And thus begins book one of the Chaos Walking trilogy. It’s best to go into the book knowing only as much as Todd knows (which is surprisingly little considering no one’s thoughts are private), so I won’t go into spoilers here. Suffice to say that leaving Prentisstown considerably expands Todd’s worldview and understanding. Todd is an intriguing character, a real innocent, with a voice that matches his lack of education.
The ideas here are very creative, especially in regards to the noise. It’s interesting to see what animals have to say (not much of interest actually) and how differently the various settlements Todd encounters on his journey have dealt with the problem of broadcasting their every thought.
I cruised through this thinking the whole time that it’s an A-/B+ book – until I hit the ending. The narrative is dark, but the ending is even darker and though it works on an intellectual level, it’s an emotional sucker punch – a cliffhanger that makes you think the book must be missing some pages.