How do I begin to write my thoughts on a book as intense and powerful as Monsters of Men? Honestly, I’ve been procrastinating writing a post about this book after I’ve read it a few weeks ago. It’s not that I don’t want to write about it. Monsters of Men is a book so powerful and amazing and intense and (insert appropriate superlative), it would be unfair if my blog won’t contain a post about it when I make it always a point to write about a book I have read.
The reason why I am dragging my feet on this one is because I feel that my thoughts are still in shambles that to attempt to write them down would be an epic failure on coherence and thus won’t give any justice at all to this one great ending of a very incredible trilogy. (Gah, it’s only two paragraphs and already I’m running out of adjectives.)
But I must do this now, or else I’ll lose my resolve altogether. And that would be such a disappointment, right?
Monsters of Men is the last instalment of Patrick Ness’s astounding Chaos Walking Trilogy. I read the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, in May last year, and the second book, The Ask and The Answer, seven months after. Aside from the fact that I have to wait for a few months before I have my own copy of the second book, the other and the main reason of the gaps in between reading the books, despite the cliff-hanger endings of each one, is because I felt that I have to take a breather first before proceeding to the next one. I just cannot take all the deaths and the plot twists that I must rest for awhile, recover my senses, and prepare myself for what other surprises Mr. Ness has in the succeeding books, otherwise I feel I will die from hyperventilation and heart attack!
It’s a good thing that I found reading buddies to read with for this book. Aside from the motivation, it’s always wonderful to share sentiments (and grief) about the unacceptable things that happened in the book with my friends in my book club. In a way, talking about the book while reading it eased the pain in my heart as well as the clutter in my mind.
Okay, enough of my ravings and on to the book. Monsters of Men immediately begins right after The Ask and The Answer left off, and it opens with war. Yes, war. No more useless introductions or prologues, or delaying tactics. This book is all about action, and intense action is what you get all throughout the book. This time, the war is not only between President Prentiss and the women rebels led by Mistress Coyle, because the Spackle has made a return and its army are more than ready to attack. Caught in the middle of the crossfire are the ever resilient heroes, Todd and Viola, and the choices they have to make to fight for survival.
Just like The Ask and The Answer, Monsters of Men is still told in the voices of Todd and Viola, but an additional voice made the book even more interesting. The Return and the Sky are equally fascinating characters and I must admit that I have been looking forward all this time to listen to what they have to say and what they felt. There is only one scene that made me cry in this book and this is the same scene that I cried over in the first book. Oh, Mr. Ness, why do you have to do this to the meek creatures? This does not mean to say that the book is not tear-worthy. In fact, it has made me melancholic for several days, thinking about what-could-have-beens and what-ifs. Is war never personal? I still believe it is personal, but it is more about choice. The choice to be good or bad, to be right or wrong, and the corresponding consequences for each choice. Revenge is always never right and it does not put an end to anything.
All in all, Monsters of Men is more than what I have expected. It gave a very explosive (literally and figuratively) ending to the trilogy and even though I have been put in a crazy roller coaster ride towards the end (my mind screaming, “NO WAY, PATRICK NESS, WILL YOU EVER DO THIS TO TODD AND VIOLA!!!”), I cannot imagine any other ending better than this one. Patrick Ness is a genius and I can’t wait to read more of his works. I hear he is writing an adult book this time?
5/5 stars (and more).
2/3 Required Reading Challenge: July 2012
26/50 2012 Goodreads Reading Goal.