There are cliffhangers, and there are cliffhangers. Then there’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. Patrick Ness has hit on a way of getting all his readers to return to the next book about Todd, the boy who’s about to become a man. Luckily, I’d been warned, so wasn’t hopeful of getting a satisfying end on page 479. (That’s the last page.) Some books end seemingly happily, only for the sequel to start with a new serious bad thing, pushing the protagonist(s) into more adventures. This one gave me no hope whatsoever, and the only good thing is I read it so late, that my wait will be shorter. (Please feel free to send me a really early proof to ease my agony…)
I’d heard so much about this book, and had formed my own mental image of it. All wrong. This was very different, and much better for it. I suppose it’s trying to be some kind of space travel version of the Europeans setting out to find a new life in America. That’s what it feels like to me. The new world has Noise, which means you hear what other men are thinking. Only men, mind you.
Todd and his dog have to escape the place where Todd grew up, and set off on a long and perilous walk to a safe haven. The difficult bit is to keep your Noise quiet enough for the enemy not to hear it and know what you’re up to. Todd finds a travelling companion, and they spend the whole journey avoiding the bad people and occasionally meeting some good ones.
The big question is whether Todd is a murderer and can kill when necessary.
Another big question is: What happens next???