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The Ask and the Answer

(Chaos Walking #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  86,793 ratings  ·  7,442 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
Hardcover, 536 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by Walker Books Ltd.
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Elias The reason for this is that Todd can't read. I thought it was a nice touch and didn't get on my nerves like it did in the Dust Lands books.…moreThe reason for this is that Todd can't read. I thought it was a nice touch and didn't get on my nerves like it did in the Dust Lands books.(less)
Rod No, it isn't remotely worth it: I have forced myself to plow through this second book, after the dull pacing of the first, and have been rewarded with…moreNo, it isn't remotely worth it: I have forced myself to plow through this second book, after the dull pacing of the first, and have been rewarded with more of the same repetitive boring passages. Additionally, the male protagonist makes excuses for engaging in evil, as he easily becomes a Nazi (the inhabitants of the planet men invaded are the equivalent of European Jewry who were enslaved & slaughtered). I have come to hate him and the stupid bratty girl, who is repeatedly ungrateful to the only person with a backbone to do what it takes to stop evil.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  86,793 ratings  ·  7,442 reviews

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Dec 01, 2011 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
C.G. Drews
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This trilogy is so freaking brutal I'm just sitting here trying to convince my heart to keep on. I am so stressed. "Read books!" they said. "It'll be fun!" they said. Well I am. so. stressed. I really love that this had no sniff of sequel blues though, despite being...ya know, blue as a book itself. I do think it was a bit long and the tedium of Viola's and Todd's separate work situations could've been faster but other wise: WOW. I'M OBSESSED.

• never going to get ov
Charlotte May
"So, who are you then, Todd Hewitt?" He says. "What makes you so special?" Now that, I think, is a very good asking."

What a crazy ending!
I enjoyed this one a lot more than the first. I was more invested in Todd and Viola's characters, and accustomed to the writing style so I could fully focus on the story. Yay for second books!

So Todd and Viola found their way to Haven only to discover it was not the safe land they were hoping for. Pitted back against Todd's old nemesis Mayor Prentiss, Todd
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 feminism, terrorism, war and genocide. The alternating narrative works well and develops the reader's bond with the character of Viola. F
Caz (littlebookowl)
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, audiobook
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 :) ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

What would you choose if you had the faith of someone you love in your 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
Claudia Ramírez
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tres-annoying, ya, 2009
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
Helen 2.0
Objectively, this whole series so far has been fabulously written. Really, really skilled author.
Objectively, the book deserves five stars.

But... I'm only human, and subjectively I wanted to rip this book apart and then burn the shreds because it both makes me furious and scares me to death. Chaos Walking is the kind of story where every character is evil and corrupted in their own way and you're at a loss for someone to like/support. To make things worse, the main characters are children thrust
Jul 13, 2013 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. ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopian
One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain.
These books are only teaching me PAIN and STRESS
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

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

🌟 Yay, I was exactly the 60,000th thousand person to rate this!!

I guess you know the drill by this point, I usually compare the second book in a series with the first and see what improved and what didn’t.

🌟 I didn’t know what to expect after the ending of book 1 so my Ask was if I will enjoy this as much and the An
Nov 23, 2010 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
Dec 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
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
“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
Dannii Elle
This is the second book in the Chaos Walking series.

This delivered everything I hoped it would and a million things more. I felt genuine sorrow for all those individuals who read the first book as it was released and had to wait a whole year until this was published. Ness is the king of the cliffhanger! Honestly, he is as sublime a writer as he is a cruel one, and the pain, anxiety, and anguish I felt whilst reading this was only offset by the beauty and grace of the penmanship. I am so glad I
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
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
*** 2.75 ***

A buddy with my friends at the MacHalos, because we obviously hate ourselves...

I am not going to write a real review for this one, because if it continues in the same vain, I will have to repeat myself when I finish the third and last book in the series. I am just frustrated...

Usually, when I read dystopian YA of substance, I am full of emotions which propel me to inspiration, and I have no problems putting them down in a review. Usually most of those feelings are positive. And just
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Stockholm Syndrome, anyone?

The Mayor has the upper hand and a stronger mind than anyone. I feel sorry for Tod and Viola for the most part, and the telepathy angle is growing a bit more interesting, but it's really the descent into evil that captures most of my imagination.

As it should, I'm sure. This dystopian SF was designed for the YA crowd and while it is very decent for what it is, the plot is not quite as strong as the characterizations and the world building is kinda lacking.

If you're loo
Ayesha {Heir of Bookdom}
“Faith with proof is no faith at all.”

Oh God, this book. Where do I even begin?

Well firstly, this book was not as fast-paced as its prequel. At least the first three quarters were slow, and concentrated on world building and character development. But was it just as amazing? HELL YEAH. This book was realistic and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

This book ingrained the love I had for The Knife of Never Letting Go. It made me even more invested in the plot line and the characters. The way this autho
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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!
Even better than first book but lot darker one with more twists and turns.

Ask and answer deals with more mature issues like slavery, terrorism and feminism as line between good and bad side blurs. But this isn't philosophical book and morality questions aren't showed in your face, instead they are knitted organically into story and setting of this incredible YA adventure. Maybe after intense book my brain short circuited but premise reminds me of first Black company book where we know who are go
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Mar 08, 2012 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
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ace
Shelves: series, populist, ya, sci-fi
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
Shannon (kitchandpages)
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!! ...more
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YA Buddy Readers'...: The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness - Restarting July 20th 2019 24 164 Jul 29, 2019 01:12AM  
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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 C

Other books in the series

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

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“It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
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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.” 494 likes
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