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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Audio Book Review: The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Reading Level: Young Adult
Pub Dates: Book-Sept 2008 / Audio-Sept 2010
Length: 12 hours
Narrator: Nick Podehl
Series: 1st in the Chaos Walking series
Acquisition: received a copy for review

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. (from publisher's website)

My thoughts:
Awesome. This book was seriously awesome. I had heard a lot of good things about the Chaos Walking series and I was thrilled to get a copy of the audio book. Dystopian tales are quickly becoming some of my favorite to read and this one packs a serious punch.

It was pretty much love at first sight for me and Todd Hewitt. He was so very, very real. So raw and open, so honest and true. Forced to leave the only place and the only family he has ever known, the trials he faces would have destroyed a weaker man. But Todd isn't a man, he's a boy in a world full of men. Men set on destroying Todd. Men Todd Hewitt will give anything not to become. A boy is what he remains, for a boy is what he needs to be in order to survive.

Following him in this unbelievable roller coaster of a ride, knowing what he knows and discovering the truths and lies - it was such a fabulous journey.

Oh, the ending! OMG the ending! My heart was in my throat and it stayed there long after I heard the last word. I highly recommend having a copy of Book 2, The Ask and The Answer, on hand before going anywhere near the ending of The Knife of Never Letting Go. Pretty amazing.

Audio critique:
One of the best I have ever heard. Nick Podehl did an excellent job portraying the raw emotion of Todd. The 'Noise' of the story was spot on. The inflections in Nick's voice, coupled with the sound effects made for a rich and meaningful listening experience.

I also really enjoyed the format of this audio book. I listened to the CD version. 10 disks with a little over an hour on each. At the beginning of each disk it is clearly stated which number you are listening to. Also, at the beginning of each disk the last 30-40 seconds of the last disk is replayed. This feature made it very easy to keep track of what was going on. I never felt like I was missing anything between disks. Also, about 30-40 seconds before each disk ends, subtle background music kicks in. I found it very nice to know the end of a disk was coming. I've listened to other audio books on disk that ended abruptly with a harsh voice over of 'End of Disk 2' - very jarring, which I didn't enjoy. This set was done pretty perfectly for me.

Final verdict:
I highly, highly recommend this book to fans of dystopian young adult fiction. I highly recommend this book to fans of books! I also highly recommend the audio book version as listening to this story really was a wonderful experience for me.

Overall Story Rating:
5 / 5 Stars
Overall Audio Book Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in The Chaos Walking Series:
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and The Answer
Monsters of Men

Linkage Love:
Candlewick Press
Brilliance Audio
Author's Website


  1. I finished this audio and right away download book 2, which I was surprised to have not only Nick narrating Todd's character but Angela Dawe as Viola. Loving this one too. Great review!

  2. I just read the book. I was skeptical at first but ended liking the book in the end. Cant wait to read the second book.


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