Sometimes characters have to make impossible decisions. This often manifests as them having to choose between their best friend or their love interest, or deciding which of their children gets to live, or rescuing either their family or millions of strangers.
This happens to protagonist Todd Hewitt in The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first book in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking series.
This book is brain-bustingly good. I normally don’t do entire books for Make-You-Cry Monday–just snippets–but I don’t want to say anything to spoil this book. All I can say is it’s about a boy named Todd Hewitt who lives in a small village with his dads. A couple things you need to know about this village:
- An alien virus has enabled men on the planet hear each other’s thoughts–AKA “Noise.”
- There are no women, thanks to the alien virus.
- Animals can talk, though they’re not very interesting conversationalists, e.g., Todd’s dog Manchee mainly says, “Todd,” and, “Poo.”
Todd does farm work and wanders about with Manchee, waiting until he can become a man like the rest of the boys in his village.
Like the characters I mentioned above, at one point in the book, Todd has to make an impossible decision.
In other works, characters either are given or invent a third option. I like it a bit better when a third option doesn’t present itself. As hard as it is, I want to see what these characters will do when faced with such a difficult choice.
At least, I used to feel that way. I regret it now.
The choice Todd makes is the right one. If he’d chosen differently, the series would have ended after one book. I try to tell myself this whenever I think of a certain scene.
But even knowing all of that, I closed the book on page 300, put it down, and cried myself to sleep.
I KNEW IT WAS COMING from PAGE 1, and I was still not emotionally prepared.
I read this giant book in about a day. Please go find a copy and cry your heart out.
Need cheering up?
I can’t hear the song “Don’t Stop Me Now” without smiling thanks to this scene from Shaun of the Dead.
I think this scene is hilarious. My parents do not agree.
Let me know your take on it.