Alex's Reviews > The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
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's review
Dec 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: adventure, closed-society, dystopia, different-povs, favorites, other-worlds, romance, survival, suspense, violence
Recommended for: Hunger Games admirers, Maze Runner readers
Read from December 29, 2010 to January 03, 2011

This review is quite spoiler free as far as it concerns this very book. However, if you didn’t read The Knife of Never Letting Go (the first book in the Chaos Walking series) I'll strongly advise against looking through it because it contains some major spoilers about its developments.

The book starts off when the Knife of Never Letting Go's plot came abruptly to a halt. Todd and Viola are at the mercy of Mayor Prentiss who had outsmarted them by taking over Haven before they even managed to arrive to it.
And now Todd is his prisoner. Of sorts. He wonders about Viola’s fate. He does his best to learn whether she’s pulled through her serious injury. But… the problem is – he’s denied the answer, he’s kept in the dark. And his worst enemy Mayor Prentiss who turned the City of Haven into his little empire is playing some dangerous games with the consciousness of all people at his disposal, including Todd. David Prentiss tries to persuade everyone, he’s not an enemy but a friend. And he sure does some things to prove his words right: spare the life of his predecessor for example, treats his subjects almost kindly. Is he’s telling the truth? Or is it another lie he’s feeding to all New Prentisstown dwellers?
As the story unfolds one can see that not everyone’s happy about the new ruler. And there’s a force that can be a real threat to him. And that’s when it really becomes interesting…

The Ask and the Answer is thrilling. Unlike the first book a reader won’t see much humor in this story, but a lot of spirit and will, and choices to make. There are plots and surprises, betrayals and horrible things, feeling and suffering, and overwhelming all-powerful love of two main heroes that can defeat almost anything on its way. I’m glad that Mr. Ness didn’t present it as most contemporary authors do – like snuggling, and kissing and making up sometimes – he shows it as a mature feeling, intense and lasting. The author also speculates about many acute topics of modern society: xenophobia, genocide, woman’s rights, violence, the influence of the power upon the ones who holds it. Though the main topic is still the morality and the thesis that “war makes monsters” of people.

I turned page after page after page and I couldn’t get enough. It’s like action and adventure daintily woven into one pattern and spilling out drop by drop, word by word, sentence by sentence and event after event.

And don’t even you dream to get away lightly because it presents you another cliffhanger. So, a reader will definitely tempted to set his hand on the last book in the trilogy. Just like me… after listening to this book for 8 hours in a row I’m about to proceed with the Monsters of Man right away:)

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Reading Progress

01/01/2011 page 111
20.0% "the humor of the 1st book (The Knife of Never Letting Go) has vanished... things look grimmer and grimmer. i wonder what plans do villains really hatch?"
01/03/2011 page 252
46.0% "so, the history does repeat itself. And the book's plot is so intense it's impossible not to read further :)"

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