MINI-REVIEW #67: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: May 5th 2008
Pages: Hardcover, 496 pages
Format: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads:
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Review: I really wanted to like this book, I knew it was different, but I had high hopes it would be good. I did not like the central concept of the story, the Noise. Both other males and females can hear the thoughts of males, there is no privacy for males at all. It just did not seem believable so not liking that aspect made it difficult to get through the book. The noise germ plus the lack of details about this New World and the natives just left me with so many questions and plot holes.

Unfortunately, I could not appreciate the characters either. Todd and Viola were not great but not terrible; they were just kind of bland. My favorite character was killed off! That was the moment I almost quit the story; while I am okay when authors kill of characters, I was not happy about this decision. Especially since there are other characters that just seem super human, and NEVER die. The ending was also mediocre; there was some resolve and explanation but also a huge cliff hanger.

Audio Book: The narration was not bad actually. I think if I was not listening to the audio book I might have just given up on the book entirely. I cannot imagine reading the story, especially when you hear the ‘noise’ of other men. The narration made it easy to differentiate between noise and actually spoken word. I would give the audio 3 stars.

Overall, I was disappointed in The Knife of Never Letting Go and would have to give it 2 stars. I could not relate to the characters, thought the story lacked clarity, the main character was not great, and ultimately, I did not like the premise/world the story is built around.



  1. Only two stars? Too bad you didn't like it!
    I agree it isn't the best book ever, I mean, Todd was pretty shallow, like a typical boy. But I still liked it. I loved the plot and the world it was set in...
    I really hope you'll enjoy your next read much better!!
    New follower (:

    I'd love it if you check out my blog and follow back. Thanks ^^
    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

    1. I think if I liked the world better I would have definitely enjoyed the story more. It was just one of those books that was not for me, but I could see others enjoying.

  2. It's nice to get a different opinion on this book for a change. :) All I see are positive reviews, though now I feel less guilty about not having picked it up yet. Sorry to hear that it disappointed you, though. I hope your next read is more promising!

  3. I have had this book on my TBR pile for some time, but I have yet to get around to reading it. I think I'll wait a little longer after reading your review, I feel like I would have the same problems with the story as you did, and I'm not looking for an overly hard to follow read right now. I have too many other books I want to read. Thanks for the review!

    Kay @ It's a Book Life

    1. Yeaa, I would not recommend if you are not in the mood for a very different read :)

  4. I loved this whole series, but I can't imagine hearing it on audio! In the books, the Noise was written in big, blocky font that clearly separated the two dialogues happening - how did they do it with the audiobook?

    1. The narrator change his tone of voice a bit, it was quite interesting.

  5. The concept sounds a bit.. different and strange. I'm sorry to hear it didn't work for you though!



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