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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monsters of Men - A book to remember, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking) (Paperback)
A warning to all who wish to read this book: It will consume you. This book will give you hope and then snatch it away, it will fill you with joy and pain and grief and love, and it will rip your heart apart a million times over. In other words, it is a masterpiece.

Todd and Viola have survived so much. But the Spackle are coming, a war is approaching, and "War makes monsters of men." Through this final part of the Chaos Walking trilogy, we see the young Todd and Viola adapt to impossible circumstances, and risk everything for each other, over and over again. Like always. But war is a terrible thing, and there is a price to be paid for it. The question is, how high?

Patrick Ness has crafted this novel magnificently. The beauty of the characters, full of the flaws which make us all so human, allows you to grasp them and never let go. When the characters speak to you, you are not reading an account of fictional events - you are living a very real life right alongside them. There is much in Todd and Viola which we as readers can relate to, but also there is so much that we can aspire to be. There is an amazingly realistic ideology to this novel which is admirable.

The structure of Monsters of Men, with its multiple narrators, should be confusing. There are many pages where there are two or three changes of perspective after less than a paragraph. By rights, it should be an impossible literary feat, and there should be no reader left without confusion. This is not the case; Ness has manipulated the voices of Todd, Viola, and another, and has used them to create the novel's biggest strength; there is not a moment of action missed, not a thought unheard, even when the plot calls for the main protagonists to be many painful miles apart. There are no awkward discussions between characters to serve the sole purpose of informing the reader. Everything that happens in the novel, everything that is said and done and thought, happens because it must, for the sake of Todd and Viola and the whole, stupid world.

Monsters of Men is a novel that will never leave you. It will burrow down into you and hide away, but it will always be there, a book to remember for all time.
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