This picks up right were THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO leaves off. I’ll keep things vague so as not to spoil things for anyone that hasn’t read KNIFE. Todd and Violet are put to the test as they find themselves separated and then swept up in two different sides of a sparking civil war. The gritty and horrid side effects of such fighting are abundant: politics, lies, sacrifices, genocide, terrorism…it’s all in this book and it is all terrifying. Ness has an incredible gift in that I feel SO MUCH while reading, even given the sparse writing style. He can introduce a character and in a matter of one paragraph they seem completely realized. Two characters can share a look and I know exactly what they are feeling. A plot point can be hinted at, and instantly, my gut is churning. This is a powerful, haunting book.
The story is told in alternating POVs, jumping between Todd and Violet, which truly helps a reader sympathize with both sides of this battle. (Well, maybe not sympathize, but at least understanding the motives of each.) Violet’s voice did seem a little blunt and simple to me, almost too similar to Todd’s given how educated she is, but it didn’t stop be from tearing through the pages. Once again, Ness ends things with a cliffhanger (*shakes fists*), but I’m still rooting for Todd and Violet. (And the Spackle. The poor, poor Spackle.) If you’re not yet reading this series, you should be. I’ve got the final installment at the top of my TBR list.
Originally reviewed here