12-year-old Todd Hewitt hates his life. Like everyone else in Prentisstown on New World, Todd can hear the thoughts of everyone around him all the time. The “sound” of everyone’s thoughts all jumbled together is a constant distraction, making the townspeople irritable and prone to violence. “Never mind plugging yer ears, it don’t help at all,” Todd explains. The only person who seems unaffected by the “Noise” is Mayor Prentiss, who Todd believes is “forging some kind of Noise weapon.” And while Todd is mostly wrong about this assumption, he’s not far off the mark.
I call this The Book of Never Letting Go, because even though it has a “when you think it can’t get any worse, it does” kind of plot, the story is so amazingly good that it draws you in and won’t let you go until you’ve devoured all the books in the series.
Side note: I think Mayor Prentiss should go on a list of The Most Evil Villains of All Time.