Friday, April 15, 2011

Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

War and love and noise and teenage angst and aliens and weapons and unity and terrorism and leaders and death and love and...

That is the world of Todd and Viola - two teenagers struggling to stay alive, ward off a world war and greet a new spaceship of pioneers. Their story begins in a Todd's world - a world of men whose noise (thoughts) is heard by everyone at all times. As Todd nears his life changing 14th birthday in Prentisstown in which he will become a man - he meets Viola lost and mute in the swamps - the first and only girl he has ever met. And their journey begins. A journey that takes them across a planet poised for war between the Ask (men) and the Answer (women). Each is lead by a neurotic leader so focused on winning an ongoing war that neither is above destroying the entire planet if that's what it takes. This includes terriost attacks (Answer) and mind control(Ask) and the natives (Spackle) becoming not just restless but violent and full of revenge for the horrible treatment of a small group.

Ness creates a world that I absolutely HATED!! It is a dark and scary world where no one is to be trusted even though you can read half the populations mind all the time. I was sick of the Mayor and the Mistress and their lies and twisted dealings with this very young couple. I considered quitting reading this more than once. In fact I absolutely was not going to read the third book. I was so mad at the end of the second I was not going on.But -then there is Todd and Viola. They turn everything on it's head. They are innocent and guileless and helpless and naive and sweet and in love. I wanted to know if they make it - if they can stay alive long enough to force the idiot adults back from the brink of mutual annihilation.

This is also a story of the bleakness of war. It was hard to read parts of it as a pacifist. The decisions that both the Ask and Answer were hard for me to comprehend. The war was the end for both of them and no end of pain, humiliation and destruction were off limits.

And then I got to the end...I can't say anything because I don't want to give it away...


No comments: