Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness [Review]

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)5 out of 5 Robots!

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Release: September 9, 2009
Hardcover: 519 Pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe.

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?
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
The Ask and the Answer picks up right where The Knife of Never Letting Go ends.  And the relentless pace never really slows down either.  Todd and Viola are separated through most of the book as they each find themselves in decidedly murky circumstances.  Things are never black and white and just when you think you know your enemy, you find you know nothing at all. Ness also introduces Viola's voice to the narrative and it is a great addition.  We get to know and understand Viola and we get to see just how deep her devotion to Todd goes.  I liked her a lot in the first one, but loved her in the second.  Mayor Prentiss is back and does not make life easy for Todd and Viola.  He is the knife that will stab you in the dark and his words can never be trusted.  But another threat to peace arises in the form of a healer named Madame Coyle who leads the terrorist organization called The Answer.  The Mayor and Mistress Coyle battle each other for the ownership of New Prentisstown and Todd and Viola are trapped in the middle.  But there are also events set in motion that becomes a threat bigger than the battle for New Prentisstown.  This is an amazing series and I highly suggest reading it!

Books in the series in the order they should be read:
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go
2. The Ask and the Answer
3. Monsters of Men

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