Why I liked it: The plot was well-crafted with the truth about Prentisstown slowly being revealed and a completely unexpected ending. The characters were well developed, from the lovable Manchee (Todd's dog) to the feisty Hildy, to the creepy Aaron, who just won't die. I look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy and it looks like plans for a movie are in the works.
The mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopia was similar to War of Rain, where the future was reminiscent of the past. While in War of Rain, life was primitive, barely beyond caveman times, in The Knife of Never Letting Go, life is very simple, farm based with little technology. The "settlers" land in spaceships, but the settlements have no phones, cars, etc.
Classroom application: The novel could be used as a mentor text for creating voice. The narrator has a very distinct dialect/use of language, but it does not inhibit a reader's understanding.
The novel could also be used in a genre study or in literature circles to compare how different authors view the future and the dystopian societies they imagine.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Knife of Never Letting Go for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.
For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:
Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.