The Knife of Never Letting Go. Finished 4-3-20, rating 4.75/5, dystopia YA, 512 pages, pub. 2008
Chaos Walking Trilogy, book 1
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. fromGoodreads
When I started reading this one I hated it. I disliked Todd and I didn’t understand why some of it was written phonetically. By the end I still had the phonetic question, but Todd turned into a character that I loved. Todd is being raised by two dads in Prentisstown, a town in the New World made up only of men, when he is forced to flee for reasons he doesn’t understand. He is the last boy in town. As he escapes he finds what he thinks is a girl, but doesn’t understand how this can be since all of the women were killed by the Spackle in the war. And he is accompanied by his faithful dog Manchee whose thoughts you can also hear.
The unlikely threesome run for their lives and the chase takes them to new towns with facts long hidden from Todd and astonishing to the girl, Viola. The men and women they encounter change their view of the world and shed light on the inclinations of people that is truly alive and well today. Manchee, my favorite character, is all things a good dog is, loyal, clever, and loving.
This may not sound like it’s in your wheelhouse and I get that. I remember reading all of the rave reviews when this came out 12 years ago, but didn’t think it sounded like something I’d be interested in. I was wrong. I got sucked in and the book kept it’s hooks in me the entire time. The book is over 500 pages long and as I finished I still wanted to keep reading and immediately order the next book. I’m still waiting for it to arrive. Not that I’m impatient or anything.
I know a few of you have read this already and loved it, but if you haven’t I suggest you give it a try. Please give it at least 50 pages before making up your mind. You’re welcome.