The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in the Chaos Walking series. Finding a used copy in Seoul bumped Patrick Ness' fascinating novel to the top of my reading list.
Todd lives in an alternate world of only men where there is no privacy. Everyone's thoughts are broadcast in an ever-present noise which allows Todd no peace. As the youngest member of Prentisstown, he will undergo a mysterious ritual at his approaching 13th birthday; it is then that he will get answers to some of his "asks". When a sudden discovery makes it impossible for him to stay in Prentisstown, he sets out on a harrowing journey with a surprising companion and his ever-present knife.
Ness' novel is stylistically appealing: the bold font which expresses the villagers' thoughts helps immerse the reader in Todd's world of noise. One of my favorite aspects of the fantasy genre is that authors are encouraged to challenge what the readers holds as fact. Ness' revelations unfold beautifully. At times I was eager for the plot to give more explanations, but know that Ness was pacing the story for the second book in the series, The Ask and The Answer. I am scouring Seoul's bookstores for a copy, so that I can get some answers of my own.