Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be doing a book review for ‘The Ask and the Answer’ by Patrick Ness today! The Ask and The Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. The first book being ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go‘ which I had reviewed it on my blog. Of course, if you have read my ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ review, you will know that I loved the book. So, it makes logical sense for me to pick up the sequel for it.
AND OH MY GOSH, GUYSS! I LOOOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!
Well, okay. Back to the topic.
‘The Ask And The Answer’ picks up right where the first book left off. We follow Todd and Viola as they get separated from each other while a war between men and women rages in between of them.
So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!
*Note: All thoughts and opinions are on my own and this is a spoiler-free review but there will be mild spoilers from the first book so.. Beware!*
“We are the choices we make. And have to make. We aren’t anything else.”- The Ask and The Answer, Patrick Ness.
We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. 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. This is the second title in the “Chaos Walking” trilogy.
My thoughts: Introduction
This is not supposed to be in this review but I would really like to talk about the ending for book one. What the heck was that ending? That Cliff-Hanger? So, I dived into the next book and guess what? Another fantastic Cliff-Hanger that has me hooked to the story. Patrick Ness writes fantastic cliff hangers, guys! Diving into the last book- Monsters of Men now!
Well, let us begin with the review!!
Let us start off with the pacing of this book. Although it took me approximately two weeks to read this book, it was still a quick read. The elements such as suspense, action, etc. that were presented in this book were equally balanced out and therefore, the pacing was great and nicely balanced.
Moving on, the world-building and the atmospheres around this book had improved and rounded into a more twisted and complex thing that I had first imagined in the first book. Basically, the world was better explained and bigger and political than the what I would call a ‘scope’ in the first book. The atmosphere in this book was even more intense and heart-breaking than the first book. Both of these things had become much more complex and I cannot wait to find out what these things will become in the third book which is the finale to the trilogy.
Moreover, the idea and plot for this book were uniquely different from the first book but not really that different. I do not know how to explain the different but not part but just know that both the plot and the idea were crazily fantastic and unique!
The idea and plot were centre around a upraging war between men and women. Betrayals will certainly be made and they will make you not trust anyone except for Todd and Viola, of course. People will die and cruelty will rise. All of these will arise in the time of war and this book has it all! But that is not it, is it not? There will be things that are much more complex and darker which you will not expect! So… (Not going to spoil, so let us move on!)
Furthermore, the relationships between Todd and everyone in this book went into another level of hardness? Yes, hardness. Todd and Viola had limited communication with each other because of the war and Todd and Davy became friends! WHAT? But something [Spoiler removed].
Finally, the tone for this book was, metaphorically, deep and husky. It enlighten my heart as a reader and it enriched the topic and the story on what Patrick Ness is trying to say or rather- to tell. Patrick filled colours into his story and made it popped into life like the story is a life on his own. Therefore, the tone for this book was great!
Now, let us get into the writing section!
“Ah, well, then you’ve never stood on a beach as the waves came crashing in, the water stretching out from you until it’s beyond sight, moving and blue and alive and so much bigger than even the black beyond seems because the ocean hides what it contains.” – The Ask and The Answer, Patrick Ness.
Look at that quote. I mean, just read it! Is it not beautiful? Does it not take your breath away? It had already taken mine away so.. it will take yours away soon! Patrick Ness has a way of writing fantastic books with weird but cool and unique ideas that just incorporate with the story well. Everything he writes- including the plot twists and the cliff-hangers are done nicely and not forcefully which makes me believe that Patrick Ness is now an author that I can trust and an author that I will auto-buy if one of his new book pop up in the stores.
The writing style for this book was done fabulously! It was articulate, informal for Todd’s perspective (which I will tackle on his perspective later on) and epigrammatic. Basically, there are more words to this list but I will stop at epigrammatic because PATRICK NESS’ WRITING IS EVERYTHING and I LOVED HIS WRITING STYLE IN THIS BOOK MORE THAN THE FIRST BOOK!
There are two different point of views in this book. It switches between Viola and Todd and when I was reading the book, Viola’s perspective was much clearer and comfortable for me to be in because she does not say ‘Police-Stashyun’ or some other stuff whereas, Todd’s perspective had become better and more comfortable for me in this book because I have already gotten used to the way he speaks. So, yes.
I would say that Patrick Ness did a very good job on switching perspectives between Todd and Viola because the story unfolds differently for both of them but they intersect at some point which will make your mind blow and you will grasp the book for more because of it. Thus, it is a great addition to the story.
Now, let us get into the characters section of the review!
“Dogs don’t got the problems of people. Dogs can be happy any old time.”- The Ask And The Answer, Patrick Ness.
Todd: He had changed drastically. When he was tore apart from Viola, his character sunk a little and sunk even more when [Spoiler removed] happened. So, when they were once again reunited, his character development shot upwards and I would have to say this: WHAT A GREAT FREAKING COMEBACK! But I would also say that he is not my favourite character in this book because of the fall. Anyways, his character development became better and I cannot wait to read more from him in the third book!
Viola: I loved her even more in this book than the first book. She was once again a badass, brave, kick-butt and fierce character that had me hooked when the book introduced her to the story! I mean, her own Perspective! How marvelously cool is that!? Her character development had massive improvements because of a death of a person that she did not like but that person did not deserve to die. So, beautiful character development!
The Mayor: He was even more complex than what I have first thought in the first book. But I will not spoil his complexity to you because of how mind-blowing and unique it is to me. So, I am not going to spoil.
I am giving this book a 98.5% rating which I highly recommend you to read this book after you have finished with The Knife Of Never Letting Go because of that cliff-hanger and the plot twists!
This is the end of my spoiler-free review for The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!