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.
Sci-FI books are always interesting because each of them has their own different language that you have to decipher. It usually gets easier as the book and/or series goes along, but it still takes some getting used to. That was no different in this case. But, it was made even more difficult by the fact that the protagonist cannot read very well. So, a lot of words are misspelled, and they are spelled in the way they are pronounced. It took a lot of getting used to, and it made it sort of hard to read for a few chapters. Once you get the hang of it, it isn’t so bad though. You just have to hope you don’t actually start writing like that in your real life.
Usually, I cannot get into many sci-fi books. The stories are too out there for me, and I like more realistic story lines. But, there was something about this book that pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go. I never wanted to put it down, and it made me just keep reading to. I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it was. The story telling was unique to go along with a unique story line. I just enjoyed it thoroughly.
It was nice to read a young adult book that had a strong male and female character. They complemented each other well and with ease. It seems like the kind of book that should be required school reading. There are lessons about life, death, war and hope. It was a very complete book and could have worked easily as a stand-alone novel, but I am glad that there are two more that come after this one. I need more of Todd and Viola’s story.
Warning: (also a spoiler) The dog dies, and I was not prepared for that. I nearly cried. So, if you are someone that cannot handle that, don’t read this book.
Memorable Quotes: “It’s not so uncommon. If yer whole world is one Noisy town with no future, sometimes you just gotta leave even if there ain’t nowhere else to go.”
“Being this close to her silence is like my heart breaking all over the place. I can feel it, like it’s pulling me down into a bottomless pit, like it’s calling for me to just fall and fall and fall.”
“But a knife aint just a thing, is it? It’s a choice, it’s some thing you do. A knife takes a decision out of your hand and puts it in the world and it never goes back again.”
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