Friday, January 17, 2014
STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND FIND A COPY OF THIS BOOK. RIGHT NOW.
I AM DEAD SERIOUS. STOP READING THIS. STOP IT. GO FIND A COPY OF THIS BOOK. AND IF YOU FIND A COPY OF THIS ONE, GRAB THE SECOND AND THIRD WHILE YOU'RE AT IT.
YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION?!?! FINE.
I haven't felt this fanatic about a book series since I read The Hunger Games three or four years ago. The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in the Chaos Walking series.
I had heard of it from someone I follow on another website--she mentioned it was her favorite book and since I think she has good taste, I put it on reserve at my work. If we saw a copy, I would grab it and read it. Instead, John Green and Maureen Johnson tweeted links to a free download of it on Wednesday morning. I'm not particularly fond of ebooks because the only device I can really use is my phone (I get too distracted on my computer to read ebooks). I downloaded it anyway. I read quite a bit of it, but then I ran some errands and generally tried to be productive. I kept thinking about it.
Thursday I had to work, so I didn't get to read very much of it. I was planning on going out with friends later, but I had a bit of time to kill, so I started reading more. Then I couldn't put it down. My friends called me a little later than they were planning on, and I was like sorry guys I think I'm going to stay in and finish this book. They were cool with it (by far the best part about working at a book store).
I finished it last night and I am DYING to read the next one! In fact, I just ordered both the second and third from Amazon. I checked everywhere in my town and no one had it on hand, so I ordered it from the cheapest place I know of (sorry other local bookstores who would have graciously ordered it in for me! I'm still a poor post-college student).
I didn't know much about the premise when I started, and I kind of liked it that way. But let me give you a brief run down.
Todd Hewitt is a boy on the cusp of manhood. In his culture, you turn into a man when you turn thirteen. And his birthday is a month away. He has a dog, Manchee, which he didn't want. A life working as a farmer, which he doesn't particularly enjoy. Two pseudo-adopted dads, one of which drives him bonkers and the other of which he more or less worships. And the Noise. See, in Todd's world, boys hear everything in the world. They call it the Noise. It's the thoughts of men and animals out there to hear. It's a side-effect of the war with the Spackle--the alien species who originally lived on New World. The other side-effect of the war is that there are no women left. Not many men left either--just the men in Prentisstown where Todd lives. And Todd is the last boy to become a man. Then Todd hears the silence in the swamp.
I actually refuse to put any spoilers in this review because I don't want to accidentally ruin this book for anyone. It came out in 2009 and I'm not sure how it slipped under mine (and like everyone else's) radar, but I am on a mission to change that. I'm not typically a sci-fi fan, I lean more towards fantasy, but Ness does a fantastic job of world-building in this book. It was actually a little hard for me to tell if it was sci-fi or not for probably half the book.
If you read this and desperately need someone to talk to at 1 am like I did, I'll be here. Waiting for your phone call or comment.
Favorite Quotes: "Language [...] binds us like prisoners on a chain."
"Whereas the town knows all about you already and wants to know more and wants to beat you with what it knows till how can you have any of yerself left at all?"
"Men lie, and they lie to theirselves worst of all."
[The Noise] is what's true and what's believed and what's imagined and what's fantasized and it says one thing and a completely opposite thing at the same time and even tho the truth is definitely in there, how can you tell what's true and what's not when yer getting everything?"
"It's like the song of a family where everything's always all right, it's a song of belonging that makes you belong just by hearing it, it's a song that'll always take care of you and never leave you. If you have a heart, it breaks, if you have a heart that's broken, it fixes."
"His face and his Noise are as blank as I remember but the lesson of forever and ever is that knowing a man's mind ain't knowing the man."
"I weigh more than a mountain but less than a feather."
"I think maybe everybody falls. I think maybe we all do. And I don't think that's the asking. [...] I think the asking is whether we get back up again."