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Candlewick – September 9, 2008

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.  He is only a month away from becoming a man and he can’t wait.  Being the only boy left in town is lonely.  Most of the time, men don’t have much to say to boys.  The only constant companion he has is his dog, Manchee – a gift that he never wanted in the first place.  He would’ve much preferred to have a hunting knife.

Prentisstown is a settlement in New World.  The people have been there for about twenty years. Upon arriving on New World, the settlers encountered the aliens that lived there – the Spackles. The settlers also started suffering from the Noise.  The Noise allows everyone to hear everyone else’s thoughts all the time.  Even during sleep.  Animals even suffer from the Noise.  

One day when out gathering apples, Todd comes across a great surprise.  He finds a girl in the forest.  Todd has never seen a girl before since all the women in Prentisstown are dead.  He notices that there isn’t Noise coming from the girl – something that both scares him and intrigues him.  After making his way back home, he can’t keep the information about the girl’s silence away from the others.  His Noise gives it away and the people in town are interested.

Soon, Todd and Viola, the girl with the silence, are running for their lives.  Todd learns that nothing is what it seems. Everything he thought was true – isn’t.

Patrick Ness has created a fascinating dystopian world.  His use of unconventional spelling and long, run-on sentences are a little hard to get used to, but after a couple of pages the story starts to flow.  Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop. The story is set at a heart pounding pace and Todd and Viola are great characters to get to know.  A reader’s only complaint will be the cliffhanger ending.  It might literally make you throw the book across the room.

The sequel, THE ASK AND THE ANSWER, will be released in May in the UK, June in Australia, and September in the US.  I, for one, will run out to get it the day it is released.  Be sure to visit the author’s website for new information.

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The Knife of Never Letting Go:
Chaos Walking:
Book One

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