Here’s my review for the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. This is The Ask and the Answer, by Patrick Ness. If you haven’t read the first book, please beware the small spoilers ahead!
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If you saw my favourite books read in 2015 post, you’ll know that I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go. It was everything I wanted and more! I’m still completely blown away by it. Although I was very excited to continue the trilogy, I don’t like to read series back to back. So, I waited a while and was finally able to get my hands on this one!
After a long journey, Todd and Viola at last arrive to Haven but are quickly followed by the terrible Mayor Prentiss and his army. The kids are taken prisoners and separated. Todd has to work with the person he hates the most while Viola finds herself right in the middle of a rebel group. And then, a civil war breaks out!
After all the heartbreak and pain of the first book, I though I was mentally prepared to read this book. And I was. But the funny thing is that the author decides to change the series a bit in this one. The characters and the plot and both very well deepened, in different ways from the other way. And then you’re all taken by surprise again.
I’m still speechless every time I think of Todd. I can’t believe that that obnoxious kid from book one is now this complex man. I’ve never seen a character go through so much and such scaring development. He’s by far one of the most amazingly developed characters I’ve ever read about. I love Viola as well but there’s something about her that doesn’t fascinate me as much as Todd does. And oh boy, the villains in this book! Mayor Prentiss is a fucker in the first one but knowing him better in this second title was delightful. He’s such a mysterious character. And he’s such a faker, I want to punch him in the face every time he tries to play nice! Like Lito in Sense8 very well puts it “I SEE YOU, VILLAIN!”. He doesn’t fool me. There’s a lot of good and well done characters in this book, like Mistress Coyle, but I would highlight Davy, the Mayor’s son. I fucking hated him in the first book. But in this new one, we as readers learn so much about him and his ways. He’s just another boy trying hard to please his father. He does terrible things in order to do so but knowing the reasons make him much more human.
The plot is very interesting and full of twists and turns but it’s way more slow than the previous title. I would say this book is a physiological thriller. There’s two sides to the war, and every chapter relating to them is so tense! The leaders of each side of the war are complete puppeteers, in their particular ways. They play so many mind games with the rest of the characters. I mostly went with the flow so every little twist killed me because I wasn’t really expecting it.
And of course, Ness’ writing is absolutely flawless. I don’t know how anyone can be that talented. I love the diferences between the writing in each characters POVs. Due to his education (or lack there of), Todd’s are more simple and words are often (purposefully) misspelled. Viola’s, on the other hand, are more carefully written. They even have distinct fonts! These little differences make the book so much more rich. I’m also extremely fascinated on how Ness portraits good and evil more similar to shades of grey and not a so black and white concept. That always leaves me thinking.
Oh boy, that ending!! This book slowly destroyed me. By the end of it, I couldn’t take it no more. That’s a good thing, by the way. I’m dying to pick up the next one! I bet it’s going to end epically. March is my another #readwomen month for me but I’m going to read the final book in this trilogy soon enough. Tell me it’s going to be ok (don’t, saying that will probably spoil things). I’m so in love with these books, I want everyone in the world to read them and see how much of a genius Ness is!
Have any of your guys read this book? If so, what did you think of it?
Here’s one of my favourite quotes:
We are the choices we make. And have to make. We aren’t anything else.
I feel like this review is a bit messy but I’m still so emotional about this book! I can’t help it. See you next time,