Nominally this is a book for teenagers but it has such panache and a truly riveting plot that - you know what? Forget how old you are and just read it. It weighs in at 479 pages but it races on by to fiendishly excellent effect. We are on a planet - not earth (there are two moons), in a farming community where Todd, a young man approaching his majority (thirteen is the magic age of manhood and Todd is rapidly approaching his initiation), suddenly becomes aware of a creature he has never come across before. There is, instead of the Noise, which emanates from everyone (thoughts, images, their most secret imaginings), nothing, silence.
This is a hostile world for Todd and his dog Manchee. His parents are dead and he lives with Cillian and Ben, brothers who took him in as a child. The swamp-lands are close by and aside from the crocs and other creatures (including an alien race) there is a preacher, Aaron who seems to have a particular hatred for Todd. Then one day Ben tells him he must leave and the journey he must undertake is one that only he can travel.
The book has some wonderful textual tricks throughout and the story is thrilling, edgy, and ultimately devastating. I have already ordered the sequel, The Ask and the Answer, and I would recommend this book to any age group, that enjoys a quest-type story and a remorselessly engaging plot.