The Knife of Never Letting Go is a teen dystopian novel with a bit of a difference, there aren't many dystopian novels for teens with a male protagonist, but here we have one who could inspire boys to make mopre of themselves. The story follows Todd, who lives in Prentisstown in New World, where there are no women, and the men can hear each others thoughts. Todd is the last boy, having been told that all the women were killed by an infection released by the planet's native inhabitants. Todd however makes a discovery, a girl, and after all Todd has been told is revealed as false, he and Viola go on the run along with Todd's dog Manchee.
This book is a heart breaker, just to warn you, and don't let the simplistic language fool you, this story is fairly intricate for often being lumped in with children's fiction. There are instances where things almost didn't make sense, but where it felt intentional like it was there to confuse the reader. There is plenty of discription to assist the reader with imagining New World, and it says something for Ness's imagination that he has managed to come up with such a twisted place.
I love the idea behind this world, and think it has incredible potential, but I have to admit I didnt find myself connecting well with some of the characters, especially Viola, and I much preferred Manchee as Todd's companion. Even though I enjoyed Todd's character, I found him to be underdeveloped at the end of the book. For all of the trials and tribulations he has experienced in such a short space of time he still felt very child like. I did admire the way that Ness showed the difference in maturity levels between boys and girls though, as Viola felt much more mature by comparison.
The book is the first in a triology, and leaves the reader with a great cliff hanger, so I hope we will see some more of Todd's development in the stories to come, though if you have read the book you will know what I mean when I say I feel there will be a little something missing from them (I did shed a tear!)
I can't wait to read the next one.