The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness


Can a Knife Be a Page-Turner?

I’m late to the book, but I just finished The Knife of Never Letting Go, and now of course (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about), I have to read the next two novels in the trilogy (The Ask and the Answer is #2). Knife was a gripping story, a genuine page-turner, and when I read the last page I was still in its grip while plummeting from a cliff. Luckily, it was a high enough cliff that I had time to download The Ask and the Answer and soar away before crashing onto the rocks below.

Surprise: Good Writers Write Good Stuff

Patrick Ness can write, which is both inspiring and paralyzing. Inspiring, because he demonstrates what writers can accomplish in the way of language and imagination and engaging their readers. And paralyzing because when you get back to your own writing, you’re in danger of getting into a comparison stall. Of questioning the worth of every sentence you write. And I tend to do enough of that already. I tell myself, plow ahead, just plow ahead, and you can fix it when you get to the revising part of this thing, but do I listen to myself? Only sometimes.

The Story

But that’s writer stuff. The Knife of Never Letting Go itself is a grand story, full of layers and good guys and bad guys and relentless pursuit and small victories and big losses and revelations about individual humans and humanity and the universality of all of our assets and faults as beings who need to deal with and respect or disrespect our fellow creatures and the world(s) in which we live. It’s about love and hate and the misuse of power and all the ways deficient leaders can lead us astray. But it’s also about fighting back and persistence and loyalty and the search for truth. Unless you’re squeamish or looking for something “light,” I highly recommend it.

(Review on Goodreads)

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