I have just embarked on a journey of starting the Patrick Ness series Chaos Walking and I’m one chapter deep into the first book in this trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go.
I’ve stopped at Chapter One so that I can first quickly compile this blog post, as our idea for this series of posts is that I write what my expectations of the book are based off of the first chapter. That makes this a prequel post, of sorts. Once I’m done with the book, I’ll chat about what I thought and my overall impression. This will be the sequel post. I might even publish a half-way post, telling you guys what I think of the book so far with perhaps even a few predictions of where Ness might take the book. Would the middle post just be called a quel? (H-ed: I think it could, in Europe…)
It’ll be fun to compare the first post to the last one and see how absolutely terrible my first impression and predictions may turn out to be! Smash that follow button to keep up with how it goes!
Starting with the title, “The Knife of Never Letting Go” and with the black and red cover design, it comes across as rather ominous and dramatic. I get the impression of violence, revenge and somebody who battles with moving on from the past.
All that I have discovered from the first chapter is that everybody and everything can hear the thoughts of everybody and everything else, which is accurately called the Noise. When I’m in a mall at the end of the month, I find their struggle awfully relatable as I withdraw and hiss at the ridiculous amount of noise passing-by strangers make. Now I can’t even begin to imagine that noise multiplied by an endless succession of thoughts as well. My introverted soul would never leave the house.
The three main points from Chapter One that I feel will be a thread throughout the entire novel is the mention of the Spackle, the mention of the germs that seem to have killed all of the Spackle and human females, as well as the piece of silence that he notices. Silence that moves (insert dramatic gasp)! Also, it’s interesting that Todd is an orphan, the same as Lazlo Strange from our posts here, here and here. ALSO the same as Eragon from our posts here, here and here. Definitely a common theme for protagonists, as mentioned by Hannah in her post here.
Aaaaaand that is all I know so far. A mere sixteen pages is all I have to go on to write this post. So here goes nothing (Nothing runs off into the distance)…
It seems obvious that Todd will be extremely inquisitive about the exact details of the silence that he noticed in the Spackle buildings, which makes sense as Ness writes about him enjoying being out in the swamps as it’s a refuge from the people and their Noise of Prentisstown. Therefore, he seems ideally positioned to be the one to discover its source. I have two theories around what the source of the silence could be: I think that it will either be a Spackle, or a female. Perhaps even a female Spackle.
In a world with only men and their unchecked anger, what could be more valuable (or disastrous) than a lone female in a patriotic, post-gendercide society (insert liberal chanting)? So I’m leaning more towards it being a human female (although currently I’m just assuming that Todd and the other people are human – Ness hasn’t confirmed it yet). This would make sense that Todd wouldn’t know whether or not women would be part of the Noise as he was born so late. This starts to make sense if I think about where would be better for a girl to hide than in the swamps where the Spackle used to stay, as this would be the least likely place that anybody would come looking. I’m assuming this as there seems to be a negative racial/speciesism (yes, that’s a real word) undertone surrounding the Spackle.
Perhaps Todd and her fall in love. Perhaps it’s his mom. Perhaps they still fall in love (okay, calm down, I’m joking). Perhaps him and this mysterious female repopulate the planet. There’s a movie called Children of Men where there is a new chaotic world where women can’t fall pregnant and the whole story is about this one girl who is miraculously pregnant and needs to be transported somewhere safe in a wild and dangerous world. My thoughts are walking along these lines. As to where the knife comes in, we’ll still see. It could be a parody of the book/movie Never Let Me Go, except that the main protagonist is actually a knife? Am I over-thinking this?
We’ll find out in the next post, next week for our Wednesday Wordlings! Stay tuned, folks!