Book Review: “The Ask and The Answer”

“The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)” by Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Source: Bought

Other Chaos Walking Books

Summary from Goodreads:

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s terrifying new order. But everything is shrouded in secrets. Where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then one day, the bombs begin to explode. . . .


Mostly spoiler free.

Oh. Man. This was a fantastic sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go. I wouldn’t say it’s quite as action packed but it’s almost there in a different way. Ness’s writing is absolutely engaging and kept me pretty much glued the entire time. This man is a genius with cliffhangers at the end of chapters. I swear at the end of most of the chapters I was left with my jaw on the floor baffled at the new turn of events. I was constantly ‘forced’ to keep reading even though I had other things I needed to do. I always love that.

While the book is as intense as the first one, it does ultimately have a different ‘feel’ to it. This book focuses more on civil war and the consequences of it. We have Todd and Viola on opposites sides of the war so the reader can see both sides of the issue. The story makes you to start to think and reevaluate everything you know about terrorism, genocide, and war. Things aren’t black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. So many lines are blurred.  I honestly can’t figure out who to root for.

I loved the alternating between Todd and Viola. It was necessary for this story. The reader needs to know both sides. It’s pretty easy to keep them straight because they have different voices and each one had a different font. It was odd, I did not like any of the characters. But then again basically everyone and everything in the book was horrible so of course no one is likable.

President Prentiss is up there on my top villains list right under Delores Umbridge. Of course I didn’t like him but that’s the point. You’re supposed to hate him. The mixture of kindness and outright hate is enough to get under anyone’s skin.

It should be a dead giveaway because the book is about civil war but this is grim. Very grim. If you don’t do well with violence, death, destruction, war, etc you might want to skip this.

Rating 4/5

Why aren’t these books more popular? I’m so glad I bought the trilogy so now I can force them on my friends and family.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Ask and The Answer”

  1. Why AREN’T these books more popular? That’s something I still can’t understand. Good call on buying the series. I really wish I would have because I want everyone to read them.

    I’m so glad you’re loving these books! Prentiss is definitely one of the best villains I have ever encountered. Just wait until book 3!

      • I did hear recently that a big film company had purchased the movie rights to the series. I’m not very excited about the possibility of them being turned into movies, but that would definitely make them a little more well known.

        I wouldn’t have heard about these books if it hadn’t been for book blogging, either. I don’t know how I found things to read before! 🙂

  2. Seriously! WHY aren’t these books more popular? Doesn’t the rest of the world know how much and how ferociously I love them? I cry every time I read these damn books, which has been like six times since the first go-round in 2009.

      • That is exactly what I have been doing. I converted my mother, two of my three sisters, and my little sister’s boyfriend and best friend. But now I’ve recommended these books to everyone who listens to me, and the people who were going to listen to me have done it. I have run out of people!

        • Nice job! I’ve got my dad reading the first book and I’m sure I can get my sister to read it as well over Christmas break. I guess we can always bring the books ‘out of hiding’ at libraries and book stores so more people can see the books. The people working might hate us though.

  3. Pingback: The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness | Iris on Books

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