Jul 3, 2010

Trilogy Review: Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go: 5 cookies
The Ask and the Answer: 4 cookies
Monsters of Men: 5 cookies

I know I have gushed about these before on my blog, but now that I am finished with all three I wanted to do one big review. There is just something about Patrick Ness' writing that gets under my skin and will not get out. I checked out The Knife twice before finally getting around to reading it but once I picked it up I could not put it down. The Ask and the Answer was much the same, but being the middle book in a trilogy it ended on a huge cliffhanger (actually, The Knife did as well). Those of you coming to the party now are in luck because you can read one after the other without having to wait a year in between like I did.

The main character in these books is Todd Hewitt, a young boy on the very verge of manhood, who lives in a world where there are no women and men can read each other's thoughts. To avoid the ritual in his village that he needs to pass to become a man Todd runs away. And meets an empty spot in a swamp, a spot where he can hear no thoughts. In other words, a girl. Viola is from a scout ship that crash landed on the planet, A scout ship that is from a new convoy of ships coming to settle world. Todd and Viola team up to escape one of the men from Todd's village and discover that all is not as Todd has been told on this world.

I love all the different fonts Patrick Ness uses to illustrate the thoughts from the men. The word chaos comes to mind, which is appropriate since that is the title of the trilogy. These books are just so well written--short chapters, and later in the story a switch between Todd and Viola's points of view. As I read I would think, one more section, one more section, until I discovered I had read another hour--and twenty more sections. It just flowed.

The growth that Todd and Viola experience is amazing, by the end they are no longer the two scared children we first met, but a true man and woman, so strong. And their relationship is so precious and well written.

There is a lot of turmoil and ups and down in this series. I cannot say I agree with the ending, but since I have read my share of books, I had prepared myself for the possibility.

If you appreciate good writing, great voice and setting, and a very quick paced plot, you will LOVE the Chaos Walking trilogy.


  1. Oooh boy, I have The Ask and the Answer in my bookbag right now!! Can't wait to finish the silly one I'm on so that I can get there...

  2. Ok so I'm in the middle of The Knife of Never Letting Go right now, and I'm frustrated. See I'm the kind of reader that needs answers and needs them now. I'm as confused as Todd! And yes I know that brings me into the book more, but argggg. That aside I'm enjoying the book. I too like how they show the noise. Very well done and I get a good picture of what it's like.

  3. Jill: I understand. I know that's why a few people who have read it off my recommendation have not liked it. I just didn't mind going along for the ride!