If you have to be on a plane for three or four hours, it is best to have one of those incredible books that sucks you in and does not let go. Such is THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (Candlewick Press, 2008) by Patrick Ness. Todd is just a scant month away from an important 13th birthday. In his community, this year marks the transition from boy to man. Todd, a resident of Prentiss, believes this will be a blessing. And then he encounters some QUIET in the swamp near his home. You see, there is no quiet in Todd's life nor in the life of the other men who make up the population of Prentiss. NOISE is everpresent, the noise comprised of the thoughts each man has. Sometimes the noise is overwhelming. But encountering quiet is too distressing for Todd. Little does he know that this day will forever change his life. Secrets will be revealed that will shatter what Todd has always accepted as the truth about his life.
This is the first in a trilogy. I, for one, cannot wait for the next installment. The conceit at the heart of this novel is incredibly complex. There is more to the NOISE than first meets the eye. And of course the true story of Todd's settlement is chilling.