Friday, 30 December 2011

Book Babble #7 - Favourite novel of the year - The Knife of Never Letting Go

When it comes to books I pretty much read everything. I've left my teen years behind but I I still enjoy the odd teen novel and often find myself being suggested YA novels on Amazon. I also like mystery novels and horror (though I have been put off reading horror for a few months since I read some James Herbert and Stephen King novels in the night and creeped myself out).

Anyhoo I am a big reader and would like to say I like sophisticated literature but 2011 has been a year of trashy novels if I'm honest. I don't often re-read novels but I've gone through the classics (Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion) for the fifteenth times this year and then moved on to old Point Horror that I loved as a child. After classics and childhood reminders I find it difficult to find modern novels that really engage me in the same way. So trashy novels have been the next stop.

There has been one standout series this year that I would recommend to all though on the surface it would seem to be targeted at teens since the protagonists are in their early teens.
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first novel in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Here's the standard Amazon synopsis:
Imagine you're the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don't fit in with their plans... Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run...
If I had read that plot summary before reading the novel I would have been pretty much put off since I am neither a boy and no longer a teen. I know the gender and age of key characters should not really decide whether I read a novel or not, but I feel I need to relate to the protagnoists in some way to enjoy a novel. Anyway, I picked up this novel at random one day liking the interesting title and decided I would judge by the first chapter. Well I'm glad I gave it a chance as it was a gripping read from Page 1. It's very unusual in written style and I love the narrative voice in it.

Without going into too much detail I would say this is a novel I would recommend to everyone regardless of preconceptions based on the scant detail I have provided. The reason I'm not writing an actual review is because I think it would taint how one might approach the novel and I think it'd be best to go into it with a clear mind. All I would say is that there is enough going on in the novel to keep everyone interested; there's an outstanding and completely original storyline, characters that you end up really caring about and nice moral messages conveyed that are obvious without being overly preachy.

I've got Book 2 and 3 on my bookshelf right now and can't wait to get to the end of the triology. What I would hate to see is a movie version of any or all of these novels as I often feel a sense of disappointment and loss when watching a bad film of a book I love. This first novel in the series stands alone as a book worthy of all the hype.

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