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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Friday, 31 December 2010

"The Ask and the Answer" by Patrick Ness

Book 2 of the 'Chaos Walking' trilogy

And, as is often the way with sequels eagerly awaited, this was a disappointment.

The first book, 'The Knife of Never Letting Go', dealt with hero Todd and heroine Viola as they raced across New World away from the chasing army of Mayor Prentiss and towards the town of New Haven. As they ran they tried to understand why they had to run and the reader was encouraged onwards with the dribble of information leaking from sparse clues (it was a brilliant move that Todd, carrying a map and a book, could not read and was too ashamed of this fact to let Viola read for him). A wonderful twist was the fact that hero and heroine both succumb to temptation, both are flawed. And of course one never but never knows whom to trust.

Book 2 begins exactly at the cliff hanger where Book 1 finished. Todd is is prison, later being made to work at a Spackle farm, being corrupted by the everyday presence of evil around him. Viola works as a healer. But Viola's friends become freedom fighter, terrorists, bombers, as a resistance movement grows against the army into which Todd is being inducted. Throughout, President Prentiss manipulates Todd and Viola, tricking them into betrayals of themselves and one another.

Perhaps I was unhappy that Todd has sunk so low. Perhaps I have become bored by the minimalist prose, otherwise so fresh and exciting. But I think the reason why this was a good read rather than a great read is that it has become more predictable. I know a lot more of what is going on in New World so this is now a fight between Good and Evil (and, yes, it is still true that I am not always certain who is good and who is evil) and thus less interesting.

Still a good read though and I have already started book 3, 'Monsters of Men'.

Chaos Walking is now a film: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_Walking_(film)

This review was written by

the author of Motherdarling 

and The Kids of God

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