Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer is the action-packed second book in the Chaos Walking series.  Viola and Todd made it to Haven, only to land in the hands of the very person they were running from.  They are separated and Todd begins life under the rule of President Prentiss and works with his son, Davy.  Every day he is forced to do things he doesn't want to, and wonders how he can find Viola and escape.  Viola becomes involved with the mysterious group known as the Answer and finds herself drawn into things she is uncertain she wants to do.  Will they be able to find one another and will they recognize each other when they do?

The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two

Things I Liked:
This continues to be a very intense story, making me wish I could devour it in one sitting.  I find the setting very interesting, the characters complex, and their interactions believable.  I like the way different dialects are written and the way Noise is set apart from regular speaking and thinking.  Ness has a real talent for creating an intriguing and also terrifyingly realistic story.  The book also gives you a lot to think about, such as this:
"Men have Noise and the way they handle it is to make themselves just a little bit dead, but you, even when you want to, you can't.  More than any man I've ever met, Todd, you feel... But that makes you powerful, Todd Hewitt.  In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed." p459
Things I Didn't Like:
It really grates on a person to read a story so hopeless, doomed, and fatalistic.  Sometimes it was bordering on the melodramatic as well.  I hated the ending, partly because it seemed inevitable, but especially because it was a choice one of the characters made and choices were so important throughout the book.

Read the first in the series The Knife of Never Letting Go
Somewhat like The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Kind of like the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

s-factor: !@
some, not a lot

mrg-factor: X
a very few references

v-factor: ->->->->
a lot of violence and fighting

Overall rating: ****

Do you ever struggle with finishing books that seem hopeless or depressing?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage,
I will get a very small percentage


  1. Ugh, I am positively dying to read this series. I've had it on hold for AGES at the library. I should be getting my hands on it soon, though!
    As for your question, I DO often have a hard time finishing depressing books. Sometimes I might toss them across the room in frustration, or set it down for a day or two and glare at it as it sits abandoned and forlorn on the bookshelf... but I almost always pick it back up and finish the ride, eventually.

  2. Aelysium, it is so hard to put down, but sometimes you need a break from it! I know I always have to finish them, partly because unlike a happy kind of book, depressing ones seem to stay with you longer.


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