Terri's Reviews > The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
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's review
Jun 01, 2010

it was amazing

(It was even better the second time! This time I looked past the story and took time to study the complexities and brilliance of the writing.)

Loved, loved, loved it! "The Ask and the Answer," which is the second book in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy, is so different from "The Knife of Never Letting Go." My major impression of the first book is one of running and intensity, and breathlessness. This book is more about relationships and emotional action; however, there is plenty of physical action as well. Though "The Ask and the Answer" is violent, even gruesome at times, my overall impression is one of the sweetness of the book. I think Viola's statement towards the end of the book sums it up, "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."

Ness is truly a master of understanding the art of manipulation, which is evident in his development of the characters and in his manipulation of the reader. I was continually guessing, thinking I had it figured out, and then being surprised. This is an awesome book with which to teach projecting skills! And the ending...oh my gosh. I did not see it coming. All of a sudden I thought, "Oh that's right...1017...what happened to him???" Fabulous!!!

The thematic material here is so rich. The treatment of women, and of the Spackles, is reminiscent of so many travesties that are a part of both our past and our present. The power of love. The power of commitment. The power of reading and education. they are all central to this story. I can't wait for #3, and I can't wait to meet Patrick Ness!
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Bridget I officially ordered the third book today - I can't wait to own my own copy!

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