[review] The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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

About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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12 Responses to [review] The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

  1. I think you should DEFINITELY continue. The Ask and The Answer was my favorite of the series as it starts posing some big life questions and puts the characters in crazy difficult situations.

    I hope you fall in LURVE with this series! It is so very close to my heart. <3

  2. I recently listened to this on audiobook, and it truly is one of the best I’ve ever listened to. I’ve listened to Nick Poedehl on one in that past, too, and he’s got to be one of the best audiobook actors. I’m on the third book now, and it’s SO GOOD. Such a great series!

  3. Oh man, I keep hearing amazing, life-changing things about this book, but I think that one of my automatic dislikes happens somewhere near the end, and it’s making me WARY. I don’t think my heart could handle it. Especially since you wouldn’t recommend it to people who can’t handle violence against animals. Maybe I’ll work up the stones to read it one day. EEK! Aside from that one thing, it sounds REALLY good and thought-provoking.

    • megtao says:

      Yeah, I felt ill and had a hard time continuing after the moment I think you’re referencing to. I got through it, but I’m still scarred, so it’s really a personal choice.

  4. I can totally relate to having passages stuck in your head after hearing Nick Poedhl read them. I still get parts from The Name Of The Wind stuck in my head.

    Sigh. Every time someone new falls in love with The Knife of Never Letting Go, I feel like an angel gets it’s wings or something. Love this book so much even though I’m STILL sad over it, 2 years later haha.

  5. Heidi says:

    I’ve seen this recommended as an audiobook on lists here and there, but this is the first review for the audio that I’ve heard. Glad to hear it was well done! This is one of those series I know I need to read, and I want to, but I just haven’t yet. I think I may certainly go the audio route though since you and April have both mentioned Nick Poedhl as an awesome narrator.

  6. I recently won a three-month membership to Audible, so I’ve been looking around for ideas of which audiobook(s) to download. I think you just convinced me that this one MUST be one of my picks! Lol.

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