February 13, 2016

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Title:  The Ask and the Answer
Author:  Patrick Ness
Pages:  366
Genre:  YA Science Fiction / Dystopian Adventure
Publisher:  SFBC, 2010
Series:  Chaos Walking, Book 2

Synopsis:  Reaching the end of their tense and desperate flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical government. Todd, meanwhile, faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives -- Todd's gritty and volatile; Viola's calmer but equally stubborn -- the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?
It's not that you should never love something so much it can control you. It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
Review:  Impossible to put down.  This series grabs on and just doesn't let go.  Todd and Viola are such strong characters, with such rich personalities.  All of the characters seem so real that you find yourself believing in them and worrying about them.  New World is just as realistically drawn.  So are the native Spackles.  All together, they make a powerful story.

This book is quite a bit more violent than the last, with torture and warfare and bombs and people dying.  Both Todd and Viola have compromised their beliefs and themselves, but only because they have no other choice.  The lack of choice doesn't lessen their disillusionment with themselves and sometimes with each other.

But, along with all the horror, this story is also about hope, love and forgiveness.  It's hard to explain, but it's true.  These books are well worth the time.  These are some of the very best young adult fiction I can ever remember reading.  Again, it ended on a cliffhanger so I'm off to start book three and find out what happens next.  

Rating:  9.5 / 10

1 comment:

  1. This book looks interesting. I don't think I've ever heard of it. Stopping by from the Dystopian Challenge :)

    Megan @ Doodles 'n Scribbles


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