all lovers of coming-of-age, sci-fi and adventure stories aged 13 and up. Just make sure you give it a chance to grow on you!
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