I don’t remember if I’ve said it hear yet or not, but I’m not a fan of dystopian literature. After The Giver, I was pretty much tapped out. I’ve read The Hunger Games trilogy, but overall was unimpressed with the plot. (Very impressed with the character development though.) All that being said – dystopian novels are very popular among the blogging/YouTube scene. Most of the time I don’t pay attention to those novels people rave about, because it’s just not my scene. However, I had previously read two books by Patrick Ness A Monster Calls and The Rest of Us Just Live Here, both of which I enjoyed to varying degrees. So when I saw so many people raving about the Chaos Walking trilogy, I had to check it out.
When I first began to read The Knife of Letting Go, my immediate thought was confusion. I wasn’t expecting a regional dialect and was taken aback. After I got over that small hump, I had to adjust to Ness’s writing style which is a mix of thoughts and spoken words. As the trilogy went on, the written style made more and more sense considering the world building that happens over the course of the series. Our main protagonist is a not quite “13” year old boy named Todd. He has a dog that he’s impartial to named Manchee, whose thoughts can be heard on this planet he lives on called “New World.” After the first few chapters we are introduced to our other protagonist, Viola, who has just arrived to the New World from a ship bringing more settlers.
The overall premise of this New World is that humans came from what we consider earth, to start a new community free from the inconveniences (I think pollution and war.) of the old world. However, this New World has devolved into the same bad habits of the Old World. Genocide, war, lying, and destruction to name a few. I read through the first book pretty fast, and there was enough of a cliff hanger at the end of that book to keep me reading along. I finished the second book amidst my road trip to Georgia, at a slower pace. I wasn’t quite as interested in the story, and I found myself disagreeing with a lot of what the characters were saying or doing. I just finished the third book as a part of #tometopple and all I have to say is
That will make sense to you if you’ve read a print copy of the books. I truly had no idea what Patrick Ness was doing until I was half way through the third book. Ness crafted a world full of characters that were so human like, that you didn’t know who was good or who was bad. You didn’t know what you would do in their shoes or if that would make you good or bad. I’ve seen really good things written about this series, and I’ve seen really bad things written about it. What I will leave you with, as someone who doesn’t generally like this genre, is that you have to read the entire series to understand the power behind Ness’s story. I gave this book increasing stars as I read on (3 for the first, 4 for the second, and 5 for the third). For the overall series, I would give a very solid 4 star review. It’s not often that I put down over 1500 pages of reading and think – I need to revisit that soon. But I definitely need to revisit The Chaos Walking trilogy soon. If you haven’t read this book yet, I definitely encourage you to pick it up.
Until Next Time World…
I’m currently half way through Monsters of Men, and I don’t know who to trust!