The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been undecided between 4 or 5 stars for the past 15 minutes because this is really an excellent book.
I think for this book i need to categorize my thoughs a bit and start with the things i liked:
- the originality of the plot - finally, finally something new. This is a post apocalyptic dystopian novel but i really enjoyed lots of ideas that were original to me: the idea of Noise (also coming from animals), the idea of the colonization of a new planet (is this pre or post Avatar?)
- the language - the story is told in the first person, from Todd's POV, and i really liked the purposefully misspelled writing style and the conversational tone. It never once got too stream of consciousness, never got boring, never got twisted. Very effective in descriptions, vivid, accurate in conveying emotions and fast-pacedness of the plot.
- the characters - I have to say that the best character of the whole book is Manchee and i am not joking. The talking dog is just downright hilarious and is really the hero of the whole story. Todd is my second favorite and even though i was a bit annoyed at his blushing for certain situations with Viola (I mean, with all the violence and gore of this book, he blushes because she sees him in underwear? Pleeeease) i like him 'cause he's not your typical hero, most of the time he doesn't know what he's doing and he messes up a lot. All in all, characters well rounded, even Viola.
The only thing that probably didn't completely sit well with me and is probably the reason why i took away a star is that this book is just plain PAINFUL. Really, i have never in literature encountered two characters more unlucky than Todd and Viola. Anything that can go bad during the story actually happens. Aaron is like a zombie that pops up everywhere and so is Prentiss Jr. Maybe a bit TOO much. There is such a series of unfortunate events that really give the reader close to no hope (many a times i caught myself saying out loud: WHAT?! Not AGAIN?!) and make this book a bit too much on the desperate tone. I mean, you gotta give readers a spark of hope, right, otherwise we're just going to stab ourselves and be done with it, right?
Most definitely will read second installment.
Also i'd be a bit careful in categorizing this book as YA. Very gory and violent.
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