Okay, so technically the challenge book I read was in December. However, since it was the first book of a trilogy, I read the other two into January, hence the late post!
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (new read)
Where to begin? This is another book and author I’d never heard of before this challenge. However, you may recognize the author from my review of A Monster Calls. That should get you excited.
This book is part of the “Chaos Walking” trilogy, which is technically science fiction, but it reads like a dystopian novel. A group of settlers have moved to another planet and set up a handful of new communities. In this world, everyone can hear each others’ thoughts, including animals. They call it “noise.” As you can imagine, being completely unfiltered causes lots of problems! Todd is our protagonist and he tells the story in this first volume as he flees from his settlement to escape upcoming turmoil.
Although the first few chapters were a little slow for me, it quickly picked up and I frequently stayed up too late so I could find out what would happen next! Ness is a master at suspense and keeping the reader guessing. He knows when to keep your heart racing, and when to give you a rest.
Besides the uniqueness of the story itself, so many different themes are addressed in this book (and the others) in an organic and intelligent way. There are many opportunities to see characters in one light, and then question what you’re thinking.
I’m not really sure why only the first book was included on the list, as I couldn’t imagine anyone being able to stop after finishing it! Even though this is technically sci-fi, it has such a broad appeal for anyone, in my opinion. I hesitate to say this, but if you’re on the fence, they are making these into movies, so you could get a sneak preview if you wish.
**The other two books are called The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men. I think the quality is just as strong in those as the first. My mind did have to work a little harder as it went on though, as the second book increases to two narrators, and the third to three!
VERDICT: This is a pick that I wholeheartedly agree with. I do wish they had recognized the entire trilogy, but, oh well. If you decide to read them, make sure you have lots of time on your hands: the first book comes in at over 400 pages and by the third one, it’s over 600! Each book also has a short story at the end that you gives you some more insight, which I really enjoyed. Highly recommend!