I blog because of my (absent) memory. My ability to read a book, enjoy a book and immediately forget the plot is honed and practiced. Case and point: I finished reading The Knife of Never Letting Go last week. IknowI liked it because I messaged S. who recommended it to me to say I liked it, but do you think when I sat down to write this review I could remember what I liked about it or why I enjoyed it? Nope. Zip. I couldn’t even recall the plot without turning to wikipedia for a reminder. It’s a sorry state of affairs up in my brain.
What I do remember liking – on jogging my memory by way of Wikipedia – is a plot that is neither so implausible as to be entirely fantastic nor so realistic as to be realism. The integration of fantasy elements succeeds in defamiliarizing the real in such a way as to encourage the reader to ask questions about social interactions, use of the environment and those truths we believe to be “self-evident.” The thrust of the plot has our protagonist – Todd Hewitt – drastically reconsidering all he felt to be true about his community’s history, politics and way of life. He’s made to question authority figures, familial trust and received wisdom as he repeatedly encounters evidence that those he trusted lied to him. It’s a masterful plot in paralleling what any young person must encounter as they realize that adults lie and that promises made to children (you can be anything you want to be) are in not mendacious they are at least false.
His companion, Viola, is a charmer too, and I’d like to see her narrative point of view introduced in later books to balance out her character and make her less of an accessory and more of an actor in her own right. Personal preference, maybe.
I liked the fight sense, the quest narrative and the climax. Less settled with the conclusion of the text and the requirement for later installments. I’m a firm believer that a book – even one in a series – should be a selfcontained unit.
So there you go. I’ll likely read the next in the series, but I can’t say it was a memorable read (though admittedly this is more my fault than that of the text…).