Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

"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?"

Title: The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
Author: Patrick Ness
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 519 ,Hardcover (Read: Library Hardcover)

Everyone needs to read this series.

I thought The Knife of Never Letting Go was good, but this one, this one. This one is AMAZING. Oh my goodness. The Chaos Walking trilogy has to be one of my new favorites of all time. So, so good.

Recently, Sash over at Sash and Em posted a post talking about why she loved The Chaos Walking trilogy more than The Hunger Games. Now, I haven't read The Hunger Games yet, but I did agree with Sash's ideas on why she loved the Chaos Walking trilogy.

It's extremely intense; as in nail-biting, hair pulling, I'm-about-to-fall-off-my-chair intense. It's so action-packed and even frustrating at times. Frustratingly good. Patrick Ness does a very good job with cliffhangers, too.

Let's talk about the characters. My opinion of the characters wavered a bit throughout the book, but in the end, I loved them just as much as when I finished The Knife of Never Letting Go. Todd Hewitt becomes very weak from YER NOTHING and I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME, from the Mayor. He becomes a living corpse, dead, with no feeling from being separated from Viola for so long. The Ask and the Answer left me shocked at some of the decisions that Todd had to make, but in the end, he proved loyal to Viola, which made me OH SO HAPPY. Now, Viola. I was also extremely shocked with her decisions. I really liked reading the book through her perspective as well, since there isn't so much Noise going on. And Mayor Prentiss. HE'S SO FREAKING EVIL and CUNNING and SLY, it's not even funny. I love his evil-ness, it makes the book somuchbetter because he's a crazy meany person.

Let's not forget about Davy, now.

Davy Prentiss is not mentioned a lot in The Knife of Never Letting Go. He is only known as the bratty, immature boy who is sent to chase Todd & Viola. However, in The Ask and the Answer, my opinion of him CHANGED SO MUCH. I'm actually in love with Davy. WHY. Ohmygoodness, I love this boy. Despite his many weaknesses and jealousies, you can't help but sympathize with him.

(I miss Manchee.)

Onto the plot! The plot was perfect. Spot on. Around every corner I was constantly thinking, "WOAH WHAT JUST HAPPENED." Yes, there's that many  plot twists in the story. I was left breathless and mind-blown throughout every chapter. Perfection.

In a way, the extreme situations that everyone in New Prentisstown went through strangely reminded me of the Holocaust. How men and women were separate, they get banded with numbers on their wrists… totally random, but I just had to put that thought out there.

Once again, Patrick Ness's writing is flawless. Every word captures the right moment and I just have no words to describe how amazing and fabulous it all was. If you thought The Knife of Never Letting Go was a disappointment, please, please, I beg of you, continue onto The Ask and the Answer, because it is just too marvelous to pass up.


  1. I miss Manchee too! I loved his relationship with Todd. Patrick Ness is a bit like Neil Gaiman in that he could write about paint drying and it would be mesmerizing. I really need to read these again :)

    1. I need to read some of Neil Gaiman's books! I think I'll try the Graveyard Book :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go and you make The Ask and the Answer sound FABULOUS! It sounds so action packed and lovely. I MISS MANCHEE TOO. Sob. Wonderful review and great blog! I think I'm your 50th follower :0

    1. THANK YOU THANK YOU. You need to read the rest of the trilogy. SO GOOD.