The Knife of Never Letting Go Book Review

Book one of the Chaos Walking Trilogy is a must read for all fans of the young adult, science fiction dystopian genre. However, for those of you who are not, (like myself prior to reading this series), Patrick Ness has an ability that is unparalleled in terms of world building and plot creation, that you’ll find yourself craving more just like it.

The Knife of never letting go by patrick Ness book review

Set in a futuristic, yet ironically primitive dystopian world, the book follows 12 year old Todd Hewitt’s life living amongst a group of settlers on another planet. Despite it being the future, Ness has set the book as if it were an 1800’s western frontier, where technology for the colonisers has regressed to a point of horse back transportation and farming to survive. However that is where the line of realism is drawn as the planet which Todd’s people have settled on was once inhabited by alien life, known as the Spackle.

Todd’s town was the only surviving plantation after a great war between the settlers and the Spackle occurred in the early years of colonisation. Undoubtedly this was an allusion to the American-Indian wars post the colonisation of America in the 1600’s.

As a result of this war a virus was released by the Spackle, that would become known as ‘the Noise.’ It affected the men in making their inner thoughts become vocalised in the minds of others, meaning privacy in your own mind was a thing of the past. However, the contagion was so powerful that it killed every woman on the planet.

Over ten years on from the victory against the Spackle, Todd’s adventure begins when he sense a gap in ‘the Noise,’ deep within the swamp outside his town. It is here he find Viola, a girl. When Viola becomes hunted by the men in his town, Todd helps her flee, leaving the only place he knows.

It is on this journey that he discovers everything he’d learnt growing up, about the Spackle, ‘the Noise,’ and the extinction of women had been a lie. The truth makes him a target where the only hope is to travel to Haven, a supposed former settlement of the early colonisers.

Ness is able to so brilliantly capture the emotions of his protagonist while creating the imagery and the voice of the noise, throughout the novel. Through great character and world building, as well as a superior ability to merge all story lines this book receives a 8.5/10 rating.

It is a must read, though I do have to warn you, the cliff hanger at the end was enough to make me drop the book, even after reading it a second time.

Chaos Walking: The Movie

chaos walking movie
Todd and Viola, played by Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley

The novel is so well renown that it has been adapted into movie, however, unfortunately like many cinematic versions of books, it was unable to remain true to its original story and has thus been poorly received. In fact the movie prior to it’s release was deemed “unwatchable” requiring years of reshoots before it was sent to cinemas in 2020, unfortunately reshoots and the talents of Tom Holland were not enough to save what was in my opinion still and unwatchable movie.

10 September, 2021

Johnathon Nicolaou

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