THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO
1st in CHAOS WALKING
RATING: 4-STARS ****
Well, after starting this book like a year ago I’ve finally finished it. I liked the book once the children got out of the marshes, but the first few chapters did not keep my attention as well as I’d have liked, hence the long reading period. The writing style itself was a bit of a surprise to me, but I must be honest and allow this to be the fault of the translator – I’ve read the book in Slovene. Maybe the original would have appealed to me more.
I did not like Todd very much, but he grew on me a little by the end of the book, which, by the way, ended in such a cruel cliff-hanger I’m in the mood for some blood-shedding myself. Seriously, you’re going to end it like that?!
It’s hard to read a book when you don’t like the protagonist, but perhaps that is the result of the very intimate look we get into his psyche, stream of thought and so on. And he was lied to most of his life, I must keep that in mind, yet I was still frustrated by him and his choices. What does it say about the book when you like the dog more than the boy? At least make him more competent in the next book, ok? He has shown us a bit of newly-acquired maturity, though his fuse is still short.
I liked Viola far more, and the few friendly adults we meet along the way. Viola is a rock – most of the time she is the one with the nifty solutions, a cool head in time of crisis, and compassion. I think that a lot (if not all) of Todd’s positive change can be considered her influence’s result.
The premise of a noisy world, of the disease of noise affecting only men, is a great one and what had drawn me to the book. I wasn’t disappointed on this count. I especially enjoyed the few glimpses of the settler’s different approaches to handling the problem – some were cruel, some were nice. I look forward to learning more about the towns and people.
So, I guess I’ll be reading the sequel one of these days. Despite everything I didn’t like about the book, I’ll still give it a four star rating. It’s something new, something with great potential. Yes, the hero is very flawed and the world he inhabits gritty and even sick, but I’ll have hope and believe in the author’s idea; enough to read the sequel and expect to be pleasantly surprised.