The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness

“‘Your noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt.’
A voice – 
In the darkness –
I blink open my eyes. Everything it shadows and blur and it feels like the world’s spinning and my blood is too hot and my brain is clogged and I can’t think and it’s dark –
I blink again. 
Wait – 
No, wait – 
just now, just now we were in the square –
Just now she was in my arms – 
She was dying in my arms -”

Todd and Viola were being chased by a vicious madman. They believe they had outrun him, but they hadn’t. They killed him but it wasn’t enough, for as soon as they killed him they came across another, one that wanted to kill them. Carrying Viola into Haven Todd thinks he has found safety. But all there is in Haven is yet another madman, and this time he’s in charge. Separated the pair know nothing about each others whereabouts – or even if one another is still alive. They have to take the word of their worst enemy – Mayor Prentiss; who has declared himself President. One day when the bombs start falling things get even crazier than before. The two of them must remember that they are the choices they make.
***
Ok so I’m going to try and refrain from gushing nonsense in this review… if I had it my way this entire page would be full of “ghautpauoebrfals vjkla” but I can’t do that can I? I mean I have to be a little comprehensible at least! 

I adored The Knife of Never Letting Go, it was amazing but I put off going straight onto The Ask and the Answer just incase the sequel didn’t measure up! I shouldn’t have been worried and I’m gunna really try not to put myself off the third book because The Ask and the Answer was incredible, if not sick and twisted of course! 

The story picks up pretty much where we left off. I was glad that there was a bit of a recap but not an overly obvious one, as I had forgotten a bit about what happened and needed that. I picked up the story quite quickly and even quicker it went into the new one… I loved where this book took the overall trilogy and the way it makes you question things. There’s an overall theme about things not being as black and white as you may think which works brilliantly and at times you find yourself questioning the methods and actions of the worst – and the best – characters. 

The sci-fi element of the book is what hits me the most about this book. I don’t do sci-fi very well but I love it in this trilogy, I feel like I understand it all and I love learning new little about the New World. One thing that really stands out in New World is the hatred of women and their lack of ‘the Noise.’ This was picked up on in TKoNLG but it was expanded and made me seethe with hatred in TAatA. The Mayor was particularly evil when it came to women and I found myself on more than one occasion having to stop reading and remind myself that he’s not a real person, I can’t actually throttle him! 

I loved the way that the story puts pressure onto the characters in this book and how Todd and Viola both find themselves doing things that they don’t necessarily want to do but believe they have to to do the right thing by each other and the people of New Prentisstown. I also loved Davy’s character in this book even though he was awful, I felt sorry for him a lot towards the end especially and I think his weakness was also his strength in places. 

I love it when book titles relate well to the content, without it being overly obviously without reading the book. The idea of the Ask and the Answer was incredible and what it all stood for was something which really made me think, especially when it came to the Asking. I can understand why the characters get dragged up into it all in the way they do and it makes for an amazing story. 

I don’t want to give too much away but like its predecessor The Ask and the Answer is full of surprises and heartbreak. I didn’t actually cry this time but I was overcome with emotion and I cant wait to see where the series goes next. Its one that I would recommend to every older teen and adult because it teams a great story with an amazing theme, good characters and fantastic writing. 

The Ask and the Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking series. It was published in September 2009 by Walker. My copy was purchased within a gift set of the trilogy. 
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  • Love, love, LOVED this one! Great review 🙂

  • Fantastic review as usual, Raimy! I really, really need to get around to reading this series! It sounds absolutely epic. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    Steph @ SteppingOutOfThePage.co.uk

  • I REALLY need to read this series, it looks amazing! Great review, Raimy 🙂

  • Great review – I was the same as you, read The Knife of Letting Go and was so impressed that I almost did’nt want to read the next one in case it was a disapointment!! Must pick it up now!
    Laura xxx

  • I really really enjoyed this one too. Monsters of Men is really good too-hope you enjoy it as much as the first two!