“The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)” by Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
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.
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.