My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Todd and Viola have just managed to overpower Mayor Prentiss but now they have bigger problems coming their way. A huge army of Spackle, many times larger than the one that the Mayor lead to Haven and took over the town, are coming down the hills and their intentions are clear. They want the human race to disappear from their planet. The humans need to defend themselves. The only person that can lead an army is the Mayor.
This series is so awesome! There is suspense, action, emotions, brilliant characters and also strong messages about the human nature and the devastation of war. I had a really good time reading the books that even though might seem kind of chunky to some people, they read very fast. Reading the last sentences of the third book I though “Shit, it’s over now!”. I felt a bit better when I reminded myself I still have the short story Snowscape to read. Even though it’s only 30 or so pages long, it allowed me to stay in the Chaos Walking world for a bit longer.
Choices may be unbelievably hard but they’re never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that’s not how a person with integrity acts.
The story of the third book has an equal amount of action and psychological storyline. There are the battle scenes but there are also the schemes and politics and the underlying motives of each dominant character – the Mayor, Mistress Coyle and of course Todd and Viola. One thing I have to say about the plot though, was that I felt that it was pretty obvious where everything was leading to toward the end. And that fact threw me of a bit. Still, I did enjoy the story which is brilliant. It’s a sci-fi book about people going to live in another planet and when they get there they find another intelligent species and they can hear each other’s thoughts. Oh, and by the way, the way of life in this new planet is like living in a Western movie. Brilliant! Concerning the third book, the sci-fi element of advanced technology is way more prominent than in the previous two books. That was quite new and interesting to read about.
Do we hate paradise so much we need to make sure it becomes a trash heap?
Patrick Ness has done such an amazing job crafting his characters. Todd and Viola go through so much and they grow to become new persons. They suffer, they make mistakes, they make hard choices and they love each other. You can’t not root for them from page one! Mistress Coyle is a character that I personally could not categorise as a good or a bad person. Maybe she was just a weird shade of grey, but I liked that I could not decide what I thought about her. Finally, the Mayor..He must be one of the best written villains I’ve read about in a book. Such a sick and twisted individual. Everything about him screams “Danger!”. As I already said, the characters in the books were powerful, realistic and just excellent.
War makes monsters of men.
The writing style:
Patrick Ness has such a smart writing style which he uses to create not only psychological suspense but also the sense that you just cannot put the book down. There are three perspectives in this book, good old Todd and Viola and a third surprising one which I think is best if you find out while reading Monsters of Men. The writing style alters to accommodate changes in the environment and the mind of each character, something that makes the story richer and very grabbing. I do have one complaint to make though, which is the same one I had for The Ask and the Answer. It seemed to me that Todd and Viola’s voice were too similar even though in this book the similarity was much less than that in the previous book.
What a sad thing men are. Can’t do nothing good without being so weak we have to mess it up. Can’t build something up without tearing it down
All in all, this is a great trilogy and a really good ending to the story although kind of predictable, at least to me. I recommend that you buy this to any teenager who loves books right now because they are going to fall in love with this series. But this series is not just for teens so don’t hesitate picking it up for yourselves no matter how old you are. The themes and the politics and of course the action promise fun times of reading!
My edition of the book came with a very interesting short story that follows two of the secondary characters in a small adventure after the end of the book. I do recommend you read it as it gives a very clear explanation of what happened as the book ends. You can also check out my reviews for the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy here:
I am a BookDepository affiliate. If you buy a book through my link, I get a small referral commission. Here is a link to the book edition including the short story Snowscape:
Monsters of Men (Book 3)
The Ask and the Answer (Book 2)
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Book 1)