A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.
How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?
As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?
Published 1st May 2014
Should Read – 4 stars
Read from 16th to 20th May
So I read this as part of a buddy read book club. I have had a 50% success rate with Mr Ness before picking this up. I loved Monster Calls but The Knife of Never Letting go was a book that I couldn’t even get past the first 150 pages. I was worried that I would maybe only like his work if it was short because he tends to drag out his story and plot which I’m not really a fan of.
So this is a super weird book and you have absolutely no idea what’s going on for quite a long time. But in reading through this your brain is trying to create its own plot line and trying to figure out what is happening and coming up with explanations for the events and actions happening. It does take such a long time to get any answers but in doing so it opens up more questions that then lead to doubts.
Nothing seems real in this world and it’s such a removal from reality. When reading this you are so confused but you can’t stop reading because the mystery and the little bits of information really keep you going. I would tell people to just keep reading because I agree that it’s slow but it is worth it and really starts to open up the world.
The turning point of the story is when other characters are introduced. That was the most important part for me because it just really made things much more interesting and really drew me back into the story. I enjoyed how the side characters added their own personality and stories to the overall plot and how it wove in between them all. I also found that having other characters allowed Seth to confront his issues and really opened up the layers of the story and plot.
I have a few negative things that I have to talk about. First of all it was too long; it took too long to just get into the story and then there was a horribly repetitiveness nature, especially towards the end. I can’t understand why that decision was made except to put the reader into doubt about the underlying reasons for what was happening.
It’s an incredibly open plot and there’s so much doubt and difference to the storyline that there really could be a number of underlying reasons for what was happening. The main problem was the ending and I think that’s a fairly large critique of the book in general. It was horribly open ended and felt like there was going to be a sequel but there just wasn’t enough closure for me.
I am glad that I enjoyed this book as the vague nature is always there in Patrick Ness’s work that I’ve read but it worked out for me much more in this one. I would recommend this book but with the disclaimer that it does have a rather disappointing ending.
That’s all folks!