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[Review] The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness

Book Title:       The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Trilogy, #02)
Author:                        
Patrick Ness
Number of pages:  
519

Synopsis:

the ask and the answer - patrick ness (cover)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…

(re: Goodreads @ The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:

– Ness is a wizard. You can’t prove me wrong.
– Character development of supporting cast is stellar. Also, a horse tries to replace Manchee–get out.
– Narrative is slower paced but the tension and suspense of all the unknowns keep the energy alive with some unexpected plot twists.
– Everything you thought you knew from the first novel may be discarded because doubt and question marks are thrown everywhere and at everything.
– The ambition in thematic discussion is elevated to regard a wider breadth of issues (i.e. war and terrorism, groupthink culture, ambiguity of morality, philosophical ideologies, hope and faith, racism, pressures of self-identity in a information-filled world).

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Initial Thoughts

I think I would have enjoyed this book if I sat down and read through it instead of sporadic reading while on commute. Alas, it was still good but I think it could have been better if the circumstance of the reading environment were different. That being said, I don’t think I was able to truly capture the essence of this novel in this review…but I tried anyway.

This is the second book to the Chaos Walking Trilogy, if you would like to read my review regarding the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, you can click here.

Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.

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