The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
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The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  28,260 ratings  ·  3,205 reviews
We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst en...more
Hardcover, 536 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by Walker Books Ltd. (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
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...more
Amanda
**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...more
Izzy
“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...more
Heather
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
Tatiana
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...more
Isamlq
Dec 04, 2010 Isamlq rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
Rachel Hartman
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...more
Jo
SOUND THE ALARM: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK AND ALSO 'THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO'.

You have been warned.


Initial Final Page Thoughts.
SPACKLEARGH.

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...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 05, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ace
Shelves: ya, series, sci-fi, 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...more
Priscilla
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!
Laura
Apr 04, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Anushka
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...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
"Todd," I say again, a catch in my voice. "On the ledge, under the waterfall, do you remember what you said to me? Do you remember what you said to save me?"
He's shaking his head slowly. "I've done terrible things, Viola. Terrible things-"
"We all fall, you said." I'm gripping his hand now. "We all fall but that's not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.”


I have a question before I get into the review. Are Viola and Todd too young to have all that's going on between them? (ro...more
sanshow
"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...more
Regina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eh?Eh!
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, http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

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...more
Shelby *wants some 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...more
Jessica

Ness has done it again! <3

Let's get the one "complaint" out of the way, unlike the first book in the trilogy, narration alternates between Todd and Viola (spoiler: she lives, but you knew that already because it says it on the back of the book). As much as I understand we needed to see the other side of the story, the female side, and Viola and Todd were separated, I can’t help my preference for Todd’s voice over Viola’s (and in general I just hate it when authors change the storytelling styl...more
Anna
At the time of writing this, I've only just finished this book. But, just SO MANY FEELINGS, I think that I at least have to start this review right now to do the book any justice. If you haven't read the first novel in the Chaos Walking series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, I would strongly recommend you go read it right this second. And you can also read my review, just to fully immerse yourself in the world of Ness.

So we last left Todd and Viola at the end of a gripping a violent chase toward...more
Thomas
"Oh my gosh," I sighed in frustration," why can't he just shoot him already? Just shoot him!"

My younger cousin, who had never heard a pacifist like me say such a violent thing, looked up from her Etch-a-Sketch. I remember thinking - dang, if only all sequels were this good.

The Ask and the Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, and continues from the last line of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I won't post a plot synopsis in fear of spoiling it for people who haven't read the fir...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
In the Knife of Never Letting Go I was so sure who the bad guys were but in the Ask and the Answer it isn’t so clear. There are so many bad guys, so many varying degrees of awfulness and hate, so many wrongs done for the right reason or rights done for the wrong reason. It is so complicated and the gray area is enormous. My feelings for individuals went from one extreme to the other in a very short time frame. The reverberating theme for the entire book is
  
    “we are the choices we make”
  

…and whe...more
Robert
The Knife of Never Letting Go ended with a massive cliffhanger, followed by the words "The End".

The Ask and the Answer starts with the words "The End" and carries straight on. Where the first novel was a long chase story, introducing us to this strange world and the history of the people there, this second novel is not a novel about chases, but about oppression and moral compromise. Todd and Viola are separated, and they have different political paths in a morally murky world of fascism, segrega...more
flajol
If you loved The Knife of Never Letting Go, you won't be disappointed with The Ask and The Answer. It's just as brutal and uncompromising as the first in the Chaos Walking series, just as gripping, and now I'm left howling for book three! When's it coming out, Patrick?

Todd tries to hold onto his values as the Mayor manipulates and schemes and strips away those things that anchor Todd to his humanity. Once again, Ness isn't afraid to tackle big themes: war crime, terrorism, genocide, loyalty and...more
Regan
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.
Patrick Burgess
Excessive Violence In Lieu Of Meaningful Moral?

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one. Actually, to be honest I didn't enjoy the first book so much as I was held in thrall by it. I will give excellent story-tellership its due, but telling a good story doesn't have much to do with actual writing ability in my opinion, but more to do with flare, style and the ability to weave a good plot.

The Ask and the Answer has lost momentum from the first book in terms of meaningful plot weaving. I...more
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
Re-read with my lovely Jen!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

5 LARGE, AMAZING STARS!!!

Worth every star in the world. (It was SO MUCH MORE FAST PACED THAN I REMEMBER!)

The world that Ness creates is beyond any stretch of imagination I could ever dream of coming up with-I'm seeing that in spades the second time around. So many things I overlooked the first time made the story that much better the second time around. He is an amazing writer and I will forever re-read these books with a huge, masochistic smile on my face...I...more
AH

Wow. That was intense.

The Ask and the Answer starts right where The Knife of Never Letting Go left off. It is a dark book, a book that takes the reader way out of their comfort zone. A lot of horrible, terrible things happen in this book, and people allow these horrible, terrible things to happen.

Set on another planet very similar to ours, The Ask and the Answer is the story of human settlers that arrive to farm on the planet. They discover that more ships full of settlers are scheduled to arriv...more
Julie Covington
First read: May 2013

Reread Review:
This book is just effing brilliant! I never thought I would be such an emotional wreck on a damn re-read but I was! This book is a crazy as hell journey filled with a level of hatred for characters that I have not yet experienced. At the same time, the love felt for our two main characters transcends anything I have read. There has been no declaration of love, no kiss, nothing, and yet their bond and love for each other is so incredibly strong and heartfelt tha...more
Hope
***CAUTION: Before you read this review, you must be aware that today is one of my “rambling days." Proceed at your own risk. ;) ***

I am officially entranced with this series. I tried not to be, because it freaks me out to no end, and it doesn’t exactly feel right being so enthralled with something that scares me so much.

But there it is…I am entranced.

And, therefore, my library has officially made it onto my hit list, for not having Monsters of Men. This is the last straw! *scowling*
Basically...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
SPOILER ALERT**.......Davys death 22 113 Jul 25, 2014 04:29PM  
Favorite Character in the series 17 84 Jul 01, 2014 10:13PM  
Best Book 11 59 Jun 25, 2014 06:31PM  
The Ask and The Answer 2 22 Jun 25, 2014 04:47PM  
The Ask? Or the Answer? (Spoilers) 13 71 Jun 25, 2014 04:32PM  
What did you think about Viola and 1017 narrating? 18 47 Jun 25, 2014 04:24PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness--> Starting August 1st 1 4 Jun 23, 2014 09:34PM  
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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
More about Patrick Ness...
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) A Monster Calls Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3) More Than This The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5)

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“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.”
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“In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed.” 293 likes
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