Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go - a review

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking Trilogy #1) - Patrick Ness - 496 pages

I've written about five different openers for this post. One in which I compare Knife to Firefly. Another one in which I compare it to A Boy and His Dog. In another I'm just relieved to be reading a book with a male lead character who isn't talking about his ooey gooey feelings for a member of the opposite sex.

In all honesty, though: I'm just trying to get around to the part where I tell everyone that this book has a talking dog in it. So here we go: THIS BOOK HAS A TALKING DOG IN IT.

There. Now that that is out of the way...

Here's how it is: Earth is used up. Everyone is moving from Old World to the New World. The settlers who have founded New World are primarily religious fundamentalists.* Our main protagonists are a boy named Todd Hewitt and his talking dog Manchee (and later a little surprise that I won't mention here).

One day Young Todd is rushed out of his home by his uncles a few weeks before his 13th birthday. The rest of his all-male town chases him across New World in an effort to kill him and... wait for it... take over the world! It's up to Manchee the Talking Dog and Todd to figure out how to stop them.

But. Yep. A. Talkin. Effing. Dog. I'm not getting over this anytime soon.

The world of Knife is a bit different than our own; every person and animal can hear the thoughts of everyone else. Everyone can hear the "noise" your brain makes. For some odd reason men cannot hear the thoughts of women. This kind of makes women a target in some instances.

I'm a sucker for western type stories that take place on other planets. As mentioned before: Firefly. A million times Firefly. Ness' story telling is on the same level of a Joss Whedon episode of the show and just as good, with just as many twists and turns and revelations and ideas all thrown onto a page and executed with precision.

Right now I'm going to let my inner 13-year-old boy come out to describe how I felt while reading Knife:

"There was this one point where I was like 'Holy crap!' and then at another point I realized that the dog wasn't so bad even though I thought he was kind of annoying to begin with. I kept putting it down but picking it back up and laughing at Manchee."

This is a novel that was written with a sequel in mind; it's clear by the mid-point that the ending is going to be left wide open. It didn't bother me when it happened. Patrick Ness has created a little world that is Huck Finn meets Firefly meets the Florida swamplands. I think I want to spend a little bit more time there.

*If you haven't seen the movie Red State you really should.

29 comments:

  1. Just wait until the second novel ends practically in mid-sentence, too, and then tell me you don't want to strangle Patrick. (Ah, but you're not reading them as they come out, so maybe that's why you don't mind.)

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    1. Are there more than three? Don't tell me there's more than three! I already have the second one. I might it read next week.

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  2. OH MY GOSH DOGGONE IT YOU POSTED ABOUT MY FAVORITE I AM SO HAPPY I CAN'T HELP BUT SCREAM AAAAAHHHHHH. YOU LIKED IT, YOU REALLY LIKED IT!

    I love Todd Hewitt like nobody's business.

    There are only three. Three are all anybody can handle. Although if there were a fourth, I'd die. Pass right out right this minute. But you don't understand my LOVE for freakin Patrick Ness. I couldn't imagine reading these books as they were published. That would've been torture.

    This is my favorite of your blog posts yet. Obviously.

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    1. Thank you for recommending it to me (I think it was you).

      I am so glad that I am not reading them as they are published. I'm excited to read the next one this weekend. I might pull an all day read-a-thon.

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    2. You're welcome! I credit Lisa the Nerd with recommending them to me.

      I wonder if the kindle shows the noise like it looks in the books? Maybe a silly question...

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    3. It does. I should really start noting these things.

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    1. "Poo Todd? Poo?" Best line in the book.

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  4. Great book. Todd's voice is so distinctive. I thought Manchee was annoying at first too, but he grew on me. I was reading it at work when the unthinkable happened (yeah, THAT part) and I nearly had to go home sick. Tears were getting in people's lattes...! I moved house in the middle of reading the second book and had to return it to the library. Stinks. I need to get it back and finish it!

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    1. I'm reading Divergent and then the second Chaos Walking book, so hopefully that will get you into the spirit of reading the second one.

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  5. If you keep comparing books to my favorite TV shows, I might...have to read them all.

    And now the Firefly theme song is stuck in my head.

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    1. ... but you can't take the sky from me!

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    2. Bahaha! It's so bad. Did you know Joss Whedon wrote the lyrics? He should not try to do that again...

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  6. i liked this review but i still kind of want to read the firefly version. i have this book and there is no indication that there is a talking dog in it. that's a little crazy.

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  7. This is really one of the greatest series of all time. I'm so happy it's worked it's way into your hot little hands.

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  8. I can barely handle reading this review with all the Manchee mentions, because I was so attached to Manchee and well, you know what happened to Manchee.

    Glad you enjoyed The Knife Of Never Letting Go :-D

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