“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.” Starting with this first sentence and continuing to the last paragraph, The Knife of Never Letting Go surprises and intrigues. The story follows Todd Hewitt, the last boy in Prentisstown, on a gripping journey as he flees his home in order to rescue a friend and discover the grisly truth of his hometown. Ness’ novel enlightens readers to not-so-distant ideas of prejudice and exclusion, and helps us embrace gentleness in dark times.
Why I liked it: The Knife of Never Letting Go drops you into a world in upheaval that only gets more turbulent as the pages turn. If you’re looking for a book to start on a Saturday morning and read straight until Monday night, this is it. Still, Ness’ terse, direct writing style creates a character that is as tender and lovable as he is rural, so the book isn’t just a plot-centered action hub. Truth be told, I felt moments of discomfort and fatigue as I read, as the characters continuously skip from bad situations to worse ones, so this one isn’t a light or casual read.
Also, word to the wise, make sure to get the second book in the trilogy from the library before you finish Knife of Never Letting Go, or you’ll be kept waiting in agony after turning the last page. While Knife wasn’t my favorite book this winter, it was so unique and captivating that it definitely deserves a significant shout out.
Audience: Young adult – Adult. (Some teens may enjoy it, but there are some graphic images and moments.)
Read if you liked:
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
Wool by Hugh Howie