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Patrick Ness – Monsters of Men

March 18, 2011

36. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (2010)
Chaos Walking, Book 3

Read my review of book:
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go
2. The Ask and the Answer

Length: 604 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian Sci-Fi

Started: 03 March 2011
Finished: 05 March 2011

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Really? See the links to my reviews of the first two books above.

When fighting a war
is the only way to get
peace, is it worth it?

***Warning: Here be spoilers for books 1 & 2; consider yourselves warned***

Summary: Tensions between the tyrannical Mayor of New Prentisstown and the terrorist group of the Answer must be put on hold in the face of a new threat: a wave of alien Spackle sweeping down upon the settlers of the New World, united in a single thought of vengeance. Todd and Viola are caught up in their various sides of the war, fighting to save themselves – and each other – while working for peace for the soon-arriving settlers from Viola’s ships. But how can there be peace when the only people with the power to stop the war are the ones who most want to be fighting it?

Review: Monsters of Men is in some ways a quieter book than either The Knife of Never Letting Go or The Ask and the Answer. That may seem out of keeping for a book that’s about war, especially a war that’s been building for at least the preceeding 600 pages. And I don’t mean to imply that Monsters of Men didn’t have its fair share of explosions and excitement and achingly, nail-bitingly tense moments – because it had all of those things, without question. They just seemed a little more spaced out in this book, so it didn’t quite have the never-ceasing adrenaline-pumping forward-hurtling momentum of the previous two books. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either – it gave each of the exciting and tense moments a little bit more space to breathe and to grow, and let them stand out more sharply against the comparably calmer background.

I continued to like the alternating and contrasting viewpoints from Viola and Todd (although: Argh, so dumbly trusting, still!), and I thought the addition of 1017’s p.o.v. chapters was an interesting addition, although he wasn’t quite as developed as the other two. The ending didn’t present any huge surprises, but it was still quite satisfying, and well in keeping with the rest of the series. The only thing that bothered me was the way in which the Spackle form of thought/communication was held up as an ideal. Maybe it would be the optimal way to survive on a planet with Noise, I don’t know, but the subsuming of all individual voices into the collective Voice seems somehow dehumanizing and contrary to everything that Todd and Viola had been fighting for.

Overall, this was a very quick, and very enjoyable read, and a satisfying end to an amazing series. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I’m not even going to bother. If you’ve read the first two, you’re probably already reading this one without my telling you that it’s just as good.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Bart’s Bookshelf, Book Addiction, Jenny’s Books, Page 247, Presenting Lenore, Rat’s Reading, Regular Rumination, Rhapsody in Books Weblog, Serendipity, Stuff as Dreams Are Made On, Things Mean a Lot, Vulpes Libris
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “War,” says Mayor Prentiss, his eyes glinting. “At last.”

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2011 2:07 pm

    That must be good if it has 600 pages and you still called it a quick read.

  2. March 20, 2011 8:54 am

    I didn’t feel great about the resolution with the Spackle Noise business either — I think if Ness had developed it a little better amongst the Spackle (and maybe suggested ways in which the Spackle created pockets of privacy), I’d have been happier with it. But pretty much, I was so happy a, um, a certain person was around advocating for it? You know? I would believe whatever that person told me because I was so happy in that person’s existence. If you know what I mean.

    • March 24, 2011 9:46 am

      Jenny – Yes! The fact that the person in question was the one describing it made it sound completely reasonable and like something I could get on board with, even if it gave the rational part of my brain the heebiejeebies.

  3. Hannah permalink
    April 14, 2011 11:17 pm

    This is an amazingly good book,
    just finished.
    I was crying like a baby and I absolutely hated the ending!
    Well, it was GREAT ending but, i was just so damn sad.
    I am so annoyed there isn’t a 4th book!


  1. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness | Iris on Books

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