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Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men

by Patrick Ness

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chaos Walking (3)

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1,178936,841 (4.19)149



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Description: In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.

As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

Thoughts: I don't know what to say. I didn't enjoy this book. I just couldn't believe in it. I felt like all the promising goodies from the first book (and even The New World) were wasted over the course of The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men. About halfway through this one I started to really not care so much who made it out alive. Which is not a good thing.

The thing is... Ness has a compelling voice. I get the feeling that he has a truly spectacular story in him, something that lives up to the hype of Publishers Weekly calling it "one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years." This one just devolved into boggy, unredemptive, warmongering yuckiness. I don't even think I could begin to count the number of false ends where resolution is so tantalizingly close only to be snatched away again and again and again. The science fictionness of it became annoying and then basically pointless.

I wanted to love this series but I couldn't. The first one was very promising but the rest just missed for me. I'll probably give Ness another try though.

Rating: 2.7

Liked: 2.5
Plot: 2.5
Characterization: 3
Writing: 3

http://www.librarything.com/topic/149560#3928469 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 17, 2015 |

I really wanted to read this last book in the Chaos Walking series, as the cliffhanger on the second book was just enormous!

I can't conclude differently than just to admit it was a thrilling end to this series. Never boring, interesting till the end, showing that good/bad-sides aren't black/white (as they are to often in books). I just loved the series. I feel a bit empty now I'll have to find another book that pulls my attention this same way! ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
I think anyone who gets to this end of the series knows that they can't expect Ness to be gentle on his characters. I was tense with anticipation and worry most of the time. 'This book is terrible.' I would say to my husband. 'So why are you reading it?' 'Because it's brilliant!'. Husband walks away shaking his head. While this is very obviously a piece of fiction, aliens and telepathy, I spent most of the time thinking how horribly real a lot of it was. I can think of events in recent history that match all of the worst events in the book. This book made me feel, and it made me think, and I couldn't put it down. ( )
  Karyn_Ainsworth | Dec 29, 2014 |
Ambigous ending leaving much to the imagination, but I would prefer it to be more definitive. There is part 3.5, but not on kindle... ( )
  otikhonova | Dec 8, 2014 |
It's the final battle, the culmination of the series. It's when the weapons come out and the battle lines are drawn and redrawn and blood and death reign supreme as conniving minds scheme to gain the upper hand. It becomes a war of three factions, the Mayor, the Mistress, and the Spackle. And in the midst of it all, Todd and Viola are trying to do the right thing, to find peace in the world and to save each other.

I can't believe I'm giving this four stars. Well, it's more like 3.75, but it's basically four stars. I came into this book with low expectations because endings are so hard to do well. But this deserves more than three stars, more than 3.5 stars. In the beginning I thought Ness wasn't that skilled at writing war - and he isn't. His battle scenes are a little clumsy as he portrays characters talking dialogue in the middle of battle and other slightly unbelievable things. But he is great at writing subterfuge and the hidden tactics of war. And this book brings us further into war, brings it into the actual death and destruction of what war is (instead of the guerrilla fighting of book 2).

We also get 1017's point of view in first person as well. I love Ness for this: giving us a new perspective with each book. That broadens our understanding of the characters and gives new insights into the world.

His style is still fairly consistent, his strengths and weakness similar to the other two books again. It has the same quick pace with truces and plans and attacks happening every other page. It's an adventure book that shows these characters grown up, but still making those hard decisions all over again.

Again, there were some things that I don't buy again (spoilers: like the silencing of Todd's Noise just by thinking the phrase or how it's opened again by talking to Ben. Too quick.).

I loved how he makes the villains sympathetic and the protagonists guilty of crimes as well (who is to say Viola or Todd is correct for wanting to kill thousands for one person?). These characters aren't flat, and they make you hurt for them in all the right ways.

There are so many mini-climaxes towards the end (so many fake endings). While I really appreciated it, there were some parts where the heroes became villains unexpectedly - and there was just not enough transition moments to make that believable as well. But the resulting plot and action that came from those twists are freaking amazing. So I'll let it go.

The ending. At first I was like... ack that's a cop-out ending, but no... it was done well. He did it justice. It didn't exactly tie up all the loose ends, but it ended on the right note. And it's hard to find a book that ends on a perfect note, so I bumped it a little bit in the ratings.

4 stars because I really did like this book a lot and the way it ended. It was entertaining, thought-provoking, had well rounded characters and great villains.
Recommended for people who read the first two books. But I would really recommend this series to anyone who likes adventure books. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Nessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, MacLeodNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dawe, AngelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podehl, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Denise Johnstone-Burt
First words
"War," says Mayor Prentiss, his eyes glinting. "At Last"
I am the Circle and the Circle is me
Boy Colt
"I hope I'd make the right choice, but, Viola, it is a choice. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that's not how a person with integrity acts." (p. 182)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The electrifying finale to the multiple award-winning trilogy, Chaos Walking. "War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge... The electrifying finale to the award-winning Chaos Walking trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.
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As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions, questioning all they have ever known as they try to step back from the darkness and find the best way to achieve peace.

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