Customer Reviews


242 Reviews
5 star:
 (176)
4 star:
 (45)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A awesome debut!
Todd Hewitt is twelve, the last boy in Prentisstown, a town of only men. He lives in a world full of "noise" in which the private thoughts of every man and animal are audible. In one month he will be thirteen and a man. But the town is keeping secrets from him, secrets that will force him to go on the run from the mayor and the men of Prentisstown along with his dog and...
Published on 21 Aug 2009 by www.kidscompass.co.uk

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cultural reference, reflecting teenage angst in a deeply cynical modern world
Spurred to read this book by the news that it had won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, I was surprised to find myself immersed in a novel that sapped me of any fraction of hope I had for life on the parallel universe which the author refers to simply as "New World".

The story is told by teenager Todd Hewitt whose quest to escape the consequences and...
Published on 7 Jan 2009 by Dominique White


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A awesome debut!, 21 Aug 2009
Todd Hewitt is twelve, the last boy in Prentisstown, a town of only men. He lives in a world full of "noise" in which the private thoughts of every man and animal are audible. In one month he will be thirteen and a man. But the town is keeping secrets from him, secrets that will force him to go on the run from the mayor and the men of Prentisstown along with his dog and the first girl he has ever met.

This is quite frankly an astounding novel, quite deserving of the awards Ness has won. It is furiously paced with terrifying, exhilarating and heartbreaking moments, with fantastic cliff-hangers interspersed with philosophical pauses. It is one of those gems that are sometimes found in children's literature; a genuinely original novel that is also well written, grabs hold of the imagination and will not allow you to put it down. You will find yourself growing more and more attached to Todd and Viola as the story and their friendship progresses, and feel genuine affection for Todd's dog and sidekick, Manchee, whose behaviour is both hilarious and heart-warming. At its core it is a story about a boy forced to grow up fast in a world crumbling into madness and armed only with his conviction to do right to help him take on the desperate fight to survive.

The book is aimed at young teenagers, and we would recommend it for readers aged 13 and upwards, but it will also appeal very strongly to adults. I can not rate this highly enough. If the well thought out plot line, characters that lift from the page and the genuinely original idea at the core of the book wasn't enough, Ness's dialogue and style of writing would be enough to recommend this book. If you want to read a truly great piece of children's fiction then this is the one for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, 24 May 2012
the knife of never letting go was brillaint! one of the best books ever. im 13 and i have read all the books in this series and could not put any of them down!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly beautiful, 7 Sep 2011
It's often irritating to jump into a dystopian story and not be told why the apocalyptic event happened, almost as if the novelist doesn't know or cares little, so it's heartening to read an author who is unafraid of revealing how his particular apocalypse happened, and I was thrilled to see that Ness is one such writer. But that's not why I continued reading. I had put off perusing this trilogy for fear of being disappointed, as often happens when I contemplate reading popular novels. Once I started though, I read them one after the other.

The concept of the work is well known; Ness has created a world where thoughts are heard, but only those of men. But it's really within the scope of the story where his gifts are fully given. The exposition feels like a long and twisted vine, so pleasurable to read for a stretch, and then suddenly shocking, leading you away and astray and inward into the mind of a young adult. I won't reveal the shocks or surprises here, but I can say that nothing is quite what it seems. The first descriptions of the small village of Prentistown are utterly claustrophobic. I was physically relieved to see Todd test the boundaries. I can only imagine that Ness has recalled his own teen years, because in his exploring the thoughts and feelings of his hero, he may have dug deeply into his own memories, either real or wished for - that, or he talks in depth to children about all and everything. It's startling, and unnerving, to see how much understanding Ness has for his characters. And for children, most especially. The adults, in the main, don't fare so well, but why should they? I could go deep and philosophical here, and say how these novels are a commentary on to what extent the poor decisions made by adults affect, forever, the life of the world to come.... but I won't. This is a wonderful trilogy for your dreamy, aspirational teen. The kind of child who knows that one day, they'll grow up and change the world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "My dad used to say, There's only forward, Vi, only outward and up.", 11 Dec 2010
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Punch in the Throat, 23 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you're a reader: prepare to have your heartstrings torn apart. This is a fast-paced story, with a vivid dystopian world, plenty of action and dangling plot reveals galore to keep you reading even when you want to give Todd a good kick in the shins.

If you're a writer: prepare to have your heartstrings torn apart, and your writer-brain given a good education. Want to know how to make a difficult-to-like (ignorant, bull-headed prejudiced, angry) character loveable? Want to know how to write a convincing male character, from teenage mood swings to some words being misspelled cuz he ain't had much of an educayshun? Want to know how to reveal information slowly without frustrating your readers? Step right up and get reading.

There are so many secrets in this story that you want to find out the answer to. You know the secrets are there because Todd is constantly doubting and second-guessing his info and other characters are fighting not to spill the beans.

So Ness keeps feeding you important information, big shocking reveals, while putting obstacles in the way to stop you finding out the whole picture all at once. For instance: in a world where everyone can hear your thoughts, knowing too much is a liability so a lot of info is kept from Todd so that it can't be overheard. And a lot of the important info is in a book Todd carries everywhere, but he's illiterate and too proud and defensive to admit he can't read it.

Patrick has an impressively strong grasp of how to withhold information without it feeling forced or unrealistic, and how to 'drip-feed' important information to the readers without overwhelming them.

Either way: This is an interesting and dark dystopian that breaks out of the genre box and takes a lot of risks. While these risks (the misspelled narration, the constant dangling of plot info in front of your face) might lose it a few fans, it'll earn Patrick Ness many, many more.

I'll definitely be picking up the sequel, though after the emotional throat-punch that was this book I might have to take a break in-between.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - interesting ideas., 15 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Knife of Never Letting Go: bk. 1 (Chaos Walking) (Hardcover)
I read this trilogy after reading The Hunger Games trilogy. I wasn't sure that I liked it at first as it is written in dialect of the the locals, but it is very slight, and after a while you don't notice the strange spellings of a few words. The story is really well written and has you on the edge of your seat. It has a good pace and suspense, I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I really felt for Todd and love Manchee his dog!
It is great that there is such good teenage fiction - and even if I am 42 I really recommend these stories.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the category it's listed under - Fabulous, 9 Feb 2011
By 
Samantha L. Smith (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I occasionally read Childrens books (I'm 40 years old) to keep abreast with what's current and because I have three children. Please don't be put off reading this book because it comes under youth fiction. This is by far one of the best reads I've had so far this year (yes, ok it's only Feb but I read LOTS!) The story will stay with you long after you've finished it. Give it a go you won't be disappointed. Excellent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and entertaining, 30 Dec 2011
I loved this book. The narrator has such a distinctive voice I really enjoyed reading. It's the first of a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger, so make sure you have the next one lined up ready before you get to the end to avoid going crazy! It's a YA book, but I didn't know that when I started reading it and never once thought of it that way. I'm a lot older than the YA demographic and don't read much YA. But this is such a great combination of story, character and prose that it transcends such genre boundaries. With many books I read I don't recall much about them later on, but this book and the rest of the trilogy have stuck with me. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of never letting go.........., 15 May 2011
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. In Prentisstown everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts; it is called 'noise'. All men and animals on new world have noise. The thoughts never stop. Just one month away from the birthday that will make Todd a man. He is sent to the swamp; whilst he is there he stumbles on a spot of complete silence. It is there where the real story starts. He is sent away from Prentisstown, he doesn't know why. Less than half way there he finds a girl, (the first girl he's ever seen). The girl has no noise, the girl is the silence. With only his Mothers diary, and a small supply of food he has to travel right around New world. Running away from their worst enemy. Mayor Prentiss and his growing army.

I recommend this book to people 11 and over. It is a pacing and heartbreaking story. On their journey they fight a crazy preacher, Aaron. He lives though crocodiles, stabbing, drowning and much more. This book is followed by the ask and the answer. Then monsters of men. It was the book of never letting go.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last: an original plot, wonderfully executed, 7 Aug 2009
By 
N. A. Walters "Miss_M" (Middlesex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was given this title as a present for my 34th birthday, and was doubtful that my interest could be engaged by a book categorised as 'teenage fiction'. My misgivings were not helped by the fact that I've been left feeling rather unsatisfied by much of the fiction written for adults that I've come across lately, which I've found to be largely formulaic or, even worse, forced. However, I decided to give 'The Knife...' a go as the person who gave it to me is a pretty trustworthy source. Thankfully, I found myself immediately engaged by the story's unique premise (ably explained by plenty of previous reviewers) and its creative and skilful delivery by the author.

Ness seamlessly combines a flavour of the Wild West with a dose of Sci-Fi and interweaves this with philosophical undertones to produce a convincing and finely-crafted tale. The main characters, Todd and Viola, are in turns perplexing, intriguing, amusing and exasperating - a testament to Ness's skill for character development. One of my favourite elements of the story is the poignant portrayal of the relationship between Todd and his trusty dog, Manchee. The growing bond between the cynical, care-worn boy and his irrepressible, carefree dog is wonderfully captured in their subtle but memorable exchanges:-

'" Good poo, Todd".

"I'm sure it was, Manchee".

..."Poo," Manchee says quietly.'

Being the first of a series, 'The Knife...' ends on a cliff-hanger that is surprising, frustrating and utterly perfect. For me, the ending adds an extra, deliciously harrowing dimension to the main characters' experiences in the preceding story.

I will add one small note of caution here: the book is pitched at those of 12 and over, but contains some grisly (though not gratuitous) violence that, in my opinion, isn't really suitable for some younger readers. I certainly won't be giving this to my 12-year-old. However, adults and older teens should hopefully find this story riveting and an utterly satisfying read. I'm glad I gave it a chance - who'd have thought this 34-year-old's love of fiction could be reignited by a book written for the over-12s? I certainly won't be waiting until my 35th birthday to read the sequel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Knife of Never Letting Go: bk. 1 (Chaos Walking)
The Knife of Never Letting Go: bk. 1 (Chaos Walking) by Patrick Ness BA in English Literature (1st class) University of Southern California (Hardcover - 5 May 2008)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews