The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking) Paperback – 7 Sep 2009
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"* "Ness is a young writer of exciting quality and unpredictability." The Times" --The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Ness is a young writer of exciting quality and unpredictability." (The Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The Ask and The Answer is a fantastic continuation of Todd and Viola’s story. I don’t want to say too much about it because although I’m aware that this is an ‘old’ series, I’m also aware that many regular readers of my blog haven’t started this series yet. (They totally should).
I really enjoyed how The Ask and The Answer used Viola’s perspective so much. This doesn’t always work for me, but it really did in this book. I loved experiencing Viola’s point of view. They both had distinct voices too. I was never confused about who was narrating. (It helps that the font changes too). Hearing from both perspectives really enriched the story for me. Patrick Ness is a master at creating characters. His villains are particularly exceptional.
I wasn’t sure where the plot of this book was going to go. I wasn’t sure whose side I should be on. There’s so much muddy area around who is good and bad and I’m still loving being confused by it. It’s an incredibly clever move on Patrick Ness’ part! I won’t say anything more but express how much I’m looking forward to Monsters of Men! I’m just glad I decided to power through this series this month!
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.
I won't go into the plot, because I think it's best to go into the book without knowing that much of what happens - as there is very much an "anything could happen" feel as you're reading it.
Firstly, it should be no surprise that this book focuses mainly on the characters of Todd and Viola. What comes as a welcome surprise is that they each contribute to the narrative, for much of the book doing so in alternating chapters. Having said I wouldn't reveal anything of the plot, I'll let one small thing out, which is that for a lot of the book we see them separated from each other. They continue to be excellent and thoroughly three-dimensional characters.
Davy Prentiss features more in this book than the last one, and becomes a really interesting character - more and more so as the book goes on. But one character comes very close to stealing the whole show, however, and that character is (of course), Major Prentiss (now President Prentiss), who keeps the reader guessing just as much as Todd does as to what he's up to.
As antagonists go, Major Prentiss is very much the opposite of the obvious moustache-twirling villain that most writers go for. What makes him fascinating is his sheer inscrutableness, combined with how he is able to get everyone, even the reader at times, wondering if - no matter how many promises he breaks or unspeakable things he orders to be done for the good of the town - if this time he really means what he says - if this time he really could be the solution.
The book deals with some really heavy issues and goes to some seriously dark places, but it's both a novel that an adult would regard as uncompromising, and a novel that is suitable for the teenage audience it's primarily aimed at. The ending is tense, shocking and absolutely amazing.
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