Review: Monsters Of Men – Patrick Ness

Review: Monsters Of Men – Patrick Ness

8100904Title: Monsters Of Men (Chaos Walking #3)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Format: Paperback

Themes dealt with: War, Terrorism

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: The Book People (you can buy the trilogy for only £6.99 on this site!!)

Review: *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD*

Okay let me just start by saying that this book should’ve been called The Book Of Death because it’s just full of it! If you’ve read my reviews of ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’ and ‘The Ask And The Answer’ then you’ll know I absolutely adore this series and with the way the second one ended I just couldn’t wait to pick up book three. When you first start the book, you’re thrown right into the action as the war begins between Mayor Prentiss, Mistress Coyle and The Spackle and this gave me so much hope for another fantastic book.

Unlike the first two books in the series, ‘Monster’s Of Men’ doesn’t exactly contain chapters. It’s more or less split into parts so for example, the first part is called “It Begins” which is told from both Todd and Viola’s POV. Seventy-seven pages later we’re introduced to a third person and then each part splits. This for me is when things started to go slightly downhill. I was left feeling confused over the strange language the third person spoke in and the way they described things. Each time ‘the land’, ‘the sky’, ‘the clearing’, etc were mentioned, I was getting more and more confused.

Ness’ ability to make you have so many mixed feelings towards certain characters is unlike anything I’ve ever read and it’s one of the reasons I love his writing. Let’s take Mayor Prentiss for example. In the first book I didn’t really care much for him, coming to the second book I despised him and then the more I read this book I was confused about how to feel. Could he have changed? Was he truthful to Todd and did he really care? I was scared to like him because I didn’t know if I could trust him or not but he continued to change his ways throughout the book leaving you with a lot of hope for him. Mistress Coyle was another character I wasn’t sure about. She didn’t really seem to care about what she put Viola through, just as long as she was winning. Both these characters made me sort of think about war and I can’t seem to stop thinking that, war happens because leaders can’t seem to agree over something but rather than sit down and discuss it, they get their people to fight their battles for them (and die in the process) whilst they sit and watch it going on rather than deal with it like mature adults.

Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with this book. I was so disappointed by it and I expected something better than what I got. My main problem was the whole ‘third person’ part because when reading the majority of Todd and Viola’s parts, I was really enjoying it! But any time I seen the third person appear then I just wanted to finish their part asap because it bored me. The biggest thing I loved about this series was that with each book you can see just how much Todd and Viola have grown and how mature they’ve became and it’s one of the reasons I do love this series because I haven’t seen much of that in a series of books.

Although I didn’t enjoy this book I do highly recommend this series as it’s unlike any YA fantasy I’ve read before and Ness’ work is starting to become some of my favourites. Like the other books, this book is no different when it comes to the heartbreaking scenes so watch out for them!


 

If you have read or are planning to read these books please do let me know your thoughts!!

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Review: The Ask And The Answer – Patrick Ness

Review: The Ask And The Answer – Patrick Ness

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Title: The Ask And The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: The Book People (you can buy the trilogy for only £6.99 on this site!!)

Review: *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD!!*

I’m honestly in love with this series! ‘The Ask And The Answer’ definitely did not disappoint as a sequel. This book deals with so many huge issues such as feminism, genocide, terrorism and war ethics. Like the first book, we’re following the story of both Todd and Viola only this time it’s told from both points of view rather than  just Todd’s which I actually liked as it gave us a chance to get to know Viola and how she thinks a bit better. This book was more action-packed, violent and so much darker than the first one and there was so much tension between certain characters which I loved because it made me want to read on to find out how the relationship between characters would work out. There were a lot of surprises in this book too which made me extremely confused as to how I felt about people and events that took place.

I can’t get enough of the characters in this series although I do have huge trust issues with a few of them in this book. One of the reasons I love the characters is because they’re all so interesting and diverse which helps make this book such a good read. Some of the characters are pretty scary, especially Mayor Prentiss and Mr Hammar. Mayor Prentiss is a man who manipulates people into doing what he wants using his unique power that not many people have. Ness does a fantastic job of making you feel confused about this character and what his motive is throughout the book. Mr Hammar on the other hand is a man who prefers to use physical abuse to torture victims and when I think back to the first book there was evidence even then of how evil this character is. Although Mr Hammar is a minor character, Ness’ characterisation of him makes him stick in your head after the book is done.

Davy Prentiss, was a character I absolutely despised in ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go‘ but you really got to know more about him and his character in this novel which is one of the things that left me really confused because I wasn’t sure if you could trust him or not. I really wanted to hate him because of his actions in the first book but we soon find out that like Todd, he’s been deceived by his father his whole life. It just shows that both him and Todd are much more similar than we were first led to believe and it slowly made me start to like his character (as much as I didn’t want to).

Although there’s not much I can fault about this book, there’s two things I’m still slightly confused about. Spackle being the first. I’m genuinely so confused as to who the Spackle are. It’s explained that they’re some sort of alien but I still don’t quite get what’s actually going on with them. Have the humans moved to a new planet (I’m guessing since it’s called New World) or have the aliens came to earth? Why is there such a problem between the species? Can they not just come to an agreement and live in harmony? With the way this book ended and from the 88 pages I’ve read of ‘Monster’s Of Men’ I’m hoping all my questions are going to be answered. Age is the other thing I’m confused about. In ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’ we’re told that Todd is 12 (a month away from turning 13) then when Viola appears we find out he should really be around 14 but after reading this book, both the characters seem so much older! It could be because of everything they’ve been/going through in the past and because war’s on the horizon they have a lot of grown up decisions to make but I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be another thing explained in book three!

Ness is a writer who does a brilliant job of making you feel as though you’re right there in the book, in the middle of the action with the characters watching everything going on as you read which is what I absolutely love in a book. Everything is so vivid in my head and I can see it all happening so clearly as though I’m watching a movie rather than reading a book which makes it better! He’s one of the few writers I’ve known who has the power to do this for me and he’s gradually becoming one of my favourite authors.

Like the first book, I found it to be quite slow at the beginning and so I’ve taken .5 stars off the rating but apart from that this book was incredible! If you’re looking for something that’s full of action, violence, deceit and hope then I highly recommend this book and series to you. I’ve been an emotional wreck whilst reading both books and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be the same reading book three but it’s so worth it because the plot and the characters are just phenomenal.

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Review: The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

Review: The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

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Title: The Knife Of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Goodreads

Buy Book: The Book People (you can buy the trilogy here for only £6.99!)

Review: I hate this book. It broke my heart and destroyed me in every way possible. BUT IT WAS SO GOOD. I genuinely have a love/hate relationship with this book. Everything about it was excellent! (Apart from the part my heart was broken).

There’s so much I could say about this book but I don’t want to spoil anything! I’ve been meaning to read this book and series for a long time but never actually got round to it until the UKYA In The Rain book club chose it to be our read for this month so it was just the perfect time! This is the first Patrick Ness book I’ve read and it did not disappoint! (Apart from the part where he broke my heart. Did I mention that???)

The Knife Of Never Letting Go tells the story of a young Todd Hewitt, the last boy left to become a man in Prentisstown, a town full of men where not one person’s thoughts are private. One month from becoming a man, Todd is forced to flee Prentisstown with the help of his talking dog and a strange girl he met at the swamp. Whilst on the run from the men pursuing him, Todd discovers that everything he has ever known was a lie and nothing everything is the what he thought. Ness gives us a story full of hope, fear, friendship and self-discovery in this gripping and heart-wrenching novel.

At the start of the book I found the language very frustrating and annoying and was so close to just putting it down but I started to get used to it and it helped make Todd the character he is. The character development in this book was brilliant. Especially with Viola, who started off as a shy, quiet little girl and by the end of it was one of the stronger characters in the story! At first I didn’t like her because she never spoke and I just assumed she was being ignorant but it helped make the connection between both characters stronger and I feel it played a part in helping them understand each other more. The main reason I love this character is because in a world full of men who believe women should have no say, she sticks up for herself and soon becomes the only person who Todd can rely on and she’s the person who helps him understand this new world when he struggles to cope with everything.

Todd became just as strong as Viola in the end. At the beginning he was extremely naive and as you find things out with him you begin to feel a lot of sympathy for the young boy as you find out his whole life has been a lie and each step of the way both him and Viola discover the truth about the world they both live in. About two thirds into the book there’s one scene that your heart just completely breaks for him. With Todd comes his annoying, loving, talking dog Manchee. When we first meet Manchee I was automatically reminded of Dug from the movie ‘Up.’ Ness’ characterisation of the dog was exactly what a dog would be like if they could actually talk which I loved! Like Todd, you feel a lot of sympathy for the dog as all he ever wants to do is help Todd and he tries his best to understand everything that’s going on. There’s a touching scene on page 333 of the book that has became my favourite as Todd, who at the start of the book disliked the dog starts to talk about Manchee in such a lovely way and it shows just how much he’s grown to love and appreciate the dog who’s always been there to help and protect him. The fact you can see how the relationship between dog and boy has grown made it much more poignant for me.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough and I would have given it 5 stars if it hadn’t been for the fact it took me about 100 pages to actually get into it and also for the fact IT BROKE MY HEART IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY! But yeah, I do highly recommend you read this book! It’s got just the right amount of action in it and the villians aren’t your stereotypical, predictable villians. Ness did a phenomenal job of making you as the reader feel just as much hope as the characters felt in the book and that was another reason I loved this book so much. You were made to feel like you were there on the journey with the characters and at some points you were holding your breath hoping that Todd and Viola would overcome everything they faced. If you’ve yet to read any of Patrick Ness’ work then I would say this series is a good place to start as it has just about everything in it!

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