The AW: Chaos Walking – The Knife of Never Letting Go

Chaos Walking is the next post-apocalyptic adaptation everyone will be discussing soon.  Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War) are attached to the project, currently in preproduction with Quadrant Pictures, set to release in 2018.  You have a year to pick up this series and binge read it.

Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first in the series.  I say post-apocalyptic, but that isn’t the right term.  It’s sci-fi crossed with a western without all the clichés that make both fail.  In Prentisstown, every man’s thoughts are audible in anyone’s head.  It’s called the Noise.  And it will drive people crazy.  Todd Hewitt flees town with his dog Manchee to seek refuge and answers in Haven.  He stumbles across Viola Eade, and the two journey across the harsh land struggling to survive the elements, an army at their heels, and a crazed preacher.

It took about 12 pages for me to settle into the book.  You hear all male character’s thoughts – that includes Manchee, the dog.  Trust me, his yapping quiets and once you get past his constant chatter of “Squirrel, Todd!  Squirrel!” you’re in for a treat.

Author Patrick Ness created an original world and barriers that I haven’t seen before.  The book is worth a read for Chapter 22 alone.  Todd and Viola come across a Noise like nothing else, and Ness’s description from Todd’s mind is beautiful:

It’s weird, Noise, but almost wordless, creating the hill in front of us and rolling down, single-minded but talking in legions, like a thousand voices singing the same thing … Like how stars might sound.  Or moons.  But not mountains.  Too floaty for mountains.  It’s a sound like one planet singing to another, high and stretched and full of different voices starting at different notes and sloping down to other different notes but all weaving together in a rope of sound that’s sad but not sad and slow but not slow and all singing one word.

You’ll have to read the book to learn what that one word is.  And, yeah, it’s kinda that life lesson we all need to remember.

Preproduction for the film started late this year.  Doug Liman, known for the Bourne films and other action-packed popcorn flicks like Edge of Tomorrow and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is set to direct.  The Knife of Never Letting Go isn’t a high action story.  Yes, there are some fist fights and a rag-tag “army” on horseback, but it is more a quest and self-discovery piece.  I’m curious to see how this is handled by Liman.  I do believe Ridley and Holland (who is becoming my former teenage-self crush) are excellent choices for the characters.  In the few films I have seen them in, they’ve held their own next to – or dare I even say “outshined” – the veteran actors.

This is gearing up to be the major film of 2018, so grab the book and start reading if you haven’t already.  Let me know below what your thoughts are on the casting!

Click here to start reading the series on Kindle, or here for paperback.


On Twitter follow Chris @ACCooksonWriter and Rebecca @DownWorldNovel.

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