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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness How do you review Monsters of Men?Just how?Do I come in with a basic summary of the plot and then move on to what I thought about it? Because if I even tried doing that with Monsters of Men, it might end up something like this:So after revealing that there are thousands of Spackle still alive on the planet and they are VERY pissed off at the humans for killing several hundred of their own species and have thus formed an army at the end of The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness drops us straight into the ensuing war. It's Todd and Mayor Prentiss' army against Viola's resistance cell against the extraordinarily well-equipped Spackle army. And…SHDAGFSAGHFDHSAGDFHASGFDSGAGDFSHGFDSHADFSAJHFSDHJGDJSAHFDSJAHGDASVCXSNABCXASHBASGDHSAGFDJGSAJDGSAJGDJSAGDGASJ THE RETURN/1017 OH GOD I LOVE HIM SAJFGHJGD OH GOD VIOLA AKQSFJGFHDAKJFGKSJADGJKDGSJG OH GOD TODD FKASHFKHASAJDFFJDJHSAFFHSAJ OH GOD LEE AKSKJHFDKJHFFJKDSHFKDHSKDHFKDHKFDHDFKDSHKHDSHDFJKFDSJHFDKHSAKGGKASHJK FUCK YOU MAYOR PRENTISS ASJKFHKJSAHFKJDHF OH TODD KAJFHAKJSFKJFHKJSAHFJDHASFKJH OH ACORN AJHSDJGDHSGHGSAJHGDSHADFASDG OH THE SKY SAJGFJSAHGDAJHSGJ OH GOD OH GOD OH GODDDD!!!Yes, uh… for those of you not quite fluent in the language of fangirl, allow me to translate.Oh my goodness that was a wonderful book, and the addition of the Spackle character allowed for a wonderful new perspective on the events in the book. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I felt so sorry for Viola! Oh man, and Todd too! Oh, and Lee! This book was amazing, just go out and buy it right now!Oddly enough, that's how I translated my five star reviews for the previous books in the series, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer. I'd love to articulate a little bit better, but I'm afraid my linguistic skills can only go so far. But I'll at least try so this won't be my shortest review ever.In this book, Viola is reunited with Simone and Bradley, two people she knows from her days on the spaceship travelling to the New World. Meanwhile, Todd has to stay with Mayor Prentiss, whose character development was rather mercurial throughout this novel. One moment he's a smirking military man, happy to send people to their deaths, next moment he's a nice guy trying to make amends, next moment he's gladly teaching Todd how to control his Noise as a weapon, next moment he tells Todd he believes that he has become a better person due to his influence, and then, at the very end of the novel, he becomes the person I grew to hate with the blazing hot intensity of millions of suns going into supernova. And even then, that ending was as nail-biting as it was frustrating. So anyway, yes, the novel mainly focuses on Todd and Viola trying their hardest to survive a war which their people helped create. Todd has to fight and try to win people's favour, Viola has to be a peacekeeper, and The Return/1017… well, he made for an absolutely marvellous character, let me tell you that. He is the Spackle slave who Todd let escape in The Ask and the Answer, and who is seething in anger against Todd for what was done to his people. While his leader, The Sky tries to keep him calm, The Return is still extremely bitter and wants nothing more than to see Todd, and everyone he loves, dead. He isn't going to accomplish this by serial murder, however - The Return has to stay behind with his people. His people who are also harbouring a certain someone who is very important to Todd…War proves to be an incredibly bleak time for the cast of Chaos Walking as quick decisions have to be made, alliances must be forged, and the peacekeeping process must succeed at all costs. And of course, there are going to be setbacks. There are misunderstandings, accidental firings, bombings, and attempted sieges aplenty. And who are the people pinning all their hopes on? Two 14 year olds.Todd became a heck of a lot more interesting in the second and third novels. He started to realise his decisions did carry a distinct gravity, and that trust can't be handed out as freely as it could when he was an ignorant farm boy back in Prentisstown. While he is still uneducated - the final battle revolves entirely around reading, something Todd finds incredibly difficult - he is a little bit more savvy than he used to be. That doesn't mean he's completely lost his innocence, however. When Mayor Prentiss starts being a good man, Todd lets his guard down only to be betrayed once more. Todd is still unaware of the battles that were fought to secure this world from the Spackle shortly after he was born, but he learns more and more about it throughout the course of this novel. What else does Todd learn in this novel, aside from basic literacy and modern history? Well, making a return from The Ask and The Answer, Todd learns from Mayor Prentiss how to control his Noise. Telepathy-fu, if you will. It turns out one can not only learn how to silence their Noise, but also to use it to control others. And Mayor Prentiss is an excellent manipulator. In fact, telepathy-fu is one of the weapons used in the final battle, and it's awesome.Viola is also great in this. Once her broken ankles (from the end of The Ask and the Answer) heal up, she's raring to go and manages to keep her cool in situations where she has every right to be stressed out: for example, Mistress Coyle's agenda, Todd becoming more and more of a son to Mayor Prentiss, etcetera. I love her, she's one of the best female characters in any YA book I have read. The final chapters, in which she rides her horse along a warpath and through a forest only to see - oh goddamn it, I can't spoil it. Needless to say, it made me cry. I was finishing those final chapters with tears in my eyes and I actually had a good cry once I'd finished the whole book. What a perfect ending, Mr. Ness. Needless to say, I read The New World as soon as possible, just so I could fill in that gap in my knowledge of Chaos Walking.I also loved the inclusion of a third voice in this series. The Return/1017 made for a wonderfully-written character, so filled with rage towards the humans (or The Clearing, as Spackle call them) that he simply cannot see them for the good that they do. In his eyes, Todd letting him escape after the genocide of his people was a deliberate, calculated act rather than an act Todd did out of guilt. Being raised in servitude rather than being born a freeman was also part of some human plan to make his and his peoples' lives miserable, even though some Spackle servitude was ultimately part of the original peacekeeping process, as horrible as it was. I also loved the use of telepathy in this series, as the Spackle don't communicate vocally. They communicate as one large voice, through images and thoughts and sounds that reverberate around the entire planet and keep the Spackle connected. A sort of psychic Internet, if you will. It takes 1017 a little while to learn, but when he does, it's absolutely tragic, especially considering the things he learns from… ooh, can't spoilt it - the other important characters who come back into play throughout the course of this novel.This series has been absolutely excellent from start to finish, and I highly commend any book that can elicit such a huge emotional response out of me, someone who is stony-hearted enough to keep the tears at bay during weepy movies and TV shows. The only other book that made me cry this year was The Fault in Our Stars, and the tears I shed for that book were a mere children's paddling pool compared to the tears I cried at the end of this book. I love Chaos Walking and definitely look forward to re-reading this series. For now, it's going on my favourites shelf… and well, I'm now a fully-fledged Nessochist. Go me. 5/5.(This review is also available on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/monsters-of-men-chaos-walking-3-by.html)