Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Ask and the Answer: Patrick Ness

SUMMARY (Courtesy of

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode..."The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.


This book picked up where the first one left off but also gave you Viola's perspective in multiple chapters. It was great to see things from her side- especially since in this universe, her thoughts are always masked from everyone. There were plenty of new elements added into this book with several twists and surprises thrown in too.

As with the first book, I could see the ties to plenty of events in the world's history- the tyranny, mistreatment of the Spackle, sexism, and plenty more. The constant use of war for one group to gain what they want is so prevalent through history and in novels but it was done very well in this book.

As a reader, it was hard to decide which side was right and it was even harder to really know what characters to trust. Ness writes in such a way that I fell in love with and pitied a character that I didn't think could gain any kind of positive emotion.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as much as the first one and finished it in just a few days despite work, etc. It is hard to put down and the cliff hanger ending has again left my mind racing with possibilities of where things might go from here.

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