Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness’s first book for young adults is beautifully crafted. The plot is edgy, and once the characters start running full-pelt towards the final page they won’t stop for anything; they can’t. Occasionally I had to pull my eyes from the book to catch my breath, exhausted by its relentlessness.

Ness treats the reader to sumptuous language throughout, skilfully drawing us into a world that’s wonderfully terrifying. You will hear the character’s voices – and Noise – in your head, see everything that they see, feel everything that they feel. This is no easy journey, you will find yourself elated, drained, sickened and at times heart-wrenchingly sad even when you can see a glimmer of hope.

There was a moment, about a third of the way through the book, where I thought everything was going to go horribly wrong, turn into a psychological analysis of gender. I was mistaken. This book is an astute, exciting novel which guides the reader through the struggles of responsibility and love and humanness with a strange gentle roughness. My only gripe (and it is a major one) with the author is the book’s ending. There is no ending, just a terribly annoying cliff-hanger, and 2 whole months to wait until the release of Book 2: The Ask and the Answer.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

If you are unable to resist this book, you no longer have to wait until May for the second installment; just get yourself to Borders who have exclusive pre-release sales-rights!