Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking Book 2 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?

I FINALLY read the second book in the Chaos Walking series. I preordered it, so I had it right away. That was last year! I also apparently never reviewed book 1, so isn't it impressive that I am reviewing book two the day after finishing it? I was a lot better at reviewing books last year than I have been this year. It is rather funny because I read a lot more last year than this year, but anyways... I finished the book. My initial reaction was that I liked it and I am looking forward to book 3, but I didn't love it. I didn't love book 1, either, so it is not surprising. There are a lot of people that love this series - which is why I read it in the first place. I am sorry I am going to have to vent for a moment here!

One of the reasons that I went years without reading young adult books is because I find that I cannot relate to their decision-making, etc. This was my problem with this book. I know I am not that far away from my teen years, but even in my teen years I found teens annoying in books. I am not sure what it is, maybe I grew up fast, but I can't relate. Todd and Viola, the main characters in this book, think so black and white. They would be freaking out about something and I would not get what the big deal was... They are just too wholesome! It's what makes all the drama in the book, though, so if they changed a lot would be missing from the book and people would probably not be as captivated by it as they are at the moment. So, I guess what I am saying is that I didn't always relate very well to the two main characters. That can be a problem, but I am still looking forward to book 3.

On the good side, the books are page-turners. Even if I didn't always agree with what Viola and Todd were doing; I still wanted to see what was happening. I like a book with a lot of action and this book fit the bill. I get tired of books that nothing every seems to happen in them. The strange thing is that I do like Todd and Viola. There thought-processes don't always make sense to me, but they still were interesting and I enjoyed watching them progress. I am a little afraid that this is ANOTHER book series for teens where the main characters are more obsessed with each other than in love, but at least it isn't entirely as blatant as other series.... I think part of the minor issues I had with this book is that I am getting a bit tired of that plot device, but until the Twilight obsession dies down a bit I doubt we have seen the last of it.

Anyway, if this review makes any sense at all I am happy. I don't want to give too much away, but I also feel like this review sounds more like a negative review than a positive one. Is it possible to enjoy a book that you essentially disliked? Whatever the case, I am going to read book three and then we will see what my thoughts are on the series overall.


  1. I fall in the totally obsessed with this series category :p I'm just sad it's over. I found Todd and Viola so so so different from what we normally see in YA books. But I guess we all see different things in books! I'm just thrilled to hear that you plan on reading book 3 :D

  2. I actually liked this one better than the first one (which I wasn't crazy about). I thought the slower pace made it easier for me to get to know the characters and a live a bit more in their world. I'll be interested to see what you think of the third one!

  3. Like Chris, I fall in that totally obsessed with the series category! Definitely some of my favorite of all-time books. But I really enjoyed reading your take on Todd and Viola--it was so different than mine. And I'm going to enjoy thinking about what you said further.

    Ummm...and Kelly...that long overdue email is coming! Hopefully this weekend while the rest of the gang is out of town.

  4. It was the page-turning aspect that kept me from loving the first book. It was TOO fast. It also kept me from reading the second book. I'll probably never go on with these books.

  5. PS- Glad to see you blogging!!

  6. I haven't read any of them but my husband falls into the totally obsessed bracket. He raves about them and never usually reads teen fiction.

  7. I too fall into the "loving this series" category. (God, it looks like we're ganging up on you! Not true honestly!)

    We can forgive you for not loving it though, because we get a rare blog post from you! :D

    Glad, you're going to give book 3 a go, hoping you'll feel better about the whole series than the individual books. :D

  8. I LOVED the first book, and couldn't wait to read number two. I was rather disappointed and agree with many parts of your review. Number one book is still a definite fave of mine, but I felt like number two didn't live up to (my) the expectations.

  9. I really, really need to read this book. I did like the first book a lot, and have borrowed the second book from the library a couple of times, but haven't yet actually managed to even read the first page. The first book ended on such a cliff hanger!

  10. Chris: I think I am just getting tired of young adult. I find that I am seeing the same thing in all of them, so maybe I should stop reading it for a while... I'll keep you posted on book 3!

    Meghan: Yeah, I learned about the characters and I didn't like what I learned. lol

    Debi: Maybe I am crazy on my thoughts, but once I saw them that way I couldn't see them any other! I look forward to an email!

    Amanda: I haven't forgotten about the email, I just wasn't online yesterday very much!

    Rhinoa: I look forward to hearing what you think of them if you get a chance to read them.

    Darren: I really must update more often! I have been slack this year!

    Louise: I did really like book one, but I am wondering if it wasn't because there was a character in book one that isn't in book two that is part of my problem...

    Marg: As you know, I am that way with many series! lol I hope you enjoy the book when you get a chance to read it!


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