Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This is the second time reading this book. It was elected for the Summer Book Club that I kickstarted with my friends. The theme for December’s Book of the Month was: A Book with a TV/Movie Adaption. I was in charge of listing as many books, since I am the book blogger and know where to find already amazing lists (bless you, Goodreads nerds!). I did not want to reread this book. I found the series extremely dry and long. Hence, this second time, I consumed the book via an audiobook. My friends shamed me (they’re late to the game on book format discourse!). However, I did find that reading this through audiobook was far more enjoyable than reading via eBook (that’s how I read it the first time).


[In Aaron’s angry voice]“Toddddd HEWITT!!!!!”: He’s simple and impressionable. He’s pretty standard for a 12-14 year old boy’s perspective. I still prefer Percy Jackson’s POV for any adolescent perspective (much funnier). I wholeheartedly agree with Viola: how many freaking times did Todd have to realise HIS WORLD WAS A LIE. How many times was he confronted with a new reality, and then didn’t transfer it to any of his other assumptions???? THE BOY WAS SLOW AF. IT WAS TIRING.

Viola: the alien girl. She was fine. I’m still not exactly sure why she didn’t speak for a long time? I understand it’s symbolic of the power of speech and concealing your thoughts etc, but why was she shell-shocked for 48+ hrs??? In sum: she was more likeable than Todd.

Manchee: the talking dog. Hands-down best character. (view spoiler)

Aaron: one of a whole town of antagonists. He was a great bad-guy, with a relentless, merciless motivation.

Hildy: Hildy and her brother (forgot his name, sorry) were a fun side-adventure.

Ben and Scillion(pronounced ‘Killiorn’): great foster parents. They’re clearly the voice of reason and I wish they were in this book alongside Todd’s adventure in the woods.


Oh my goodness: this plot drags. It’s on par with The Hobbit, or There and Back Again for useless wondering in the woods. Seriously. I would have much preferred those moments to be skipped over. The book could easily have been less than 300 pages (in reality, it was 500+ pages — which was painful).


The story follows Todd’s perspective. I would have enjoyed to see Viola’s. The structure of this book also has unique dialogue that sprawls across the pages (in the audiobook, it has multi-layer voices) which is powerful to deliver the mess and confusion of men’s inner-voices.


Coming of Age
Morality – Murder
Escape and Asylum


“Here’s what I think,” I say and my voice is stronger and thoughts are coming, thoughts that trickle into my noise like whispers of truth. “I think maybe everybody falls,” I say. “I think maybe we all do. And I don’t think that’s the asking.”
I pull on her arms gently to make sure she’s listening.
“I think the asking is whether we get back up again.”


I was surprised that (view spoiler)… for now. I don’t like where this is going, but it follows the law of every YA Dystopian trilogy: Book 1 is setting the world; Book 2 is the characters realising there’s more than THEIR world; and Book 3 is the aftermath and death. YAY.


I won’t read this again. Nope. I’m good now. I’ve spent hours LISTENING to it. That will be etched into my brain for a long time now. The voice acting was fantastic; after you get over the irritating hick accents.

Author: Cal's Reading Corner

HSIE teacher from Sydney, Australia.

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