Books

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

the knife of never letting goTitle: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction / Dystopian Fiction
Date: 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 479
Started: 25th June 2016
Abandoned: 1st July 2016
Percentage read: 73%
Summary: Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee – whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not – stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden – a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

Warning: This review contains spoilers!


Okay, so I’ve never done a DNF review before. I’ve only ever put two books onto my DNF/abandoned shelf on Goodreads, one of which I only read 6 pages of. However, since I read most of this book before abandoning it I thought that I should review it and give my reasons for abandoning it.

I’ll start off by talking about the things that I did like about this book.

The concept was excellent. I really enjoyed the idea of the plot and the isolated town of Prentisstown. I thought that the Noise was very clever because Todd couldn’t escape his own thoughts but he couldn’t escape everyone else’s too. Patrick Ness created a very interesting and unique plot that I really enjoyed.

I liked most of the characters. Todd was an odd character and I didn’t really connect with him despite this novel being written in first person. I didn’t mind this lack of connection though because I think it’d be very difficult to understand what Todd is going through in this book so I enjoyed the detachment I had from the character. I liked Viola because she represented normal people. Well, normal people of the future where they can heal wounds in a matter of minutes. The men of Prentisstown were also very interpreting characters as they’d obviously been driven mad by their Noise and they react in various violent ways against Todd and Viola. Manchee, Todd’s talking dog, was my favourite character.

Finally, I loved the physical appearance of this book. The pages of Noise really illustrated what it must be like to hear everyone else’s thoughts and I think that this was a clever move because without this physical representation a reader would probably never understand the amount of Noise that the characters have to deal with.


I abandoned this novel for one reason: the excessive amounts of animal abuse. Manchee was a talking dog and the word he most frequently said was ‘ow’. I wasn’t impressed by this at all. He was abused by everyone, except perhaps Viola, and when he died I threw the book across the room before placing it on my shelf, never to be opened again.

I knew that the scene of Manchee’s death was coming after he had been horrendously abused by Todd, despite saving Todd’s life, and having his tail cut off. I just couldn’t deal with it and as soon as he died I abandoned this book. Some people think that this death was necessary, I disagree, but even if it was necessary for Todd’s character development or whatever I just couldn’t read anymore.


Will I ever finish this book? I don’t know. I can’t imagine myself picking this book up anytime soon. I don’t really care about how it ends even though I initially enjoyed it. I probably should finish it, along with the other two books in the series, but that death just put me off completely.

Patrick Ness is a fantastic writer and I won’t hesitate to read his other books. I just don’t like The Knife of Never Letting Go. 

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