“Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought…”
The first book in Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy is a cliffhanger! I’ve heard a lot of students and teens rate this book, so I thought I’d have a go of it. I really enjoyed it, couldn’t stop really. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling and suspenseful read set in an extraordinary ‘other world.’ It took me a few pages to get used to the writing style, misspelt words and poor grammar that depict the narrator’s lack of experience and education, but it was effective in the end. The characters are well drawn and the tragedy of their situation sucked me in from the start. It’s a bit dark in places; including violence, gore and shocking intolerance, which seems inescapable in this strange dystopian world. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat and currently waiting for the next book to get in (it’s a good sign when the book you’re after is sold out in all the shops). Ness’s book is a great read that packs a punch confronting the issues of fear, intolerance, prejudice, the ethics of violence, manhood, trust and friendship.
Due to some of the gore and heavier themes, I’m recommending to ages 14 and up. 4 stars.