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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Monday, 27 December 2010

"The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

"Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking." (Chapter 4)

"A knife ain't just a thing, is it? It's a choice, it's something you do." (Chapter 8)

"Too much informayshun can drive a man mad. Too much informayshun just becomes Noise." (Chapter 36)

Wow! What a book. Read at a gallop.

Prentisstown is a settlement in a New World, a world in which all men can hear each other's thoughts and all women can hear the thoughts of every man (but female thoughts are hidden). A world where all these thoughts have turned into a never-ending Noise. A world in which animals can talk (though the stupider ones have most limited vocabularies; the sheep just say 'Sheep').

Todd Hewitt, the last boy in Prentisstown is told to run from the town a month before he becomes a man. He runs with the first girl he has ever met, because all the females in Prentisstown are dead, killed by a germ from the Spackles. They flee mad preacher Aaron, Mayor Prentiss and his army and his sadistic son Davy.

This 'children's' book is all about loss. Todd has already lost mother and father, Ben and Cillian who bring him up soon disappear, and it seems that everyone Todd meets will die. He loses his innocence too.

It moves at an incredible pace (as Todd and Viola run towards the town of New Haven, where there is Hope). You can never relax because if you do you will be caught by Aaron, or Davy, or the army of Mayor Prentiss. Everyone is suspect and your Noise always give you away. The prose is sparse, and tight, and key words are repeated with surprise, and Todd is a brilliant hero because he is a boy who feels things but has certain handicaps (he can't read so the map he has is almost useless; although Viola can read he is ashamed to let her and by the time he does she hasn't the time to read much so all the dreadful, secrets of the New World are let out little by little).

A wonderful book which ends on a complete cliff hanger so I just have to read the next one NOW...

December 2010; 479 pages

Thee trilogy continues with:

There is now a feature film based on the trilogy called Chaos Walking


This review was written by

the author of Motherdarling 

and The Kids of God


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