Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Monsters Of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

Title: Monsters Of Men (Chaos Walking #3)

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopian

Publication Date: September 28th, 2010

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale


Monsters of Men is the third book in an amazing trilogy called Chaos Walking, by Patrick Ness. The first two books in the trilogy, "The Knife of Never Letting Go" and "The Ask and the Answer" were absolutely amazing, and left me with very high expectations for the final book. 
I was a bit nervous going into reading it because with such high expectations for the book I just really hoped it wouldn't be a let down in some way. And let me tell you, it was in no way, shape, or form a let down! It was amazing! 

To put it simply, these books take an emotional investment. You get very attached to the two main characters, Todd and Viola. They go through some of the most hard and terrifying things. It kept me on the edge of my seat and had me dreading what might happen to them, and all the while I couldn't put it down. 

Todd is one of the main characters and narrator from the first two books, (he also narrates in this book but the perspective switches between him and Viola, who also narrates in this book) He's compassionate, honest, funny, mature for his age, and sometimes confused. But all of those things add to making him such a believable character. I've been very attached to him from the beginning of the first book, and loved him even more in this one. I really felt for him during this book, he was caught in the horrors of war and did some things he would regret and made it seem like he wouldn't find his way back. The title "Monsters Of Men" comes from the statement, "War makes monsters of men" which is very fitting. 

Viola is a strong and determined girl, she's passionate, caring, spunky, and very wise and mature for her age. She has been through and seen some really terrible things, and yet through all of it she never loses her hope that things can somehow get better. I connected with her in the first book and that connection carried through into the second and third books, making her another of my favorite characters. 
Throughout everything Todd was still as dedicated to Viola as he ever was, and that helped keep him from completely losing himself. And Viola is just as dedicated to Todd as he is to her, just about everything they do is for each other. 

Patrick Ness has a unique way of writing, it's kind of a stream-of-consciousness style(short one sentence paragraphs, paragraphs that sometimes break off in the middle, switching perspectives frequently, etc.)and for some it may take some getting used to. It's not the typical "correct" writing style, and by that I mean it defies quite a few grammar rules, but it all adds to feeling and originality of the story. His writing is emotional, raw, and haunting. He doesn't have to come right out and say things for them to be obvious, and I think that makes them even more powerful in some way. 

There are so many themes in these books, from the way that violence ultimately destroys us but love can heal us, the importance of peace and forgiveness, how the things we go through help us to mature and grow, and how love directly influences the decisions we make. And also in this book redemption is a really big theme, as well as the difficulty of putting aside blame and revenge for something bigger than any one person. 

By the time I finished this book I was shocked, sad, amazed, and speechless. Some parts of it made me smile, others made me cry (literally). I really connected with the characters in this book, you feel what they feel, and you find yourself desperately rooting for them. This is by far one of the best books and series that I have read, and it is one of my top favorite series. I highly recommend it, and will be eagerly awaiting more books by Patrick Ness!

5 Stars!


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