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The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Todd Hewitt, 13, is locked in a tower in New Prentisstown, a space colony, and separated from Viola, after the dramatic cliff-hanger in The Knife of Never Letting Go (Candlewick, 2008). Tracked down by the manipulative mayor of the all-male community he escaped, he is unaware that Viola is also under guard and recouping nearby. The noise that clatters through men's minds makes it difficult for Todd to keep any secrets about his intentions to find Viola and accompany her on a mission to contact her people, who are on their way to colonize this unsettled and fractured new world. The previous war, which killed most of the women and made slaves of the aboriginal alien Spackles, has pitted the survivors against one another. The "Answer," comprised of women and a few men who lost daughters and mothers in the war, come to blows with the "Ask," the mayor's group of fundamentalist men and their Spackle slaves. The story breaks into alternating narratives, in different fonts, as Todd is forcefully commissioned into the "Ask" and Viola into the "Answer." Their quest to reunite will keep readers focused on their relationship and moral motivation in this graphically violent and dystopian world. Lacking in this episode are lighter moments shared by Todd and his dog, who has been replaced by a less personable horse. Science fiction lovers will be looking for the next installment in this fast-paced and imaginative series.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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I think you'll just have to trust me when I say that this book is worth reading. It's grim, yes, but so well written that it's acceptable. I would recommend this to all teenagers. I don't care about your book preferences. This is worth a read, I promise. Five stars - I couldn't give it less. * The Guardian Online * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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!
Patrick Ness continues to absolutely kill me. There were so many points in this book where I had to physically put the book down and cover my face, because I COULDN’T HANDLE my feelings. At all. Couldn’t do it.
I had a great time reading this. On to the finale!
“Faith with proof is no faith at all.”
This second installment, I'll admit- does lag towards the end. But for the most part- Patrick Ness's gift for pacing shines here. In the beginning of the novel (minor spoiler) Todd and Viola are separated upon arriving to Haven- now New Prentisstown. From that point- Viola and Todd embark on two separate journeys. Their character's develop seamlessly. Todd struggles with controlling his noise and committing atrocities to keep Viola alive- and Viola struggles with working for terrorists.
The Ask and the Answer is a heavy, graphic book-at times its hard to get trough- but it's an important book. Though it is a dystopian- I don't feel like the issues that our characters deal with are all that far away. And perhaps, that's what makes this book so good. It gets underneath your skin.
I can't wait to start the final volume
I know this says very little about the content, but it's an incredibly powerful story. I'm not a sci-fi fan usually, but I would beg you not to let that be a deterrent. I would recommend you start with book one, but if you don't want to, I think that's OK too. It's not exactly a page turner, but if you want a good story; if you want great literary skill... just read this book.
Most recent customer reviews
*The Ask and The Answer*
This is the second book in the fantasy science-fiction dystopian world Chaos Walking Series and almost as good as the firs...Read more