Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Series: Chaos Walking
Published: May 5th 2008
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.
Then, just one month away from the birthday that will make Todd Hewitt a man, he unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible.
Patrick Ness does an excellent job of capturing the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist Todd Hewitt, a 12 year old boy one month from becoming a man, on his epic journey to freedom and a new life.
The book is written from Todd’s point of view making it easier for the reader to understand what is going on within Todd’s confused and scared mind. I really love how Ness has written it in a way a 12 year old boy would think which overall allows the reader to connect with him and make you feel more sympathetic towards during the devastating events that take place throughout the book.
From beginning to end, you can literally not put the book down due to the enticing story line and the unanswered questions, urging you to carry on so you can find out the answers to these questions. With it being in the point of view of Todd, who himself doesn’t know very much about the strange town of Prentisstown and its questionable history, it allows you to go on the journey with him and discover things as he discovers them also giving you a deeper and closer relationship with him. His two friends, Viola (a girl from outer space, who came to this planet looking for a place to settle her ship and thousands of others) and his dog Manchee (by far my favourite character throughout the book, who’s thoughts Todd can hear as well as every male and creature on the planet). Through Todd’s thoughts and being able to hear the voice of Manchee, you are also able to gain a close relationship with these characters.
However, despite the ‘Noise’ (every person’s thoughts) allowing us the understand how the good think, we also understand how the bad think too. The people of Prentisstown, whom are all men, are an awful bunch of people (besides Ben and Cillian, Todd’s adoptive parents) and we also get to hear, through Todd, their disgusting, and at times, quite frightening, menacing thoughts. This gives the book an overall chilling feel to it but also leads us to root for Todd, Manchee and Viola more to complete their mission of finding Haven, the place where they are supposed to feel safe.
This book is jam packed with action and heart warming moments, taking you through the adventures of the three characters as they gain relationships with each other, fight off an army of crazed men and in indestructible preacher, and struggle with surviving in the great outdoors with no one to help them. A brilliant book which is extremely well written. I can not wait to read the next in the series.