Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Ask and The Answer - Patrick Ness

The Ask and The Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. It was released in the UK (paperback) on 7th September 2009 by Walker Books and it is 536 pages long.

When Todd and Viola began their trip to Haven, they thought they were running to safety. Instead, they have run straight into the arms of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Viola got seriously injured and although Todd doesn’t want to, the only way to save her is to hand her over so that she can be healed.

Separated from his only friend, Todd is help captive and forced to learn the ways of the Mayor, who now calls himself President. Todd doesn’t even know if Viola is still alive and the only way to try and find out is to play Mayor Prentiss’ game. No one dare say anything against the new rules of the town but people behind the scenes are plotting against the Mayor. Everything is not as it seems and secrets are hidden all over the place. A war is building but who is the mysterious Answer and what do they want?

What I thought
I was really looking forward to reading the second instalment of this fantastic series due to the massive cliff hanger at the end of book one. From the first couple of pages, I could tell that Patrick Ness was not going to disappoint me.

The Ask and The Answer is told from both Todd and Viola’s points of view which I was very happy to see considering that they were separated for a large chunk of the story. As much as I like Todd, I had grown to love Viola and her presence would have been greatly missed if I hadn’t been able to hear how she was and what she was getting up to.

Todd is such an interesting character due to the fact that the way that he speaks does not match the way that he acts. To hear him talk, you would think he was quite simple but most of his actions throughout this story prove that he is quite intelligent. He may not think things through some of the time but he is definitely brave and it is clear to see that he would go to any length to make sure that Viola is ok. I loved the fact that even though things were extremely difficult for Todd, he never thought for even one second that he would leave Viola and save himself. Their friendship is so wonderful to read about and I enjoy seeing how different things affect their relationship and bring them closer together.

I never thought that I would love a book so much that was centred around the themes of war, terrorism and torture. Although some scenes are quite brutal and made me wince a couple of times, they were extremely well written and fit the scene perfectly. I never thought that there would be more action this time around but there was A LOT more from both Todd and Viola. The pace of the story made it extremely exciting to read and one that I could not put down. As I turned each page, I got more and more anxious to see what was going to happen next and if Todd and Viola would get to see each other again.

Again, Patrick Ness leaves us on an enormous cliff-hanger but I didn’t mind. I don’t think that this is a series that could have been written without such amazing endings. It’s hard to describe how the end made me feel but when I finally closed it after the last page, I sat there looking at it for a little while, thinking about what I had just read. The Ask and The Answer is a fantastic sequel and I’m now dying to read the last book in the trilogy, Monsters Of Men. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.


Unknown said...

I love this series and The Ask and The Answer is my favourite of the three books. I found myself really emotionally invested in Todd and Viola's story. Monsters of Men is just as gripping and twists and turns all the way to the end...

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Honestly this is my FAVOURITE ever series of books. Love, love, love it.

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