Usually I start off with a summary of the book. The problem is, this is the third book in the trilogy, and I don't want to give ANYTHING away if caseUsually I start off with a summary of the book. The problem is, this is the third book in the trilogy, and I don't want to give ANYTHING away if case you haven't read any of them because they're so freaking good. So good! So I think what I'll do is give a general summary of the series, how about that? And then I'll gush some more because they're SO FREAKING GOOD.
In book One of the Chaos Walking series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, we are introduced to a new world. A relatively small colony of humans have come to the planet, and before the start of the book, there was a war with the indigenous species that the humans refer to as the Spackle. The Spackle have no spoken language, they communicate entirely through thoughts. The human men find, much to their horror, that not long after living on this new planet, their thoughts are being broad casted too. The humans refer to this as "Noise." Human women do not have Noise.
The first book starts up with Todd in Prentisstown. Todd has grown up in a world without women, all killed by the "disease" that caused the men to hear their and everyone else's thoughts. The town is chaotic, with many men seemingly living on the edge of madness from the constant barrage of other people's thoughts. The town is tightly controlled by the Mayor. One day, Todd is off with his dog when he finds a pocket of silence in the Noise. It's a girl. Which makes no sense at all. The first book is about Todd finding out the truth about this world he lives in, and working together with the girl, Viola, to get free from the Mayor and Prentisstown.
Book Two, The Ask and the Answer sees the world broken into two fractures, the Ask, controlled by the Mayor, who now calls himself the President, and the Answer, a terrorist group that fights back against the Ask. Todd and Viola find themselves, against their will, in the two separate groups, unsure if either of the groups are really doing what's best for anyone. I loved what Patrick Ness did in The Ask and the Answer with looking at a terrorist organization. The Ask is evil, clearly, they're killing and torturing and branding women, but the Answer isn't blameless either. They use people, and kill innocent bystanders as well as the fight against the Mayor. The world that's created is so intricate. Nothing is black and white. The way people turn to the Mayor for protection, even as he does terrible things, is fascinating and creepily realistic. Todd is in a constant struggle to do the right thing, but both Todd and Viola fear doing anything that might cause harm to the other.
And so we come to the final installment, Monsters of Men, where the Spackle attack. The Mayor had killed all the Spackle slaves, allowing one to go free in order to start a war. The Answer was about to attack the Ask, but now the humans have a new, larger, very well armed enemy to deal with. Not only that, but a new convoy of settlers is only a month off from landing. Todd and Viola are fighting for peace, but the Mayor and the leader of the Answer, Mistress Coyle, are both still fighting for power. In this book we also get to learn more about the Spackle, and how they communicate.
This was all very vague, please believe me when I say this series is amazing and there's so much to it. Please read it. The relationship between Todd and Viola is beautiful. I was crying for the last 30 pages of Monsters and Men. I do not usually cry over books. Every now and then I might get a little teary, but I don't remember ever actually crying. Well done, Patrick Ness, well done. I was in what I refer to as "Harry Potter mode," where I sit and read and yell at anyone who tries to talk to me, "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M READING? I CANNOT BE DISTURBED!" ...more
So…I don’t know what to tell you. The book flap describes this book as a “gothic tour de force,” but this is not a Gothic horror book. Gothic horror iSo…I don’t know what to tell you. The book flap describes this book as a “gothic tour de force,” but this is not a Gothic horror book. Gothic horror is like Dracula. Everything is done in the shadows, there’s no real blood and gore. This was full out, detailed, blood and gore. For example, after the monster has attacked and killed a family of six, we get a detailed description of the scene, down to the scooped out brains and flesh and bone scattered around the room.
I do not like horror. So I did not enjoy this book. I was too grossed out the whole time. Because of this, I don’t feel like I can accurately judge whether this was a good book or not. I just don’t know. I did like what Yancey was doing with the “when does a man become a monster?” psychological aspect.
What I am sure of is that my theory that the committee in charge of the Printz Awards this year was trying to be hip and edgy is holding true. I will continue to make my way through the Printz winners I haven't read (and had never heard of until they won).
In conclusion. Ew. If you don’t like horror, DON’T READ THIS BOOK. If you do like horror, well, have I ever got a book for you!...more
It was an enjoyable read. I definitely wanted to see how it would all come out. The characters themselves weren't especially exciting, but the story wIt was an enjoyable read. I definitely wanted to see how it would all come out. The characters themselves weren't especially exciting, but the story was engaging enough that I wanted to keep reading and figure out what Gabby would do when she got home and what was the terrible thing Chase did and so on....more
I really enjoyed this. It was kind of a dystopia novel but not really. The world Rose wakes up in really isn't all that bad. Things are strange and diI really enjoyed this. It was kind of a dystopia novel but not really. The world Rose wakes up in really isn't all that bad. Things are strange and different, and things are far from perfect, but not evil. Although there is some evil in the world, of course. I mean, it's a world with people. It's a science fiction book that will appeal to the kids who love to read dystopia novels because it reads and feels like one, even though I don't think it really is....more
Will Haley, an American weapons inspector and Anya Romanova, a Russian detective are called in to examine an abandon Siberian research facility whereWill Haley, an American weapons inspector and Anya Romanova, a Russian detective are called in to examine an abandon Siberian research facility where something, possibly a weapon of mass destruction, has been stolen. After the weapon disappears, people who once worked on the project during the Cold War start turning up dead. There's nothing to show how they died, aside from a strange red rash. Will and Anya must figure out what's going on as fast as they can, and what was really happening behind the Dosvidanya Projekt.
This was a bit dark, and definitely for an older, more mature audience. The weapon that is unleashed goes around killing lots of people, which are graphically depicted. There's also disturbing images because of what happened to a little girl named Natalia. I found that more upsetting then the people dying.
This is the first in the series, and it mostly felt like a set-up for the rest of the series. It gets the story moving, but not a whole lot happens in terms of plot, and I'm still not totally clear what exactly Natalia is, and how it seems she can both kill and heal people. I'm interested to see where this goes though.
I would recommend this for grade 11 and up....more
I would like to flat out say that I am not a fan of horror. As in I am quite vocal about my distaste. I don't like it, I don't want it near me, and II would like to flat out say that I am not a fan of horror. As in I am quite vocal about my distaste. I don't like it, I don't want it near me, and I especially don't want it in any form that relates to zombies. Zombies freak me out hardcore. It could happen man, that shit could happen. Which is why I'm glad to know my friend Matt, who has an entire contingency plan set up in case the apocalypse should take place and zombies overrun the earth. See? My phobia is nurtured and exacerbated by my friends!
OK, now that my rant is over (for now), I would like to state that this was a pretty good book. I really really enjoyed the characters, there was so much back story to each of them. Alex was so wonderful, she has a very distinct world perspective colored by her parents' death and her own fight against cancer. There were a lot of darker themes than just the whole zombie thing, which played really well off each other.
Then there was the whole ambient tension thing going on. It was pretty... stressful. Always thinking that the zombie was just around the corner or some random group of people was going to shoot Alex. Scary.
Now I am going to make another confession. I didn't finish this book. We've covered the fact that I don't like zombies, and especially don't like the horror genre. It just got to be too much to handle. Too much stress and creepiness. I did skim the last half of it though, and let me say that there is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end. So good thing it's a series, this one comes out tomorrow. So if you love horror pick it up, if you're like me and can't stand zombies and horror I would skip it. ...more
I don't know if I've ever discussed my love of all things Neil Gaiman. He is a genius in my eyes. I've read this book, watched the movie, and now readI don't know if I've ever discussed my love of all things Neil Gaiman. He is a genius in my eyes. I've read this book, watched the movie, and now read the graphic novel. I have to admit that I was expecting the graphic novel to underwhelm me. But to my surprise it snuck under my skin and really creeped me out. Which is what I wanted! Really all my hopes rested on how the Other Mother was portrayed. She's one of those characters that should be bone-chillingly horrifying. Cloyingly sweet until she is thwarted. My favorite scene from the book was well represented in the graphic novel. You know the one, where the Other Mother sits, eats beetles, and taps at her button eyes? Excellent. ...more
These were short little anecdotes, ranging from one sentence to a storyline spanning several pages. There were never more than three sentences per pagThese were short little anecdotes, ranging from one sentence to a storyline spanning several pages. There were never more than three sentences per page and a sketched picture always accompanied each paragraph. It's weirdly touching and psychological without giving a lot of details or going into a lot of depth. You see glimpses of back-stories, personality conflicts, and the backlash of relationships.
If you've read our reviews of Fables you know we love the storyline that bring well known characters to life. As a long-time Shakespeare nerd, I reallIf you've read our reviews of Fables you know we love the storyline that bring well known characters to life. As a long-time Shakespeare nerd, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. The characterizations were absolutely spot on, from the charisma and violence of Richard III to the youth and inner-conflict of Hamlet. Falstaff was amazing, as a jester with pearls of wisdom that you couldn't take seriously because everything else he said seemed so trite. There were times I scrambled a bit to remember story-lines so that I could figure out how characters would fit in - like Iago from Othello. The part that really intrigued me was the fact that while there weren't a lot of female characters, they were also the ones that stuck out. They were strong, independent, and powerful. Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and the Weird Sisters are fully aware of themselves and aren't afraid to reach out and take what they want. Pacing was fast and the plot was nuanced, the entire thing left you anticipating what was going to happen next. I have only one little niggle: I didn't love the artwork. It was fine. I just thought it could've been better. More refined, a better reflection of the story itself. It seemed a bit heavy-handed. This is more of a personal aesthetic than a real critique though....more
This was a bit surreal. As someone that was raised by a nice Midwestern Scandinavian family, it seems like total fiction that someone's father would cThis was a bit surreal. As someone that was raised by a nice Midwestern Scandinavian family, it seems like total fiction that someone's father would con not only strangers and employers but also his family members and personal friends. Taking not only their money but also their trust and twisting it until you don't know quite where you stand with any of your relationships.
The experiences that Laurie goes through, the fact that she lived in Israel and was an exotic dancer in Japan, make it seem all that more imaginative. But these incredible experiences lead her to journalism and refining her abilities to tell a story whether it's hers or a celebrities'. She has gifts that developed from her father, and a drive to cultivate them in order to find herself. After Laurie starts delving into her past, she realizes that she must confront her father's past to find some sort of peace. It's fascinating to see what happens once she realizes the depth of psychological despair she's going through that has developed from her relationship with her father.
Kaelyn is living on an island that is part of Canada when an unknown virus suddenly appears. It starts out just seemingly like a cold - sneezing, cougKaelyn is living on an island that is part of Canada when an unknown virus suddenly appears. It starts out just seemingly like a cold - sneezing, coughing. But then it breaks down your social inhibitions. Then the hallucinating starts, and then you're dead. Kaelyn's father, a microbiologist, is working hard to find a vaccination, but things are getting bad fast. The island is quarantined, and even though they've been promised food and medicine from the government, no help seems to be coming. Is it only a matter of time until the virus takes them all?
I classified this as a science fiction, but it isn't, not really. It hasn't actually happened, so I guess it's sort of futuristic, but something like it could happen. It isn't out of the realm of possibility. It was particularly creepy reading it because everything that happened was possible. It wasn't one of the "strange disease sweeps through and then everyone turns into brain eating zombies!" It was like Outbreak. A previously unknown virus shows up somewhere and people start dying. It moves very fast and there isn't a whole lot of time to find a solution for it.
The book is framed as Kaelyn writing in her journal. She writes in her journal like she's writing to her friend, Leo, who she had a falling out with and hasn't spoken to in two years. Leo is now in school in New York, and Kaelyn is determined to renew their friendship when he comes home for Thanksgiving. She doesn't have the chance, because long before Thanksgiving the island is quarantined. This allowed for the story to take on a very personal and confessional tone. We get all of Kaelyn's fear and anxiety. She hates having to stay home with nothing to do, hates feeling helpless and scared all the time. She wishes she was a different kind of person, who was braver and could help more.
At first, Kaelyn believes that her father will work everything out, and that the government will take care of the people on the island as promised. As people become more and more scared, life on the island quickly deteriorates. When there's a riot at the pier over food, the soldiers pull out and don't come back. Food and medicine is dropped in, but it's taken by gangs that have formed.
Kaelyn teams up with a boy from her school she never really talk to before, who has organized for food to be brought to people's homes. Kaelyn is impressed with Gav, and their relationship grows the more time they spend together. Of course, it's difficult to start a relationship when you constantly have to worry about the possibility of the other person dying.
There's a lot of sadness in this book, and a lot of death. Kaelyn loses a number of people close to her. After a certain point, as people keep dying, it becomes hard for her to process all the lose. She does the small things she can, and tries not to give up hope.
It definitely reminded me a lot of Life As We Knew It. It even ended in a similar way, with a little bit of hope, but things still being pretty awful. I thought it was a bit slow to start, but I really got into it. If you're prepared for a story that's quite the downer, I would certainly recommended this.
The Way We Fall comes out January 24, 2012. ...more