Todd is the last boy in a city of men after all of the women died of a horrible disease that left the men with the ability to hear each other’s thoughts and the thoughts of animals. Then one day while Todd is picking apples with his faithful but dumb dog Manchee, he hears something odd: silence.
I listened to the audiobook of this and it was one of the first audiobooks I have ever listened to. It officially ruined me for all other audiobooks because it was FANTASTIC. Nick Poedehl, the voice actor, is absolutely amazing. You can recognize multiple characters based purely on the voice he uses. I especially love his voice for Manchee and the other animals. Thinking about it, I can actually still hear sections of the book in my head because his performance was so memorable. You must listen to this book. The parts with the “noise” would not be nearly as good if it was being read.
As for the story itself, it was quite drawn out. After one completely traumatic moment I didn’t listen to the book for several days and then when I did I found I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t see the point in continuing to listen. There are also some seriously graphic and scarring moments. I feel ill when I think about them. It makes The Hunger Games seem tame in comparison. Even though the protagonists are younger (around 13-14), I would not suggest it for younger readers simply because of the amount of graphic violence.
The characterisation was really well done. Ness created some really memorable characters with their own motivations and experiences. He really made me feel attached to the “good” characters, which of course allowed him to shatter my heart on a couple of occasions.
Finally, the cliff hanger was well done, but again by the time the end came I had basically lost interest. I’ll continue the series because I don’t like not knowing the end of something, but I’m hoping that the next two books will be a little more streamlined and a little less of whatever made me lose interest.
Books with similar aspects
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
recommended to those who like unusual voices (not like actual voices, but like the dialect of the narrator) and are okay with a mixture of monologues and extreme action
not recommended to those that can’t handle descriptions of violence and murder of people and/or animals