THE ASK AND THE ANSWER/Patrick Ness

It is no secret that I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go. I loved it too much that I had a hard time moving on from the despairing deaths and loss of my favorite characters. This is also the reason why I felt I needed a breathing space before I read the sequel, never mind that The Knife has a very compelling cliff-hanger ending.

So, seven months after I finished The Knife of Never Letting Go, I felt I had enough escaping and procrastinating already and decided to rush head on and read the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Ask And The Answer. To hell with expected plot twists and emotionally heart-breaking scenes!

The Ask And The Answer immediately begins where the The Knife left off. Todd Hewitt wakes up from a stupor to find himself a prisoner in Haven and being questioned by his worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Mayor Prentiss is now the President of Haven, now known as the New Prentisstown. He wonders where Viola is and whether she’s still alive. Forced to work for Mayor Prentiss, Todd is trying to keep himself alive in order to look for Viola. And then the bombs start exploding.

If The Knife of Never Letting Go is intense, The Ask And The Answer is a killer rollercoaster ride. I say killer because the plot twists and turns are certainly not for the faint-hearted. In The Knife, the story is told in Todd’s viewpoint. In The Ask And The Answer, Todd and Viola interchangeably narrates the story, which for me, adds to the greatness of this book as well as in the suspense factor.

Both Todd and Viola seems to have grown up in the way they are depicted in the story this time. This can be seen in how Todd seems to have less and less spelling troubles than he had in The Knife. Viola is as resilient and courageous as usual, and I love how her character is given more attention this time. I love how the love story between Todd and Viola is not forced nor overly emphasized that would have overshadowed the main story which is war. I love how author Patrick Ness portrays his characters in such a way that the reader cannot seem to decide who is really the good guy (or gal) and the bad. Oh, and how I love the way the character of Davy Prentiss turns out to be towards the end.

[I can just go on and on saying how much I love this book. You can’t blame me. I am a big fan of this trilogy.]

Because I had a relatively long time to prepare myself before reading this book, I must say that the plot twists this time did not totally traumatize me the way The Knife did. Some were even expected, but this does not mean that I love the story less. I might have loved the plot twists in The Knife more, but this time I love the character portrayals in The Ask And The Answer. How each character is not absolutely evil and absolutely good and the reasons behind their particular decisions and actions.

The Ask And The Answer has a major cliff-hanger for an ending and it may not take as long as seven months before I pick up the last book, Monsters of Men. But definitely, I will still take a (little) breather before I do.

4 stars.

39/50 2011 Goodreads Reading Goal.

 

 

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