Series: Chaos Walking #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Release Date: May 5th 2008
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars
Synopsis: Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
I did not at all expect to like this book. Not sure why I bought it actually but I am very glad I did. It took a while to get used to it because of the way it's written. Words are written how they are pronounced like creatures is spelled 'creachers', direction is 'direktshun' etc. Although that annoyed me at first, as I grew to love Todd I also grew to love the way he spoke. Some authors wouldn't have been able to make that happen but Patrick Ness managed it. The book follows Todd who is the last boy in Prentisstown with just a month to go until his birthday makes him a man. The noise has always been part of life, everyone can hear everyone's thoughts. There are no secrets. Or at least that is what he thought.When Todd comes across a girl in the forest after being told they had all been killed and they both flee together.
Todd was an awesome character. It is very difficult to believe that he is only twelve years old. The commentary we are treated to makes Todd seem a lot older. Although I had minor issues with the way he spoke at the beginning, by the end I enjoyed it. Todd seemed a very real character, he wasn't the perfect, hot guy we are usually given in young adult books (though that would be weird since he's 12!). No Todd is an awkward teen (tween?) boy and I loved him. I loved the way Ness conveyed his character, making him loveable without being too perfect. Just normal. Another character I loved was Viola, instead of falling for Todd right away which is what normally what would happen in YA books, she is very suspicious of him. She doesn't even speak to him for about fifty pages and hits him with a stick a couple of times. I'm usually wary of reading books with talking animals in but Todd's dog Manchee was amazing. He displayed all the characteristics you would normally associate with dogs, love, loyalty, plus he could speak. It left me wanting my own Manchee.
This book truly blew me away, it was totally unflinching and real and not at all what I expected. I thought the book would be slightly childish because of the 'children's fiction prize' heading on the cover but now I'm not sure how it qualifies as a children's book. I am very glad I bought the second and third book since I will be diving into them very soon. This book is genius and well deserving of all of the awards it has. I would recommend this to everyone! Except maybe younger children because at times it can be very crude. Seriously this book is well worth the buy, borrow, steal or however you choose to get your books - I wont judge.
My Favorite Quotes:
“Here's what I think," I say and my voice is stronger and thoughts are coming, thoughts that trickle into my noise like whispers of truth. "I think maybe everybody falls," I say. "I think maybe we all do. And I don't think that's the asking." I pull on her arms gently to make sure she's listening. "I think the asking is whether we get back up again.”
“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.
"Need a poo, Todd."
"Poo. Poo, Todd."
"I said shut it.”
Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK