The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There's a big, growing genre in YA right now: dystopian science fiction. Basically, it's bleak sci-fi set in a world that's often post-apocalyptic. Worlds that are ruled by totalitarian regimes, have strict laws about what can and can't be done. That sort of stuff. You might recognize other books in this vein: The Hunger Games, The Giver, Uglies, The City of Ember, Feed--I could rattle off quite a few from the top of my head. Books that share the same basic concept, and then focus on how characters deal with living in that situation. I enjoy them all.
Add another great one to the list.
The Knife of Never Letting Go has a fascinating premise: a group of people colonize a planet, but soon after colonizing it, they start to be able to hear what other people are thinking. Not some of the time, either. A constant barrage of thoughts from everyone. They call it Noise. What's worse, the women of the colony all died from an apparent alien disease. The protagonist of the story is Todd Hewitt, the youngest boy of the colony. The only boy, at this point. With no women, there have been no more children, so one by one, the boys have grown up and become men. In a month, Todd will become a man himself, going through with the initiation rites his people have developed.
I don't want to get into too many details, because I don't want to spoil things for you, but the book was utterly fantastic. Todd is thrown into some very difficult situations, but he deals with them all in a realistic manner. There are no convenient plot points--no miraculous saves by the author. Patrick Ness (the author) puts Todd into a mess, and it's up to Todd to get himself out. I read this book in a flash, and I loved every second of it.
Better yet, Mantor is adding the entire trilogy very soon. Look for it in the new books section. But you'll have to fight me for the next one.
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