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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)

The Knife of Never Letting Go  - Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go is set on a faraway planet where the invaders have been dealt the horrible hand of a disease which kills half the population and gives everyone else a form of telepathy (referred to as 'the Noise') that cannot be switched off. Ever. Also, all the animals can talk. But living in the settlement of Prentisstown isn't all fun and games for young Todd Hewitt. One month away from his thirteenth birthday, he goes into the swamps surrounding the town, where he meets a girl named Viola, who has become separated from her parents. However, around Viola, everything is silent. When Todd and Viola are attacked, they have to go on the run from an enormous army, gathered from Prentisstown right under Todd's nose... and who fervently want him as their newest recruit.Let's just get this out of the way first: Todd is a fantastic narrator. I don't know what it is about his style of writing (which is basically the way your stereotypical country hick talks), but it really drew me in and grabbed my imagination. (Maybe my own bringing up in the English countryside may have something to do with that...)Plus, this novel was a pure thrill to read from start to finish. The army chasing after Todd and Viola are genuinely menacing, massacring populations and claiming to be bringing forth their own righteous brand of order to this planet. When the army, or indeed Aaron (who must have been part Terminator, going by the fact he survives a crocodile attack, has his nose ripped off and suffers other major injuries before finally kicking the bucket), caught up to the two kids, I felt genuinely scared for them and feverishly continued reading.One scene really blew my mind left of centre, though. Skip this paragraph if you haven't read the book yet. Basically, Todd has learned about why the army want him so badly, and precisely how one becomes a man in Prentisstown: taking another person's life. With another piece of information about his mother revealed a bit earlier, Todd's resolve is completely shaken. Viola tries to reason with him, but when they come across one of the native aliens, minding its own business and staying far away from the human population, he storms over and kills it. Viola, of course, derides him for it, as the alien was naturally terrified and was trying to save itself before Todd plunged his knife into its body. This has some horrible psychological consequences for Todd, especially coming up to the final battle. I felt sorry not only for the alien he killed, but Todd himself. It was an absolutely wonderful piece of writing, and it showed me just why these books are so popular and well-reviewed here on GoodReads.The final battle was also incredibly climactic and the cliffhanger at the end was superbly executed. I remember finishing the book and being in a complete daze for the next hour, filled with zeal for this book, and vowing to get the next two in the trilogy out from the library as soon as I could. 5/5.(This review is also available on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/the-knife-of-never-letting-go-chaos.html)