Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown, living in a world where you can hear everyone's thoughts. One day, he comes upon an area of complete silence, something that should be impossible. Soon after this event, Todd forced to flee Prentisstown, running from something that he doesn't even understand.
Wow, wow, wow. You know, I'm generally not the action/adventure/science fiction type, but you can forget I ever said that. In fact, erase it from your memory. The Knife of Never Letting Go was so wild, so imaginative, so shocking, that I can't understand why I've ignored it for this long.
The first thing I noticed when I started reading was Ness' odd use of language and spelling. He frequently uses words such as "yer" instead of "your", and spells words like "explanation" as "explanayshun". I was a bit put off at first, but that's simply because I've never read anything like it before. It quickly became a part of the book and emphasized the fact that Todd is living on New World, a whole different culture of sorts. Ness' writing was effective, emotional, and at times even funny. I fell in love with the characters and the world he created almost instantly. Todd's dog, Manchee, was such a good addition to the book! And what a personality he had. (Ow, Todd?)
Not only does The Knife of Never Letting Go have an array of unforgettable characters, but the book is also such a page turner that it's on the brink of being painful to put down. Pretty much every chapter is left making you crave more, and there are twists and surprises everywhere you look. You'd think that a book like this would be totally plot-driven, but you'd be wrong. Every single element of this book works, and together creates a masterpiece that everyone should consider reading. Don't follow my example and wait to read this book - treat yourself to it right now.
I don't want to get too analytical, but there are countless messages and meanings you can take away from this book. Trusting yourself, the desire for power, the importance of privacy, are all touched upon and make this book so much more than simply an exciting and addictive story. It has substance, which was unexpected but very, very welcome.
Recommendation: YA readers sould get this book for sure, but even if this isn't your normal genre (like me!) don't ignore it. You'd only be punishing yourself.