Imagine being able to hear everybody's thoughts. Everybody's. Even animals. And they can hear your thoughts. That's what it's like for Todd in Patrick Ness' book which takes place on a planet called New World. When folks left Earth they couldn't hear Noise, the name Todd calls all the thoughts he hears, but something caused everyone to hear them on this planet. Todd lives in a town of all men and he is the last boy to reach the age of thirteen, the age he will become a man. Having lost his parents when he was very small, he was raised by two men, Ben and Cillian. But something is out there in the swamp that surrounds the town that triggers events and his guardians pack him up and force him to run away into the swamp where he finds.....
One of the enjoyable aspects of reading this book is the humorous way the thoughts of animals are heard.
"Swamp Noise, tho, swamp Noise is just the birds all thinking their worrisome little birdie
thoughts. Where's food? Where's home? Where's my safety? And the waxy squirrels,
who are all little punks, teasing you if they see you, teasing themselves if they don't and the
rusty squirrels, who are like dumb little kids, and sometimes there's swamp foxes out in the
leaves who you can hear faking their Noise to sound like the squirrels they eat and even less
often there are mavens singing their weird maven songs and once I swear I saw a cassor
running away on two long legs but Ben says I didn't, says the cassors are long gone from the
To say there is a lot of action in this book is quite an understatement as Todd and his dog, Manchee, are joined by another person in their flight to get to a town called Haven. Along the way he learns more about the history of the immigrants to this planet and why the men of his town are so desperate to catch him.
I highly recommend this book to readers of action novels. Sci-fi fans would also find this book a real page turner. Be forewarned that it is Part I of a series and you will have to wait for the sequel with baited breath.
My rating for this book: ++++