Never Let Me Go
The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
“Shut up, Manchee.”
“Poo. Poo, Todd.”
“I said shut up.”
That is the opening paragraph of The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize a couple of weeks ago. It richly deserved the prize. As fellow nominee Frank Cottrell Boyce put it in his review:
This book is on the longlist for the 2008 Guardian children’s fiction prize, along with my own. If I had any sense, I would try to improve my chances of winning by slagging it off. The trouble is, you’d only have to read the first sentence to see how fantastic it promises to be.
My review of the book has just gone up at Strange Horizons. You will notice that the letters YA do not appear in the review at any point. This is because there is no such thing and when it gets down to it most people seem to agree so we should just end this consensual hallucination that it exists. Please join my crusade.
Getting onto another bugbear, The Knife Of Never Letting Go is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. As I mention in my review the fact that standalone novels are becoming increasingly rare in genre publishing is a source of some irritation to me. There is currently no information available about the next volume but hopefully it will turn up soon. I reviewed Thorn Ogres Of Hagwood by Robin Jarvis in 2003. I have had an Amazon order for The Dark Waters of Hagwood, the second volume of the trilogy, since 2004 but there is still no sign of it.