Dave (At Dave’s Corner of the Universe) brought up an interesting point about first person narrative, and I thought of the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I read this about a year before I got published and posted my review on Facebook, but given the relevance to my blog about narrative, I though it appropriate to post here on blog now.
The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness:
I can’t in good conscience give Knife the rave review I want to. I enjoyed it. Book one of the Chaos Walking Trilogy was exciting, emotional and intriguing. I immediately bought audiobooks 2 and 3 for the series when I finished Knife. So why can’t I rave about it? Because the end of book 1 was in the prologue of book 2.
A friend and I talk a lot about ruining endings, and I hope this doesn’t, but as far as recommending books, he was right on the money. I really liked it, but if I had bought Knife and read it, the cliffhanger ending would have P’d me the F off, and do you think I said F? (Have I mentioned I love the main character Todd Hewitt?) So I’m not a fan of this as a stand alone novel. It doesn’t end, nor does it have any resolution.
I understand that it was part of a trilogy, but I don’t understand why it couldn’t have ended with the prologue of book 2. Had they done that, I’d have thought way better of this as a stand alone. It’s still amazing. This book had my running the gamut of all my emotions. It’s touching, funny, tragic and beautiful, but unless you’re willing to buy all three (which I was), Knife, on its own disappoints. So while I feel forced to to not recommend JUST this book, I do so only as a stand alone book. I’ll grade the whole trilogy once I’m done (three chapters into book 2 now) and I have a feeling the trilogy as a whole will be great.
I then quickly finished the trilogy, and here are those thoughts:
Audiobook Review: The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
I’ve previously reviewed “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” book one of the trilogy. I simply burned through the other two books to quickly to review them one at a time. I love this series.
For one, it’ll just annoy the hell out of you because the first two end in a cliffhanger, though book two is pretty complete in my opinion. The other reason is how beautiful the story is. The depth of characters, the scope of the issues and the emotion each moment brings is too strong not to recommend. It’s been labeled young adult reading, but I wouldn’t really want my niece reading this, and she’s reading at something like a high school level. (NOTE: At the time of writing this, my niece was barely in junior high) I’ll resist the urge to talk about how well the story was written as it relates to the way the trilogy ends.
This is a series about hope, love redemption and sacrifice. It’s prose and point of view is touching and compelling. I would even go so far as to say (in entertainment value alone) it’s better than the John Cleaver series (but not by much) and I’ve already raved about that. (AUTHOR NOTE: I did, and I will because my review of “Over Your Dead Body” is coming.) I should warn you that the two stories aren’t similar in plot or scope, I just wanted to establish a baseline for comparison.
I will say that I would ONLY recommend this for audiobook. The cast is fantastic. I absolutely HATE 1st person, and the only thing I hate more is present tense. These books are written 1st person, present tense, but it’s done right. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you buy the actual book, but you’d be missing out on some great audiobook narration.
2 thoughts on “The Chaos Walking Trilogy Review”
Great review. I might snag this series while Wastelander marinates. Been trying to find some decent 1st person books to read to ensure I’m taking advantage of all the tricks 1st person narrative has to offer.
Dan Wells’, John Wayne Carver series, was a great recommendation you offered me in the past. When it comes to 1st person, you’ve got to take advantage of every little tool you can because there are some serious limitations and challenges.
I’m not a huge fan of audio books, but I might take you up on the idea. Might be easier to run an audio book on the radio instead of reading out loud to Thor (it might save my voice at least).
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I think you’d do the reading justice. You’re a theatrical guy. I am a huge fan of the audiobook though. It’s just so powerful.
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