Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go
(Chaos Walking #1)

by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting GoLet me start by saying that I’m glad Alycia posted about this book and recommended it, because I probably wouldn’t have found it otherwise. It’s the story of Todd, the last young boy in Prentisstown, a town full of men on a world colonized sometime in the future. There are no women or girls, which is the central mystery of the book. And to top it all off, Todd and all of the men can hear the thoughts of every living creature, including each other, in a constant barrage of mental noise. And that is the other part of the mystery, since this was not always the case.

And this book is good. It’s an interesting world and premise, the characters have dimension, the accent/voice it’s written in feels real and is full of personality, and the writing itself is good. Top marks across the board. All that said, however, I’m not entirely sure I liked it. I know conflict is a necessary part of carrying any story forward, but this was one of those books where the author just keeps slamming his protagonist with crap-shoot after crap-shoot and never gives them a break. It’s exhausting to read! That won’t keep me from reading the next one to find out what happens, or from recommending it, but just be aware of the adrenaline-and-negative-emotion-full ride you’re in for. 😉

I give it 4/5 stars.


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The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)


  1. I read this, too, and I agree: it was a harrowing reading experience. I decided to get some space from it before moving onto the next book, and months later I still haven’t started! I felt the same way about The Maze Runner — have you read that? — the main character had to endure SO much abuse and it started to really bum me out :-\

    1. Yeah, I’m definitely going to take a break with some other books before moving on to the sequel.

      I have not read The Maze Runner – is it good aside from the character abuse? 🙂