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Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three Hardcover – September 28, 2010

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Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three + The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two + The Knife of Never Letting Go (Reissue with bonus short story): Chaos Walking: Book One
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–The first word of this conclusion to the trilogy is "war," and war between various factions takes up much of this book. The action begins immediately and is told from two and then three viewpoints with no backstory that might bring readers new to the series up to speed. Todd and Viola attempt to persuade Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle, respectively, that peace is the better path to the future, peace with one another and with the vast army of Spackles that looms above the valley. Unfortunately, the Mayor and Mistress only want peace that comes with victory for their faction. A scout ship arrives from the approaching convoy of colonists, changing the balance of power. The Mayor uses his "Noise," the ability that male humans and all of the Spackle have to communicate mentally, to control his army and to influence Todd. Mistress Coyle and the other mistresses shelter under the protection of the scout ship and work to cure the infection of the bands that threaten the lives of many of the women, including Viola. Ness distinguishes his various narrators by the use of different fonts, further distinguishing Todd with a select few words misspelled. This is a complex and engrossing work that series fans will devour but which may be impenetrable to those who haven't read the earlier volumes.Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ness, a forceful writer who chews through ideas at a blistering clip, takes on war, the heftiest of human follies, in the conclusion to his Chaos Walking trilogy. The genocidal tyrant Mayor Prentiss leads an army on one side, the terrorist healer Mistress Coyle heads a band of revolutionaries on another, and a massive legion of native Spackle threatens from a third. All three sides see only the complete annihilation of the others as the sole option for victory and survival, and they might be right, no matter how Todd and Viola use their formidable wills to advance peace as an influx of new colonists nears. It’s a thick book, approaching Russian-novel territory, but it rarely feels bloated; and readers invested in the story will likely concede that Ness has earned the space. His rapid-fire litany of impossible choices makes for captivating thought fodder, and what has already been a potent display of the power of voice to drive, amplify, and transform a story gets a third, unexpected soloist. And in so doing he shows just how deep and complex, as well as how versatile, a symbolic narrative device like Noise can be. For all the huge themes mauling at each other, though, it’s the characters that ultimately stand out in this final act—the connections that bind them and change them and ruin them and redeem them. This is science fiction at its best, and is a singular fusion of brutality and idealism that is, at last, perfectly human. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman

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Product Details

  • Series: Chaos Walking (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press; 1st Us Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763647519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763647513
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

As a child
I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States. My father was a drill sergeant in the US Army, but much nicer than that makes him seem. I only stayed at Fort Belvoir for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America. We moved to Hawaii, where I lived until I was almost six. I went to kindergarten there, and we used to have field trips down to Waikiki Beach. I once picked up a living sea urchin and got about a hundred needle pricks in the palm of my hand. I made up stories all the time as a kid, though I was usually too embarrassed to show them to anybody.

As an adult
I've only ever really wanted to be a writer. I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and when I graduated, I got a job as a corporate writer at a cable company in Los Angeles, writing manuals and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel, The Crash of Hennington, when I moved to London in 1999. I've lived here ever since. I taught Creative Writing at Oxford University for three years, usually to students older than I was.

As an artist
So far, I've published two books for adults, a novel called The Crash of Hennington and a short story collection called Topics About Which I Know Nothing, a title which seemed funny at the time but less so 10,000 mentions later... Here's a helpful hint if you want to be a writer: When I'm working on a first draft, all I write is 1000 words a day, which isn't that much (I started out with 300, then moved up to 500, now I can do 1000 easy). And if I write my 1000 words, I'm done for the day, even if it only took an hour (it usually takes more, of course, but not always). Novels are anywhere from 60,000 words on up, so it's possible that just sixty days later you might have a whole first draft. The Knife of Never Letting Go is 112,900 words and took about seven months to get a good first draft. Lots of rewrites followed. That's the fun part, where the book really starts to come together just exactly how you see it, the part where you feel like a real writer.

Things you didn't know about Patrick Ness
1. I have a tattoo of a rhinoceros.
2. I have run two marathons.
3. I am a certified scuba diver.
4. I wrote a radio comedy about vampires.
5. I have never been to New York City but...
6. I have been to Sydney, Auckland and Tokyo.
7. I was accepted into film school but turned it down to study writing.
8. I was a goth as a teenager (well, as much of a goth as you could be in Tacoma, Washington and still have to go to church every Sunday).
9. I am no longer a goth.
10. Under no circumstances will I eat onions.


Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Book One of the trilogy, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. The Ask and The Answer, the second book in the trilogy won the Costa Children's Book Award 2009. The third book, Monsters of Men, is released in September 2010.

He has also written a novel (The Crash of Hennington) and a short story collection (Topics About Which I Know Nothing) for adults, has taught Creative Writing at Oxford University, and is a literary critic for the Guardian. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
War. That is all the Mayor, with a gleam in his eye, can say. Stuck in the middle, all Todd can do is watch Mistress Coyle's terrorist army boom into New Prentisstown, spy the native Spackle soldiers zigzagging down the hill in front, and accompany Mayor Prentiss as his men march to meet them. Somewhere, the scout ship of incoming settlers will be landing in the middle of Mistress Coyle's army oblivious to the chaos and Viola, ankles broken, galloping away from it all on her horse Acorn. Badly outnumbered and with two sides to fight, Todd and Viola are conflicted as ever. Peace or war, forgiveness or revenge, and hope or despair; if only the decisions were that polar. How much of their moral integrity are they willing to sacrifice to save each other?

Who could wait until September for the concluding book in this trilogy? So much drama, intensity, and unpredictable unknowns? I couldn't. There was no turning back once I calculated that for only a couple dollars more, I could have it now, and in the spiffy UK edition no less. (Which seriously, if we're talking about cover art, it has one of the most creative and one-of-a-kind book jackets out there. ) It also has to do with a certain author named Patrick Ness, who is the king of cliffhangers. The Ask and the Answer ended, again, with everything still on the line and a new plot twist. I can't help thinking: was he trying to kill us with suspense? But I can't see it written differently. Ness' signature chapter and ending cliffhangers reflect the entire tone of this series: furious pace, anything-can-happen, action-driven story arc for a futuristic people forced to settle a New World sans technology but with unknown alien natives and uttered thoughts called Noise.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Svitavsky on July 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's so hard to know what to say about this book. It's an amazing ending to the series, and it is worthy of all those cliches... my heart was racing while I read it, it kept me guessing throughout the very last pages for what would happen to my beloved characters, there were more twists and turns then you could shake a stick at, and I was in tears at the very end. I'm going to do my best to keep this spoiler-free.

This book, like the previous two in the series, deals with weighty issues of love, loyalty, trust, communication, and information. But Ness also delves into relationships between parents and their children, leaders and followers, and the responsibilities associated with all of these roles. And then there's the issue of redemption... can people go beyond the point of redemption?

The story focuses onto Todd and Viola, Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle, and the Sky (leader of the Land - or Spackle as they are called by humans) and the Return (previously known to us as 1017). Outside of these main pairings, we have two settlers, Simone and Bradly, who are friends of Viola's and control the scout ship we saw landing at the end of The Ask and the Answer. And we have the returning Mistresses, Wilf and Jane, Lee, and Angharrad and Acorn (yes, I included the horses, because I LOVE those horses). As in The Ask and the Answer, we can draw the comparisons between the Mayor and Mistress Coyle, seeing how they each use power and politics to try and seize control. But, while I thought they were far too similar in the last book, we see them strongly diverge here as they both realize that the war has changed from the one that they started.

The reader is constantly shifting in this book, from the perspective of Todd to Viola to 1017.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Zebo Quad on January 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The only thing I can think of that happened between the wonderful "Knife of Never Letting Go" and the final installment in this series is that the editor fell asleep. Or thought that the addition of a third narrator, the Spackle, was such a brilliant idea that the rest of the book didn't need to be read. I will concede that the Spackle narration was my favorite part, and a great (perhaps only saving grace) addition, but...

1. All the elements that made "Knife..." so great disappeared! Talking animals companions went by the wayside. They introduced humor to this bleak world and created characters that weren't totally twisted. For that matter, the animals's noise really ceased to be a major element at all. I really loved Manchee. I wanted more Manchees. I needed more Manchees.

2. What is with Todd and Viola screaming each other's names into the nothingness?? Holy moly, that was annoying. It was like the Titanic movie, but worse. Sometimes there were two pages with Todd screaming Viola's name on it six or more times! Who does that?

3. Ness drawing out the action for the sake of suspense turned into a ridiculous parody here. Melodrama and scene-splicing intersected here to this unbelievable magnitude it was impossible to stay "in the story", if you know what I mean.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Monsters of Men is an epic novel of war told on a grand scale. The book begins immediately after the last one ends, with the beginning of a three sided conflict between the Answer, the Spackle, and Mayor Prentiss. Viola and Todd are stuck in the middle, and the action sucks the reader in straight from page one. The author does not flinch from showing the brutality of war and exploring questions of the morality surrounding it. The characters struggle with placing the good of the whole against the good of the one, and whether war can be or should be a personal thing. Mayor Prentiss says at one point that "War makes monsters of men....Well so does too much knowledge." On a planet of information, that makes for plenty of opportunity for men to behave badly and also to redeem themselves. These themes run throughout the story.

Perhaps my favorite part of this book was the portion told by Prisoner 1017. His experiences and his journey were portrayed so vividly that they added a new dimension to this story. His path to redemption told in counterpoint to the Mayor's journey was telling and effective. Unfortunately, with all the things that this story had going for it, I walked away feeling rather disappointed. There was just nothing new here, aside from Prisoner 1017's story. There were no character twists, and by about a third of the way into the novel, I felt like I was getting repeatedly hammered over the head by the points and themes described above. I felt frustrated that the author kept pounding the same points home time and time again, when I got it the first time. While the Mayor was quite the effective villain in the first two novels, I found him to be rather tedious in this one.
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