Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is. .
Chased by a madman preacher and possibly the rest of his townsfolk as well, young Todd Hewitt flees his settlement on a planet where war with the natives has killed all the women and infected the men with a germ that broadcasts their thoughts aloud for all to hear. This cacophonous thought-cloud is known as Noise and is rendered with startling effectiveness on the page. The first of many secrets is revealed when Todd discovers an unsettling hole in the Noise, and quickly realizes that he lives in a much different world than the one he thought he did. Some of the central conceits of the drama can be hard to swallow, but the pure inventiveness and excitement of the telling more than make up for it. Narrated in a sort of pidgin English with crack dramatic and comic timing by Todd and featuring one of the finest talking-dog characters anywhere, this troubling, unforgettable opener to the Chaos Walking trilogy is a penetrating look at the ways in which we reveal ourselves to one another, and what it takes to be a man in a society gone horribly wrong. The cliffhanger ending is as effective as a shot to the gut.
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in town to become a man. The Noise germ infected the settlement of Prentisstown, killing all the women and allowing all the men to hear each other's thoughts as well as the thoughts of animals. After revealing a horrible secret, Todd's guardians send him away from town with a journal written by Todd's mother before she died. With only his dog Manchee for company, Todd flees the settlement, pursued by all the men in town. During his flight, Todd meets the first female he has ever seen, Viola, who has just landed on the planet. Together, they find their way to various oases of safety, but cannot ever stay long because of their hunters. As Todd talks to other people and reads his mother's journals, he discovers the true nature of Prentisstown. It is not until the final, horrifying confrontation that he realizes why they will not stop until they find him. This brilliant post-apocalyptic novel is gritty and exciting. The way the Noise is handled, from Manchee's simple thoughts to the chaos in Prentisstown is particularly well done, as are Todd's misspellings and grammatical mistakes within the text of the book (just enough to give us a sense of realism to Todd's narrative, but not too many to be distracting). An excellent and gripping beginning to the "Chaos Walking" series. Reviewer: Amie Rose Rotruck
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of two critically acclaimed works of fiction for adults and an award-winning novelist. His breakthrough young adult novel, "The Knife of Never Letting Go" has won rave reviews and developed a cult following in Australia and New Zealand.
"Sets a high standard in an already crowded fantasy fiction genre."
-- THE INDEPENDENT (U.K.) -- Independent, The (UK)
Series: Chaos Walking Trilogy (Hardcover)
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 14 - 18 years old
For Grades: 9 - 12
Number Of Pages: 479
Published: September 2008
Dimensions (cm): 21.8 x 14.0 x 4.1
Weight (kg): 0.68