The Knife of Never Letting Go

Thoughts tkonlgbypn The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Walker Books 2008, 479 pages.

First book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy.

MUST READ! If you love dystopia and frantic pacing. But mostly ONLY IF YOU LOVE SERIES BOOKS.




If you prefer stand alone books,



You will positively hate the ending because you have to read the next book(s?) to find out what the hell is going on.

I do not like series books. I have endured a few books presented in a series and have not minded them too much. Like Harry Potter. And the Hunger Games. (Though I am waiting until I see Catching Fire the movie before I bother with reading Mockingjay.)

I am so mad at this book and Mr. Ness that I don’t even want to read on. I will go to my grave not knowing why poor Todd Hewitt had to run. What he was running from. What the stupid Noise is.

Before I got to the last page of this book (it wasn’t an ‘end’), I was thinking it a five star read. I was captivated, compelled, breathlessly curious what was happening and needed to know why why WHY WHY?!?!

But since I didn’t get much of any kind of satisfaction when at the point (“End of Book One”) when I was told to go find The Ask and the Answer and keep reading, I gave this one star in goodreads. Seriously. I wanted to physically throw the book across the room.

Read on in CHAOS WALKING if you want, but I won’t be bothering with it. I’m too pissed off. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know now.


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39 thoughts on “The Knife of Never Letting Go

        1. Yes, I found your post listing what your kids have and want to read. I was just about to go add some more reviews of this to mine for more reference…

          Judith’s post is more calm – I agree with her:

          Nymeth’s post is likely the one that made me want to read it (AND she lists a lot of other reviews):

          Jenny, who has already commented here, wrote this post:

        2. Naomi, a thought: The Knife of Never Letting Go is probably on the level of Mockingjay, as far as bleakness and violence go. But the books get darker from there. So if your daughter’s bothered by violence and, like, really intense moral compromises, maybe have her wait a year or two.

  1. Ohhhh, gosh. I would have warned you about this; I didn’t know you hated series books. This is, yeah, best you read this along with the other two very promptly. I knew it was going to be a cliffhanger (because I read the end), so I was prepared.

  2. So sorry that this bugged you! I spent a day or two after reading this book in anxiety about what happens next. But I didn’t start Ask and the Answer until months later. Go figure, lol.

    1. To be totally honest (and show I have my head in the sand) I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you the titles to the other books in the trilogy!

  3. I felt this way when I got to the end of a Connie Willis book that I didn’t know was the first of two. These Ness books are such a fast read, though, that I’d recommend anyone get them all together and read them in one fell swoop. The second one is good, and the third ties up all the loose ends. Besides, how can you find the strength to go on without ever knowing what the noise was?

  4. YOU HAVE TO READ THE REST!!!! Ok.. you don’t have to :p I actually get your frustration, lol…It’s an EXTREMELY fast paced book and I might be a little bit upset too if I didn’t know there was more, lol.

    1. No, I didn’t know that. Or rather, have failed to remember that trilogies should be thought of as such. That’s one of the problems with my wanting to go into books totally blind. I don’t even read the back covers, usually!

        1. I did know this was a part of a trilogy but I didn’t think it would be so non-resolution-y. Neither Hunger Games nor Divergent left me so upset at the end of the first book.

  5. HAHAHA! I like reading series, but I haaaate waiting for the next book to come out. I’ll generally wait until they’re all published before I start reading (which is why I haven’t read the Song of Ice and Fire series yet). I know exactly how you felt when you got to the end and wanted to chuck it across the room. Hee!

  6. You crack me up, my dear! Okay, I’m sorry, I should not be laughing over your pain. I’m SO sorry you had no idea what you were getting into. In the cliff-hanger sense, this is one of the worse. But if you read on, it is SO WORTH IT!!! It slows down in pacing as you go on, but gets even more powerful.

    1. Oh maybe. Maybe someday I will read on. I think that is one of my problems with series books – that they take me away and butt in new reads in front of books I’ve known I’ve wanted to read longer. Does that make sense?

      1. Absolutely! To be honest, I’m not much of a series reader myself. I’ve got more unfinished series in my reading history than I could ever count. I guess that’s how I can tell if I really love a series–if I actually finished it, I must have. 😛

  7. I hesitate to read books that I know are part of a series because I can’t even keep up with all of the series I read already. I do want to try this one, but I it will wait til I have time for 3 books.

  8. I kind of want to LOLOL here but I can tell you’re really frustrated so I’ll hold it in. I did NOT like this book. I hated the frenetic pacing (OMG ONE BIG LONG CHASE SCENE!) and by the end I was so annoyed that I vowed not to continue. I do want to read A Monster Calls, though.

    Maybe I should also note that I am NOT a fan of series books either?

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