Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Woah. I got very tired and I think it must have been the jetlag catching up with me. I've also started working on the book. I hope to finish a chapter today, but I think I'm going to have to stop.

I hope all our Australian friends are relatively unaffected by the awful fires. And that people in the northern hemisphere are surviving in the snow.

I've just read The Knife of Never Letting Go. This is a young adult SF novel. It's a pleasant read, and I managed to finish it very quickly although I was shattered. I think it's very well judged - just demanding and disturbing enough, but not offensive or alienating to young readers.

I suspect most people have heard of this already. It's set on a colonised world, where a virus means all men 'broadcast' their thoughts in a form called 'Noise', which is very well rendered using typographic tricks. The protagonist is a teenage boy just coming of age, in a town from which all women are missing, presumed killed by the virus. The stories he has been told to explain the world are not necessarily true.

A very pleasant amusing aspect of the story is that animals can talk and/or broadcast their thoughts, and the hero has a dog whose speech is authentically doggy. Very likeable character, very well rendered.

A few places it got a bit corny, but what the heck. I was worried that the gender politics might have been crass, and this put me off reading it for a while, but this fear was unfounded. I know some people think the treatment of the aliens borders on racist. I can't really discuss this issue without major spoilers, but I thought the was the weakest aspect of the story. Perhaps not racist, but out of step with the general mood of the book.

NB - I do these little reviews mainly so that you can decide if a book is worth your reading. If you've read it already, then I hope I say enough to let you decide if I have the same impression as you. Let me know if you feel different. That goes for all of these little pocket reviews.
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