I’m about 10 years late to the party, but let’s talk about Chaos Walking!!
It only took two short months for Patrick Ness to become one of my favourite authors. His novels, the YA ones at least, never disappoint. The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in Ness’s trilogy, was his first young adult novel, and I am forever grateful he began writing YA because holy crap this series is a ride.
Summary for those of you who have somehow missed this book like I did:
The Knife of Never Letting Go is about a boy named Todd who lives in a world where everyone can hear everyone’s thoughts in what is referred to as “the Noise.” Oh, and the virus that gave everyone the noise also killed off all the women. Todd, the youngest boy in his town at just a few weeks before age 13 when he’ll become a man, finds a spot where there is no Noise: everything is quiet. He heads back to his home, and his parents immediately send him on the run, no explanation given except that Todd needs to leave now. And thus begins the chase.
The Knife is a great novel but it’s in the second and third books, The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men, where this trilogy becomes art. This series is highly morally grey. It makes you question what is “for the greater good” when everyone is simply working for themselves: including our beloved hero, Todd. You will question everything reading this series. It is so hard to distinguish what is right, and what is wrong, and what the truth is, and if there even is a truth. It changed my perception of everything, and presented my absolute favourite kind on conflict: how can we possibly trust our own judgement on right and wrong?
Along with absolutely breathtaking themes, this series is fast past. Seriously. It was a piece of cake to read over 100 pages a day, and often, you’d read them without even noticing the time go back. Your eyes run across the page, bouncing from word to word, as you try to discover the secrets and figure out what’s going on.
If anything, read this series for the third narrative voice that appears in book three (no spoilers from me but holy crap x2 this character is one of the most interesting I have ever encountered in any work of fiction).
If you need a second reason to read it, read it for the ending. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It had be screaming: I had to put the book down and pace around my room before reading the last few pages, and the very finally words had be sobbing…..
These characters may not capture your heart (they captured mine), and it might not rush to the top of your favourites list (it did for me), but this is a series that demands to be read. Question your own reality, your own choices, and those of everyone around you, and read this series. You won’t regret it.
Did I mention there’s a talking dog?
5 knives out of 5.