Friday, 29 July 2016

The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Published by Walker Books in May 2008. Bolinda audio edition, narrated by Humphrey Bower, published in February 2011.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Purchased the audiobook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded the audio version of The Knife Of Never Letting Go from Audible when it was included in one of their two-for-one sales. Humphrey Bower's narration is perfect for the story and I think I enjoyed it far more as spoken word than I would have done in print. Todd, our young hero, speaks in a way that reflects his almost complete lack of education and continuously reading this would have become irritating, but as audio it worked.

I loved Patrick Ness' creation of New World. I could easily picture and believe in this newly settled planet and its native inhabitants. Noise is an interesting concept too and I liked how this aspect of life was explored. The huge stalking bird is fun and the whole set-up of talking animals is well thought through with their interactions reflecting ordinary human observations of their behaviour. Manchee, Todd's dog, was absolutely the star of the book for me!

Other than our main protagonists, Todd and Viola, who do blossom through the novel, the characters are pretty flat, either Good or Evil, and without any great depth. The unfolding horror of the Prentisstown story is nicely paced, but I did find Todd and Viola's repeated hairs-breadth escapes wearying after a while. Aaron's Terminator-like refusal to die is quite funny, but probably not intentionally so! There is a lot of repetition which gets dull, especially of Todd's woe-is-me litany and asking whether murdering someone is necessary to make a boy a man.

As a basic story, I would only have awarded three stars. There's a good unexpected twist at the end, although this does leave us with a cliffhanger, but the main story arc definitely ends so this isn't as irritating as with other series. However, the lift of the audio narration meant The Knife Of Never Letting Go did hold my interest throughout its twelve hours so I have given a four star rating. I am not sure I will return for the next two instalments though.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Patrick Ness / Fantasy / Books from America

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