“Here’s what I think,” I say and my voice is stronger and thoughts are coming, thoughts that trickle into my noise like whispers of truth. “I think maybe everybody falls,” I say. “I think maybe we all do. And I don’t think that’s the asking.”
I pull on her arms gently to make sure she’s listening.
“I think the asking is whether we get back up again.”
― Patrick Ness,
The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
Synopsis: Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
– Taken from Goodreads
This book has been sitting on my shelf for about a year and a half now. I have put off reading it in favor of other books. I completely regret that decision now. I have heard a ton of good things about this book. However, they never really moved me to pick it up. That was a mistake.
Something that really impressed me with this novel was how quick of a read it was. Typically sci-fi can take a bit longer to get through for me. The stories are generally full of breakdowns of how the world and the science works. This book did not get bogged down with that. Looking at this world through a 13/14 year old’s eyes took some of that pressure away. I was happy with the explanation of the “Noise” and how the world came to be. No, I didn’t get all the answers. However, I anticipate the next 2 books to really delve into that.
In this novel we are met with a kind of nonvoluntary telepathy. The characters refer to it as “Noise.” Every man, boy, and living thing (except women) produces this “noise” and their thoughts are able to be heard by others. This component of the novel added another layer of suspense and danger. Now, the characters couldn’t merely hide themselves. They would have to find a way to cover this “noise” as well.
The telepathy component also enabled an animal character to take on a sidekick and critical role in this book. Manchee is Todd’s pet and I absolutely adore him. He is still a dog. His thoughts revolve around using the bathroom and chasing squirrels. But, it also enables us to see how much he truly loves Todd. Manchee really made this book what it was for me.
Altogether this book was a great start to a series. I’m ready to continue with this series and ride out this emotional rollercoaster. If you are a fan of sci-fi you should pick this book up. You will not be disappointed.
Do you have any other sci-fi novels I should check out? Let me know below!