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The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two (edition 2010)

by Patrick Ness

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1,5661164,674 (4.2)164
Member:Eurekas
Title:The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two
Authors:Patrick Ness
Info:Candlewick (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / American

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The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

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English (114)  Dutch (2)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
The second volume in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this picks up almost seamlessly from the cliff-hanger at the end of The Knife of Never Letting Go. To understand what goes on in The Ask and the Answer, it is absolutely essential to have read the previous book, and again Patrick Ness submits the reader to another very intense read. The pace is slower than the first, but it's much more emotionally intense, and in places I was reminded of certain aspects of Star Wars and The Hunger Games; to say anything else about the plot would be to give details away accidentally, and there are lots of surprises in store. This is an equally nail-bitingly tense and highly thought-provoking novel about what is right and wrong and about the choices one makes in life. If I were a teacher, I would use the ethical debates resulting from this book to tie in with history lessons about WWI and 2, and I'm certain that's where the author got some of his inspiration from.

If you're constantly itching to pick up the book again, then you can be sure that you're on to a winner. Another completely absorbing read, I'm only waiting for my son to finish the final volume in the trilogy, Monsters of Men, to continue the story. ( )
  passion4reading | Aug 8, 2015 |
Book two in the Chaos Walking Trilogy The knife of never letting go was book 1). Whole trilogy dystopian. Superb story telling. Cliffhanger. Next book in trilogy is Monsters of Men . ( )
  DavidO1103 | May 24, 2015 |
While I didn't enjoy it as much as The Knife of Never Letting Go, I found that this novel was powerful, deeply moving and (at times) utterly heartbreaking. Although the novel is fairly easy to read, it explores some very complex ethical themes and does so without spoon-feeding answers to the reader, leading them to make up their own minds.

By putting Todd and Viola on opposite sides of a civil war, Ness allows the reader to see both sides of the conflict and understand that there are no good guys and bad guys. While Mayor Prentiss is undeniably evil, the casual disregard of human life held by the Answer is also horrific, leading the reader to wonder if they are really what is best for Haven.

However, I didn't feel that the novel was structured as efficiently as its prequel. The Knife of Never Letting Go was always moving - a continuous journey as Todd and Viola travelled together and gradually pieced together the mystery of what happened to the Prentisstown women. While never boring, less happened in this story. It was more about the gradual building of tension that lead to the spark of Civil War. I also didn't think that the flips in narrative were very effective as they often repeated the same events from two different perspectives. The narrative voices also weren't different enough as Todd and Viola's voices were very similar, sometimes leaving me confused as to who was speaking.

Yet, the characterisation in the novel was still very strong. Todd's actions in the novel were often morally dubious and very difficult to justify, yet I could understand why he did the horrible things he did (even though I didn't agree with them). Viola is, however, by far my favourite character as she Throughout the story, she is strong, resilient and determined. I love how she remains so staunchly loyal to Todd through the story, doing everything in her power to guarantee his safety at all times and always able to stand up to authority figures – even ones as power as the Mayor – when she knows that they’re wrong.

So, all in all, this is another strong entry to the series. I can't wait to see how it concludes in Monsters of Men. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | May 14, 2015 |
The second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy involves less action and more political and subversive maneuvering with Todd and Viola caught in the middle. Less action didn't make it any less tense. I felt deeply for these characters and the dark holes of thought and emotion they plummeted into, so much so that at one point the series of events brought me to such a state of anxiety I had to put my book down for a few hours, just to breathe and relax before going on.

Ness asks some really interesting questions about responsibility, leadership, and war and its effect on soldiers and people. These are deep, complicated questions with often no good answers. At many points the question of right and wrong gets tossed right out the window, because there are no good answers, only an increasing cycles of violence from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself from.

As with The Knife of Letting Go, the book ends on a cliffhanger. Fortunately, I have the third and final book, Monsters of Men, already at home and I look forward to reading it with anxious anticipation. ( )
1 vote andreablythe | Apr 21, 2015 |
I am still enjoying the Chaos Walking trilogy, and while the second book, The Ask & The Answer, wasn’t as action packed as the first, it was still a totally absorbing read. This middle book appears to be acting more like a bridge between the two books, keeping the reader updated on where each character is and where there allegiance lies. Of course the ending of this book seems to have changed everything and I am looking forward to the action and intensity of the final volume.

The split narrative worked well, jumping as it does between Todd and Viola, as they spend most of the book apart. The storyline has changed as well. No longer are we thinking about two kids trying save themselves from a tyrant. In this book it appears these two kids are simple pawns being played against each other while the whole planet has become involved in a war that will likely change it’s future dramatically. But both Todd and Viola are evolving and by the end of the book even as we are left in a precarious position, there are hints that both have definitive roles to play in the final outcome.

Patrick Ness has build a world that comes alive on the pages. His descriptive writing is visual and strong so you can smell the smells, feel the weather and admire the scenery. I am thoroughly captivated by this series and it won’t be long before I lose myself in the final book. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Nessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawe, AngelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Battle not with monsters lest you become a monster and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you. Friedrich Nietzsche
Dedication
For Patrick Gale
First words
"Your Noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt."
Quotations
We are the choices we make.
"You are either forgetting or do not know that we already fought a great war, a war to end all wars, at just about the time you would have been born. If any repeat of that can be avoided—" (p. 36)
She looks at me carefully. "Appeasement," she says. "That's what it's called. Appeasement. It's a slippery slope."
   "What does it mean?"
   "It means you want to work with the enemy. It means you'd rather join him than beat him, and it's a sure-fire way to stay beaten."
(p. 153)
"You've got to be practical," Mayor Ledger says, "even in the face of tyrants."
(p. 301)
"I was only following orders," the Mayor mocks. "The refuge of scoundrels since the dawn of time."
(p. 454)
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Haiku summary
We are the choices
we make: do I fight or join
with my enemy?
(passion4reading)

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Alternate chapters follow teenagers Todd and Viola, who become separated as the Mayor's oppressive new regime takes power in New Prentisstown, a space colony where residents can hear each other's thoughts.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763644900, 076364837X

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