The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One

Book 2 of 4 in the Chaos Walking Series
Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 9 - 12Grades 4 - 6n/a4.4112022
A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard — and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published on November 24, 2020 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 1536200522
ISBN-13: 9781536200522
3 Book Reviews
  • phantasticgus
    phantasticgusMonday, July 12, 2021 at 3:54 pm33 starsFeatured
    3 stars--I normally don't read much YA (young adult) fiction, but I decided to give this book a try, since I'm normally a very picky reader and I want to try stepping out of my comfort zone. Before getting this from the library, I read multiple warnings about violence and cursing in the book, but I went ahead and borrowed The Knife of Never Letting Go anyway. So, I liked it to an extent, but it wasn't my favorite. First off, the plot didn't really have a structure. Everything was all over the place--there was just so much happening at once that sometimes, I couldn't make sense of anything. Maybe the author did that on purpose to have more action. I don't know. Then there's the main character, Todd. He acts like he has MAJOR anger issues--he randomly starts yelling at people who help him, he throws tantrums, and he KILLS an innocent non-human fisherman just because of a battle between his hometown and the fisherman's species. I get that Todd has been through a lot--his mother died from a terrible plague, and many of his friends die throughout the story too--but that's not an excuse for him to act the way he does. He takes out his anger on other people too often, too much. I didn't see any character development in him--he remains brash and annoying throughout the story. There wasn't much of a single, huge climax. The whole book was jam-packed with enough action to have like, five climaxes. I guess the ending could have been a climax if it had been written differently, but the plot had just...deflated by that time. It's like, the characters did so much hard work to fight for what they believed in, why can't they get an ending where they're all alive and happy, for at least a little bit of time? But no, this is dystopian YA, people. That means we can't have ANYTHING remotely happy in the entire book! Instead, let's make the main characters walk into a trap and have one of them on the brink of death by the end. It's the one thing I don't like about YA. Also, the violence (I guess I should have paid more attention to those warnings). I'm no stranger to how violent YA books can get sometimes, but this was just...extreme. It's like an every-man-for-himself situation, where everyone tries to survive, each with their own vicious ways. There's so much brutal fighting that I actually skipped a page or two, just so I wouldn't have to read about so much graphic violence. However, there were some aspects of The Knife of Never Letting Go that I enjoyed. There were many twists and turns throughout the book, which was amazing. I love those stories where you THINK you absolutely know what's going to happen next...but then, BOOM! Something totally different from what you were imagining happens. it's so unpredictable. All the characters were really flawed and human, and I liked Mayor Prentiss as the bad guy--he's so cunning and cruel, he makes the perfect villain. I'll admit, I am probably going to read the next book in the series...but only because this one left off on a cliffhanger (the one thing every reader absolutely LOATHES). So that's another trip to the library for me. :)
    • aidanlynde
      aidanlyndeTuesday, June 30, 2015 at 8:47 am44 stars
      I like this book so far because to me it is really interesting how everyone can hear each others thoughts and their is always noise but in this one small spot their is no noise and why that is makes me want to keep reading to find out why that is.
      • swiftie4life13
        swiftie4life13Monday, December 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm55 stars
        This book is another favorite which I recomend to everyone, it takes place on the future were Earth is a mess and people moved to this distant planet, but the air there made it so everyone can hear men's thoughts. But just to warn you, it makes you cry! 😭😭