Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  46,408 Ratings  ·  4,450 Reviews
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss.

Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.

But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?
Paperback, 517 pages
Published 2011 by Walker Books (first published May 4th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ask and the Answer, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

GrabAHotChoc Yes it still does as it's written partly in Todd's voice. However, if it's any consolation, you do get used to it and just flow into the story as…moreYes it still does as it's written partly in Todd's voice. However, if it's any consolation, you do get used to it and just flow into the story as well. In fact, i feel as though the voice allows you to really picture Todd as he is: Naive, innocent yet strong. Hope this helps.
If you have any more questions visit my blog;
GrabAHotChoc I understand your concern in terms of the pace, but i truly do feel that if you plough on the pace becomes quicker and faster and in a way this book…moreI understand your concern in terms of the pace, but i truly do feel that if you plough on the pace becomes quicker and faster and in a way this book is extremely moving. You may not see it now, but reading on through the other books, the characters progress and grow and the voice of both Todd and Viola shine through. Hope this helped.
If you have any more questions, visit my blog:
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 04, 2011 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
okay, so i loved the knife of never letting go but this one was somehow even better.

oh, jeez, i am afraid i am just going to write a gushing fangirl review here. does anyone mind?

i will try to avoid saying anything too specific, because this book is such a gem, i want everyone to sort of discover its folds and depths for themselves.

because there is a great deal of depth up in here.

the action of this book takes place after a colossal thing happens which separates viola and todd. and this book is
Kat Stark

First Book: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Hmm...well I would say this is a high three. It's weird because I was bothered by ____ but all of those things made sense because of ____. So my rationalization really made this rating hard for me. I wanted to go with a 4, but I really wasn't invested until the last 30%

Honestly this book was really dull. I don’t know if it was because of my mood, or what, when I read this, but nothing was clicking until the end. I think it was because the characters cou
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
This was an alright sequel, I didn't love the plot but the ending has left me very curious to see how the trilogy ends! I hope there is lots more action and intensity in the final installment :)
Jul 07, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, blog
**Some spoilers for those who have not read the first book**

I just wrote an exhausting review of this novel, but Goodreads screwed me and lost the entire thing. Pissed does not even begin to cover what I feel right now. All of that brilliance, now lost to the cyberspace void forever.

I didn't so much read the first book in this series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, as inhaled it. Original and disturbing, Ness is not afraid to take some risks as he tells the story of Todd Hewitt, a boy about to
Emily May
This stunning sequel to The Knife Of Never Letting Go manages to measure up to its predecessor in a way I never thought possible. After reading the first book, I felt sure that Ness would be incapable of delivering something equally brilliant. But he did.
This is an even more important book than part one, though admittedly not quite as fast-paced. It deals with very grown up issues like feminism, terrorism, war and genocide; another reason why I have to reiterate my point that this trilogy should
“So who are you then, Todd Hewitt? What makes you so special?”
Where to start, where to start? In that first chapter, I was just so proud of you Todd. I feel like we’ve come a long way and it just never stops for you does it?

But seriously, where to start? I thought the last book was good. This one is better. Like, sell your aunt and your soul to the devil kind of good. It's just so full of stuff.

First off, despite my many attempts, I could never guess what would happen. When I gave up trying and
Dec 21, 2009 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, ya, loathed, dystopian
Ugh, I just can't do it. This book is contrived and ridiculous. The characters of Todd and Viola have reached a level of stupidity that I didn’t think was possible. I was put off by the first chapter, but continued to read for another 50 pages before I finally chucked it. Enough is enough. I had already ignored my instincts by picking this book up in the first place. Having read and been let down by book one, I was hoping that Ness would redeem himself. But alas, no such luck. Not only has Ness ...more
Dec 21, 2009 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, ya, tres-annoying
I won't lie, I am really disappointed in and exhausted by this novel. "The Ask and the Answer" is very little like the first book in the trilogy "The Knife of Never Letting Go."

If the first one is a fast-paced chase kind of story, which keeps you hooked by gradual revelation of the New World's mysteries of Noise, Haven, Viola's origin, etc., this book is basically an account of a civil war between Mayor Prentiss's army and the resistance called here the Answer. The book raises various issues of
Whitney Atkinson
This series is just turning out to be rather "meh" for me, and that's totally not a bad thing, I just can't describe it better. It's not bad. I really have no problems with the characters or writing or plot, but at the same time, it isn't the absolutely coolest and best thing i've read. It's fast and unique and the writing is cool, but I don't necessarily find myself connected to the story or the people. It's fun to read when you're doing it, but I wouldn't consider this series one of my favorit ...more
Dec 04, 2010 Isamlq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hunger games lovers; shusterman lovers; YA dystopian
Recommended to Isamlq by: paolo ramirez (mwah-mwah,) tina, aaron vincent
I imagine Viola, reluctant healer, the worst in fact, bumbling around; Todd working, slaving away. And I imagine their growing closeness despite everything that’s going on around them; despite the forced physical distance between them.

This book is a such a visceral experience. And it's more. I read it and I see everything in my mind’s eye. Not stills; I have a movie playing in my head. I sort of gag when I think of the stench from the Spackles’ corner in the morning. I can almost catch a whiff
Rachel Hartman
Feb 25, 2012 Rachel Hartman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the things I had issues with in the first book aren't a factor here, except for one. And it's kind of a big one. I'm going to have to meditate upon this for a time before I can write a proper review. Over all, though, I liked this one much better. Ness does relentlessly horrible like nobody else, and I say that with all the love and respect in the world.


AVAST, YE SCURVY DOGS, THAR WILL BE SPOILERS! Yaaarrr! I don't know why I hate the Global Spoiler Warning, I just do. I
Jul 13, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Ness's writing is a thing of magic. He aptly portrayed the horrors of civil war on both sides, and how war has no clear "good guy" and "bad guy". The psychological aspect of this book is intense, being in the minds of both Viola and Todd as they try to pave a path for themselves in the hell that surronds them is both riveting and humbling.
Mar 14, 2016 Denisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 The writing style is so powerful, something about those half sentences just give me the chills. The ask and the answer is a very complete sequel, with more layers and feelings than its predecessor if that’s possible. It is. Not as fast paced or action packed like The Knife but with way more material and exposition to what is the main plot line in this book; war and sides; society and decisions; love and friendship; good and evil…and everything in between. With excellent character development ...more
May 26, 2011 Priscilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seriously. One of THE best series I've read...and I'm not even done reading it yet. Why are you so awesome Patrick Ness?

First thoughts:

1) Love Todd.
2) Love Viola.
3) Love Todd and Viola.
4) The writing style is AMAZING.
5) Fully developed characters, plot, and concepts.

Check out my full video review here!

You have been warned.

Initial Final Page Thoughts.

High Point.
THE RETURN OF TODD. Seriously, I missed him in like the two days between finished the first one and starting this one. Mayor ....President Prentiss. VIOLA! The Answer. Sympathy for the devil. Welcome to the dark side. Mmm, I love the smell of a love triangle in dystopia. The Holy Trinity- Oppression, Betrayal and F
Clau R.
Apr 20, 2015 Clau R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, i-ship-them
It's 4.5 stars. Not perfect 5 stars because the first part was a little slow and boring for me, but THEN the final chapters were so awesome and full of twists and turns and UGHHH Patrick Ness just loves to kill the characters I like!

Anyway, this book was so much better than the first one! I think that's because we get to know (not really, though) mayor Prentiss. He's one of the best villains EVER.

Also, I ship Todd and Viola so much.
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 05, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ace
Shelves: sci-fi, series, ya, populist
I read the first book of this series last year. I really liked it (4 stars). My main reason was the imagination of the author to think of something like people hearing another people's thoughts. It found it very fascinating as I never heard of that before. Also, he used this in weaving a very engaging dystopian tale of a small post-apocalyptic town with very memorable characters.

There is nothing similar to that fascinating concept in this second book. There are endless violence similar to The Hu
Dannii Elle
So for the entire month of February I have been Patrick Ness crazy! Like, CRAZY!! I had never read any Ness before so I thought I'd pick up one or two of his books as I had heard only good things about his writing. This led to me buying almost everything he has ever written and reading them all back to back, without even pausing to write a review in-between. So, let me begin this review by apologizing to my GR friends for the onslaught of Ness-related reviews coming your way today! Sorry (not so ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Jo
6 Stars!
I can give six stars if I wanna! (shut up) ;)

“That’s when I think getting thru it ain’t enough.
Staying alive ain’t enough if yer barely living.
They’ll play me as long as I let ‘em.”

People tend to believe because I pick, crawl, and remain in a book for weeks that I am struggling or not enjoying the story. It’s actually the complete opposite. I don’t want the book to end. I can’t and don’t want to leave the pages. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness became one of those reads for me. A
Shannon (leaninglights)
Todd and Viola are giving me LIFE right now. I absolutely love this story and the second book was just as good as the first, but in a new and exciting way. I can't imagine the tortuee people went through who read these as they were published because CLIFFHANGER MUCH?? Lol excited to read the final book!!
Also find this review on - My blog Don't Stop Readin'

One of the best books I have ever read.
I am not the kind of person to throw around the title of ‘best-book-ever’ casually. I’ve read almost 330 books but only 40 of them are my favourites. So when I say this is one of the best books ever I mean it.

Ask and The Answer is the 2nd book in Chaos Walking trilogy. It picks up right where the first one, Knife of Never Letting Go left off. There is a lot of planning, plotting, bombing in th
Loved it! 4.5/5 stars!
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Here I am before you once again, with my heart ripped into shreds. I didn’t think I had any more feelings left after the first book, but trust Patrick Ness to tear whatever was left out of your chest in the second.

The Ask and the Answer was significantly longer than the first book, with Todd and Viola working in two different forces for and against the Mayor, now President of New Prentisstown. While The Knife of Never Letting Go was fast paced and tense at every turn, we’re given a breather fro
Mar 31, 2016 Vladimir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-read, 2016
Patriče, Patriče... šta ti meni uradi!!!

Poslednjih 50 stranica me je dovelo do pravog nervnog sloma zbog svih onih preokreta, neizvesnosti i očajanja.


Nemam pojma kako se trenutna situacija može razrešiti. Previše je sve upetljano.

Patrick Ness me je definitivno kupio tako da je u planu da pročitam sve šta je ovaj čovek napisao...

Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
How do I even begin to say anything about this book? This whole series? These books are geared toward young adult books but they are so very much more. Civil war, genocide, power hungry leaders and gender lines. This writer takes all of those and somehow manages to write them down in a way that captures the readers attention and hearts.

Patrick Ness seems to be a master of making the reader go into a book expecting one thing and recieving something that will completely blow their minds. He is ve
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

What would you choose if you had the faith of someone you love in yours hands?

Would you betray your beliefs?

I must confess that the only honest answer I can give you is :

Of course I'd be so proud if I was able to say that I'd do the right thing whatever it takes, and I want to think I'd do it. Really. Of course there are situations where what to do is obvious because one of the possibilities is utterly bad. But sometimes - sometimes there's no such thing as a right choice.

The Ask and the Answ
Oct 11, 2012 sanny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, ya, book-club
"If you ever want to see how small you are in the plan of God, just stand at the edge of an ocean" ~ Mistress Coyle

This book is an ocean. And you are very small. No character is too big for Ness to spare, no reader too large for him to be considerate of their emotions. It's easy to think he's doing things to characters to simply further the plot, to milk us of reactions, and to a certain extent that might be so. But on the other hand I felt this condensed version of what comes from people's inse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2011 Eh?Eh! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, I suck at this reviewing thing. I really do fall back on summarizing and the personal anecdotes. How to talk about this book?? I appreciate those who can dance around without doing either and still make such a compelling plea to read-the-damn-book-already,

Posting links to better reviews, usually karen's, is another fallback. Sigh.

The author had explained that the first book germinated out of the idea of what too much information can do; it can drive
Simona Stoica
May 20, 2016 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Am terminat-o pe la 6 dimineața.
„Și tu știi că sunt singurul care o poate salva.”
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
1017's Gender 65 476 Feb 07, 2016 06:49AM  
BUT I MEAN HOW COULD HE DO THAT? 1 24 Nov 08, 2015 07:49AM  
Shut Up & Read: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness 48 28 Sep 10, 2015 03:35AM  
2016 Reading Chal...: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness 1 15 Jun 23, 2015 02:52PM  
What did you think about Viola and 1017 narrating? 20 76 Dec 23, 2014 10:17PM  
  • A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles, #4)
  • Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)
  • Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)
  • The Dead (The Enemy, #2)
  • The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)
  • UnDivided (Unwind, #4)
  • The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)
  • Dust & Decay (Rot & Ruin, #2)
  • Maggot Moon
  • Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic, #2)
  • Fear (Gone, #5)
  • Among the Nameless Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #0.5)
  • Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
  • Fireflies
  • Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2)
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
More about Patrick Ness...

Other Books in the Series

Chaos Walking (3 books)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)
  • Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)

Share This Book

“It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength.”
“In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed.” 386 likes
More quotes…