After journeying through an extremely tense and often frustrating first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, I cannot find the right words to explain the emotional journey that this book has taken me through. (Spoilers are obviously ahead, so be warned.)
The highs are seriously ecstatic and the lows are downright miserable. The build-up of “Yesss, they got away!” to the heartbreak of, “Nooo, they got caught!” is like a broken record on repeat throughout the entire first book and is quite honestly, it’s overwhelming to say the least. I’m all for dramatic stories but good golly, Ness is talented at wrenching your heart. The ending is possibly theee biggest cliff-hanger in the world – even bigger than the ending of Strange The Dreamer. I have no idea how people can wait MONTHS, sometimes even YEARS for the next book.
The last chapter had me in turmoil as I had no idea what Ness would do with the characters. After killing Manchee, I realised that Ness might be willing to sacrifice Viola as well at any point for the sake of the storyline. This made the final battle with Aaron these tense few pages where you find yourself trying to fly through them as fast as your eyes can move in order to find out whether one of them dies and which one it is. You can feel the entire book has been building to this moment and the only thing you find yourself constantly shouting is, “How is Aaron still not dead?!”
Ness is phenomenal at his fast-paced writing that accurately depicts the excitement and tension of the scene at hand. I’m currently busy with the second book, The Ask and The Answer, and so far it’s not as intense as the first book. I expected as much, as authors often use the second book as a way to build up to a climatic finale. I have absolutely ZERO idea where this book is heading. My wildest guess is that because Todd is working with the Spackle, he will somehow help them find their voice again and team up with them to overthrow the Mayor (President)… although, considering they have just tried to kill him, that may not be in the least bit plausible. We’ll have to dig in and find out.
Until next time, keep your chaos moving, folks.