Ness maintains his high standards throughout the trilogy. 4/5 stars each.
What it’s about (roughly)
The Chaos Walking trilogy is the story of Todd and Viola, two teenagers struggling to survive on New World, an alien planet where the thoughts of men and animals are audible. For a bit more background, you can read my review of Book 1, The Knife of Never Letting Go.
While this story has sci-fi elements, they are incidental. What make these books so impressive are their characters and themes. The trilogy forces us to consider questions such as: are war and torture ever justified? What’s the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? What puts someone beyond redemption? Is mutual ignorance the root of all conflict? Does your age or your experience make you an adult? Not to mention the ugliness of slavery, sexism, racism and genocide… And people dismiss YA as simple! Ha! These are dark and difficult issues which the series refuses to shy away from simply because its main characters and readers are children. At this point I should say that I’m 34 and I think this book is suitable for anyone over the age of 14 (and possibly younger, although I think some children would find many events described very upsetting).
I won’t be at a computer until later today, so I’ve scheduled this post. But I’ll visit your posts and reply to your comments later, I promise!
An intriguing and gripping, if overlong, series opener. 4/5 stars.
Imagine a world where all thoughts were audible. What consequences would that have for the individual and society?
This is the intriguing premise underlying The Knife of Never Letting Go, an original and sometimes gripping series opener from Patrick Ness.
I found the hero, Todd Hewitt, a very convincing 13/14 year old (depending on whether you count his age in Earth years or New World years) and someone the reader can truly root for. I particularly enjoyed his developing relationship with Viola.