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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first in the Chaos Walking series.  A very popular YA novel that just didn't do it for me, and I'd so looked forward to reading this series.  One turned out to be plenty for me.

The premise is great:  all thoughts are audible.  Men, in this respect, are "chaos walking."

Unfortunately, the best character is the dog.  I really liked the dog.

The rest of the novel lost momentum; although packed with little scenes of  havoc, the reappearance of the preacher and the men from Prentisstown became a bit ho hum.

Without spoilers, I can't reveal all the things that bothered me about this novel and kept me from immersing myself in the story.

Ends with a cliffhanger.

I really wanted to love this one because I've read so many positive reviews, but that's the way it goes.  The series is a beloved one, so take my curmudgeonly review with a couple of grains of salt and try it for yourself.  The book won awards. 

Fiction.  Science Fiction/YA.  2008.  479 pages.


  1. I've heard about this series, and was intrigued but haven't followed up yet. I'm glad you reviewed it and spared me a disappointment! I love the breadth of your book reviews.

  2. People tend to love this series. I liked this book and then didn't like book 2. I think it is because my favourite character got killed...

  3. Anne - Since so many people love the series, maybe you should try it before taking my opinion. :/ It didn't work for me, but that doesn't mean much!

    Kailana - Well, my favorite character was the dog! And, uh, you know what happened to the dog...

  4. I'm one of those readers who ADORE this series. I really do. Even the dog, and I usually can't stand animals as characters. I almost cried when, well, you know ...

    Too bad the series didn't work for you. Oh well, on to the next book, right?

  5. Susan - So many people are fans of this series, I was really sorry that I couldn't feel the same. But, as you say, "on to the next book"!

  6. Might you be interested in my s/f novel "Coffee and Fate" Let me know and I'll send you a copy. R. J. Erbacher

  7. Robert, you are a "no reply" commenter so I can't get in touch with you.

  8. I've still got this one on my shelf, even though I found it so annoying that I doubt I'll ever give it another go. I guess I feel bad for laying down cash and then not getting through it.

  9. Bookfool -- I'm glad mine was a library copy!

  10. I wish mine was a library copy! Unfortunately, our library is terrible and it was a book so many people gushed about that I bought my copy on a whim. And, then I hated it . . . so maybe I should just go ahead and swap it away or donate it to my yucky old library. They could use a copy.

  11. Oh, sorry to hear you didn't like this one! I loved the dog, too - that scene broke my heart.

    I think we've all encountered those books at one time or another that everyone else seems to love except us. :-)

    Even though I loved this series, I think I'm a little burnt out on YA dystopia for the time being. I had a copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth out from the library but ended up returning it unread. Maybe later this year after I've read some other stuff for awhile.

  12. Lesley - I really wanted to like it since I'd read so many positive reviews of the series, but as you say, we all are left in the cold sometimes.

    You are right about needing to take occasional breaks from certain genres or even from certain series!