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The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Book 2) by [Ness, Patrick]
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The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 190 customer reviews

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Length: 530 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 3053 KB
  • Print Length: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 Reprint edition (October 18, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 18, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044UHVRM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mindy VINE VOICE on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just put the book down and....Wow. Just wow. There's no sophomore slump here; if anything this book is better since the first one ended in such a maddening place. Don't get me wrong, Mr. Ness ends this one in a doozy of a cliffhanger as well but at least this one ties up some loose ends and has some semblance of completion to it.

Since the product description already mentions this, I don't feel it's a spoiler to say that Viola survives the shooting. In fact, she narrates a big portion of this story so you can see things from both the men's and women's perspective. The plot is just as compelling as the first book (maybe even more so?) and deals with issues of trust, love, leadership, and of course, war. Especially war -- how it's ingrained in humanity, yet it strips it of us.

Ness' writing is top notch. Those who are grammar and spelling sticklers might wince at times but the misspellings and creative grammar are just a few of the tools Ness uses to convey train of thought. And see, that's where Ness shines. He has the uncanny ability to capture the duality of human cognition. How we talk to ourselves, evaluate and measure our decisions, how we vacillate in our opinions.

Definitely, without a doubt, this book is worth your time.(You must have read the first book to understand anything in this one though.) Take out your calendar and clear a weekend because if you're like me, you won't be able to put it down. Now I'm on pins and needles in anticipation of the third book!
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Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

It is important to read the first book in the CHAOS WALKING trilogy, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, before beginning THE ASK AND THE ANSWER. Patrick Ness doesn't leave anything out when he begins book two of the trilogy; THE ASK AND THE ANSWER picks up exactly where THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO leaves off.

Todd, after being captured by Mayor Prentiss' men, wakes up with thoughts of Viola. He is beside himself with worry since Viola was dying in his arms when they were captured. Is she dead or alive? No one will tell him, and it is consuming his thoughts.

Thoughts that everyone around him can hear.

While everyone around Todd can hear what he is thinking, he can't hear the thoughts around him. It seems Mayor Prentiss has found a way to stop his Noise and the Noise of his men, thus explaining how Todd and Viola were lured into Haven and captured.

Mayor Prentiss, now calling himself President Prentiss, uses Todd's concern for Viola to control him and force him into working with Prentiss' son, Davy, the one who shot Viola in the first place. Todd can't stand the people around him and feels the tasks assigned to him are barbaric and inhumane.

Fear for Viola's safety prevents him from going against Prentiss and he suffers along with the other townspeople as security gets tighter and more strict every day because of a rebel uprising by a group calling themselves The Answer.

Then...bombs...begin...to...explode.

Patrick Ness has done it again. THE ASK AND THE ANSWER contains the same heart-pounding excitement as THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. The reader will experience Todd's internal struggle with every decision he is forced to make in order to survive under Prentiss' control.
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Format: Hardcover
I won't lie, I am really disappointed in and exhausted by this novel. "The Ask and the Answer" is very little like the first book in the trilogy "The Knife of Never Letting Go."

If the first one is a fast-paced chase kind of story, which keeps you hooked by gradual revelation of the New World's mysteries of Noise, Haven, Viola's origin, etc., this book is basically an account of a civil war between Mayor Prentiss's army and the resistance called here the Answer. The book raises various issues of genocide, war ethics, torture, and holding onto one's identity under pressure.

All issues are interesting, but I find myself surprisingly uninterested in them, mainly because in this book I am strangely detached from Todd and Viola. In these tough circumstances they are nothing more than naive petulant children used as pawns in various evil plans. They are described as so strongly attached that they are willing to do almost anything for one another and yet they are so easily led to mistrust each other.This mistrust constantly gets them and people around them in trouble, it's painful to read. I think pretty much in this book you simply can't find even one likable person. Todd is the one I dislike the most at this point. No matter how hard the author tries to make us believe that Todd still holds on to his innocence and thus is better than everybody else, it's pretty hard to swallow when you know what Todd has done for no good reason than his dear girlfriend left him.

In addition, there are the same plot holes as in the first book. I still don't understand the "specialness" of Todd, there is still a lot of build-up and allusions to various secrets that end up being not that interesting or important.
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