Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go Book Cover:

The Knife of Never Letting Go, the title of which I can never remember whilst telling people because, to me, it makes no sense, is an amazing book. The best book I’ve read in a long while.

I got a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday this June just gone and I’ve been reading on it but not as much as I usually read. At first I thought I just wasn’t finding the time to read and that I should make more time. But as it turns out, I had the time, I just didn’t have the right book.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the right book.

I won’t spoil the story for you as I went into this book knowing basically nothing and I think I enjoyed it more because of that because the main character, Todd, goes on his journey (as protagonists do) and he starts to learn things, and uncover things about himself and the world around him…and not knowing anything about the book made me connect with and feel like I was learning with Todd.

But the basic premise is this: Twenty-odd years before the start of the story a group of humans traveled from a place called “Old World” and settled on “New World”. Old World is presumably the authors take on our Earth’s future. Overcrowding, resources depleting etc. So certain people up and left and traveled the stars for generations eventually landing on Old World. Due to a series of events which I won’t spoil all the men that settled on New World ended up with something called the “Noise”. Which is basically telepathy. Everyone can see and hear each others thoughts. The story starts with Todd, a twelve year old boy journeying out into the swamp and finding something there that sets the events of the book into motion.

The narrative of the book is first person through Todd’s eyes but it is almost as if it’s a journal. With Todd breaking the fourth wall at times with things in brackets. For example if he mentions something embarrassing like crying it then says “shut up” in brackets as if telling the reader to not judge him. This really draws you in and makes you feel like you’re reading the story of a real person, or almost as if Todd is having a conversation with you.

Most of the people on New World speak with a Forrest Gump-esque accent too, and I found myself reading it in an accent as opposed to my own inner voice. Words with “tion” at the end (conversation, petrol station etc) are spelt conversayshun and petrol stayshun for example. It’s these little things, quirks of the character that really create a vibrant and well realised world.

There was some set backs with the story though, even though I was hooked. My main gripe was there seemed to be a lot of Deus Ex Machina. Random people turning up to save the day etc. Also a lot of the story is Todd traveling and I got the feeling some of this could have been cut down. I felt my mind wandering at parts where it had been quite some time between things happened with just more description than was necessary. This could just be down to personal preference though mainly, it’s the only thing with reviews: They’re subjective.

I bought the second book as soon as I finished the first and I am plowing through the second one now. There are three books in total creating the Chaos Walking Trilogy and I am so very excited to see where the story goes.

The last set of books that did this for me were Mira Grant’s “Newsflesh Trilogy” which is a series I would highly recommend also. It’s about zombies, but not the overdone “breakout” zombie story, this focuses on AFTER the breakout, years in the future.

You can purchase The Knife of Never Letting Go on Amazon here:


5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

  1. Just read this on your recommendation and can’t wait to get the second book. If you’ve never read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham I suggest you might like that also xx

    1. Awesome! This post didn’t get many comments or likes so wasn’t sure if anyone who read my blog cared about book reviews haha. I’m on the third one now, they’re fantastic 😀 Glad you liked it! I downloaded the second and third instantly after finishing the first on my Kindle haha. And I’ll check that out after I’ve finished this series (: I’ll add it to my wishlist on my Kindle haha thanks x

  2. Reading is one of those handy things you can do around caring for someone as ill as my partner is because you can pick it up and put it down at a moments notice unlike knitting (this is why I crochet and don’t knit) I enjoy reading book reviews because I don’t have vast amounts to spend on myself at the moment so its doubly important to make the right choice when purchasing books (don’t have a kindle either just do the paper ones) I find them helpful in choosing something that I will enjoy but also other members of family or friends may also like as we tend to pass them around. This one has already been passed on! Great story and it would make a fab film too.

    1. Not sure if I mentioned it in the review but they’re making it a film, the rights have been bought either way haha. But yeah it would make a very good book – film, imagine it being done in a sort of hunger games esque fashion haha.

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