Friday, January 29, 2010

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
#3 of 25 for the 2010 YA Reading Challenge

Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode..."The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. (from the description on Goodreads)

Wow, this is some bizarre stuff. You really get the feel of ground-level, do anything to survive base existence. I admired the unbreakable connection between Viola and Todd - neither of them really have anyone else and that has forged a bond that they will die to protect.

It's hard to figure out how to review this book - it truly is chaos walking all the time and jumps from one disaster to another to more torture, to more evil, to more humanity in the face of death that it is hard to pin down any concrete thoughts. I felt rage, I felt frustration, I felt anger, I felt desperation, I felt pure degradation, I felt shock and a whole lot of others while reading this novel.

I feel that it moved more slowly than the first, it is really long, over 500 pages, and it seems like it could have been about 200 pages shorter. However, this gets a four and nearly five because of the crazy genius of Patrick Ness who can toy with emotions like no other. I don't know exactly how I feel about the ending, a little like, "after all that, seriously?" but suffice it to say, #3 will be worth waiting for.

If you want to read a truly brilliant review of TAATA, check out this one on Bart's Bookshelf

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