The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Book - 2008
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Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, ©2008
ISBN: 9780763676186
Branch Call Number: YAFICTION Ness


From Library Staff

Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

List - Michelle Recommends
OPL_MichelleC Jan 17, 2019

Emotional roller coaster. An incredible audiobook too.

From the critics

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Nov 05, 2019

Loved this book!!!!
Definitely one of my most favorite book series!
If you are reading this.... READ THIS BOOK!

Jul 10, 2019

The knife of never letting go is a book that kept me hooked. This book is set in a dystopian world where there are only men. What makes this book so unique? Well people in this world can hear each other’s thoughts. I found this to be a very original concept because most YA novels follow the same theme but this one stands out. I read this book and I loved the concept it was really an amazing concept and it is definitely going to keep you hooked until the very end but I think it isn’t a book for me. I think you should read this book if you like a dystopian novel that talks about masculinity and the loss of childhood innocence. If you don’t think you would be interested still give it a try because the book is beautifully written and it’s worth reading. In the future I will try to re-read it again and hopefully I can enjoy it more! @Bookreader14 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jan 02, 2019

As a child you may have fantasized about how fun it would be if you knew what others were thinking. In Todd Hewitt's small town, which strangely consists only of men, everyone can hear the thoughts of everyone else -- this omnipresent Noise is often overwhelming and occasionally maddening. At age thirteen, just days before he will officially become a man, Todd's life is thrown into upheaval when he "hears" an area of silence while out exploring the nearby swamp and is unable to conceal his fateful discovery.

This is a fast-paced survival story with some unique plot elements, which I would definitely recommend for teens interested in dystopian survival. Myself, I wanted to like it more than I actually did, so I probably won't continue the series.

laurendouglass Nov 24, 2018

This was so good. Another YA title that really is for everyone, even (and especially) for adults who mock YA. I'm beginning to think there isn't anything Patrick Ness can't do in his writing. Not only was this devastatingly good, but it contains the shortest, most heartbreaking sentence in English literature:


You have to read The Knife of Never Letting Go to find out why that sentence will make you cry buckets.

Jun 13, 2018

book 1

Jan 21, 2018

This book gave my physical chills, shakes and sweats. I burst into tears over my lunch at Noodles and Company because I read about the death of a character and I couldn't control myself.

I immediately got the second book because that cliff hanger was A GATHERING OF SHADOWS level of bad. It was intense and dreadful and crazy. But here's the thing: you have to get used to it. The language, the world, the voice. It's kind of a mixed bag, with a slow start. It took about halfway through for me to really not want to put it down.

So it's not perfect but damn, it was good.

Sep 15, 2017

LOVE! One of the best books I have read so far. Lots of surprises , exciting from start to finish. Starting book #2.. I hope it is just as good !

Aug 15, 2017

About to read this book but I know it's going to be amazing (spiderman) because Tom Holland is playing the character Todd. And everything that he is in is always AMAZING(spiderman). #I<3ToddHewitt

ArapahoeTiegan Jul 18, 2017

Welcome to New World, where settlers have come looking to build a better way of life. They found a surprise when they landed and suddenly every man's thoughts were able to he heard. Todd grew up in Prentisstown, where he is told this virus that allows men's Noise to he heard killed all the women. One day he finds a spot of silence in the swamp and is suddenly sent on the run. He discovers that silence is a girl and she runs with him. He discovers Prentisstown is not the only settlement left on New World, as he was led to believe. But that's not the only secret of New World and of Prentisstown. Each new discovery means more danger, but Todd and Viola keep running and keep hoping that they will find safety at the end of the road, despite all of the dangers they face every step of the way there.

This book is hard to put down, because as more secrets are revealed, you realize there's even more to discover about the settlement of New World and the corruption of Prentisstown. The ending is wonderful and makes you want to pick up the next book immediately to find even more answers about New World. Very fast-paced and suspenseful and very well worth a read.

Jul 18, 2017

The Knife of Never Letting Go follows a boy named Todd Hewitt and his dog Manchee and is set in a far away world where the thoughts of people and animals can be heard out loud, regardless of whether the person or animal wants their thoughts to be heard or not. The story is set in the future as the protagonist lives in a colony that was settled on by people who travelled from Earth in search of a better world. Todd lives in Prentisstown, the last known settlement on the planet which is only populated by men due to a tragedy that took place in the town many years prior to the point at which the story starts. The book is a well-executed sci-fi teen fiction novel with an interesting concept, themes and story. There is plenty of character development, interesting dynamics between characters and a steady stream of new information that is given to the reader at a good pace that will keep you engaged. The ending however is meant to lead into the next book in the series (known as the Chaos Walking series) rather than an actual conclusion to this story, and as a result leaves a lot of issues unresolved, although the ending to this book isn’t completely terrible. Overall, a 4/5, definitely worth checking out.
- @Fulton of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

The concept behind the Knife Of Never Letting Go is very unique. In the story, there is the “noise”. The noise means that the people in the story can hear the thoughts of every man nearby -- meaning that there is no true silence and that there is no privacy between people. This is destined to create conflict as you can never truly have a thought to yourself. However, the noise only applies to males, so females do have the privacy of thought. This creates a conflict between genders. The symbolism in the novel is also very important. The knife represents duality. Todd, the main character, always has the choice to kill the main enemy in the story several times, but refuses to do so. Overall, the symbolism and concepts in the book are very interesting. The book is definitely hard to read at first because the dialogue is written grammatically incorrect because of the way that the author was trying to portray Todd. However, once you get used to it, the book is not a hard read. I think this was a great book and would rate it 4/5 stars.
- @SuperSilk of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Knife of Never Letting Go is set in a dystopian world of all men; women have died off. Though there is a twist, they can hear each other's thoughts. Imagine hearing your father's, brothers', neighbors', etc. thoughts day in and day out. Todd, the last boy in his little town of only men, is forced to leave the only place he knows with only his knife, dog, and a girl he picked up along the way. This book is dark, gritty, and out-of-this-world immersive in its storytelling. Todd and Viola feel like real characters, especially Todd, who is narrating the story. Despite the all-around good quality of the book, I actually didn't enjoy it that much. I don't blame anyone for it, I think it’s just not my type of book. If you like a Southern-style dystopia that centers around calling out toxic masculinity and the loss of childhood innocence, then I definitely think it’s worth the read. And even if it isn't your style, I still think you should give it a read because I truly think the storytelling is absolutely amazing, descriptive, and talented. I'm probably going to try and read it again in the near future.
- @Spectacles of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Aug 24, 2015

white_wolf_80 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Oct 06, 2012

brutality thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 14

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LifefilledNights thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add Notices
Aug 13, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Dog Dies

Aug 13, 2015

Coarse Language: Fucking/ "effing"

Aug 13, 2015

Violence: Dog Dies Graphic Murder

Apr 11, 2013

Coarse Language: one use of F*ck

Apr 11, 2013

Violence: brutal violence lots of blood

LifefilledNights Nov 16, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.


Add a Quote
Aug 13, 2015

Crazy people don't need an explanayshun for nothing.

Aug 13, 2015

But a knife ain't just a thing, is it? It's a choice, it's something you do.

Sep 01, 2014

A clever mind is a friend of the devil


Add a Summary
Aug 13, 2015

Todd hears silence in a world of noise. This silence drives forward a quest to outrun his town, outwit a murderer, and reach a destination of Hope.

mvkramer Sep 27, 2013

Todd lives in a town where there are no women, and men hear each other's thoughts all the time. As far as Todd can remember, it's just the way things are. One day, though, Todd finds someone in the forest -- a girl. More incredible, the girl has come from space; the advance scout from a colony ship. And, most incredibly, Todd can't hear her thoughts at all. When the men from Todd's town learn about the girl, terrible secrets are revealed -- and they have to run for their lives through a world larger and more dangerous than Todd ever imagined.

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