Reaching the end of their flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?
The Ask and the Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, the sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go (which I reviewed last month if you wanna check that out) by Patrick Ness. I don’t really encourage you to read this review if you haven’t read the first book because there will be spoilers about it. However, any major (because I guess everything that I tell you about this book will at least be a minor spoiler) spoilers about The Ask and the Answer will be disclaimed before said so you don’t have to worry if you haven’t read it yet and you just wanna know if it’s worth continue reading the series.
Well, on my other post I made it pretty clear that I really liked the first book. I love the world that Ness created and the characters as well. What bothered me a bit, and that repeated itself on this second book, is how many bad things happen to the characters. It’s bad thing after bad thing and they barely have time to breathe. When you think they are okay and that their plan might actually work and they’ll be safe and happy, think again.
The Ask and the Answer brings back the same characters from TKoNLG (except for my favourite one, you know who I’m talking about) and introduces new ones as well. On the end of the last novel, we think Todd and Viola will finally find safety in Haven, but instead they encounter their worst enemy: Mayor Prentiss. In this novel we get to see even more of him, and it is actually really interesting to see how powerful he is and how ruthless and insane he can be. We also get to spend more time with the mayor’s son, Davy Prentiss. And I have to say he did change my mind a little bit about his character.
I really like Todd’s and Viola’s chemistry but they didn’t spend as much time together as they did on the last book which was kind of disappointing. If you’ve read the book then you know why they couldn’t be together, and honestly I was afraid that would weaken their bond but at the end I think it just made it stronger.
There was so much more about the Spackle in this book and I understand that it pretty much sucked for them to get their planet invaded by humans, but I wish everyone could just live in harmony with each other. (I guess that hasn’t happened yet because of the humans in question… But I hope everything gets fixed on the last book). I also liked how in this novel we got to see different perspectives of the different sides of the war. Mostly because for a big chunk of the time Todd and Viola where working on the different sides. (Kind of against their will, it was complicated).
I didn’t like this book as much as I did the first book. I think one of the reasons is because their surroundings didn’t change as much, whereas on the previous novel they were going from one place to another all the time. Things in The Ask and the Answer made me so mad and frustrated (although that happened while I was reading TKoNLG too), but I think it’s kind of a good thing because it made me more invested on it, and it basically gives the reader something to talk about so I guess that might be a positive factor since it’s what the author is trying to do.
So basically I really enjoyed this book just like I enjoyed the first one and I recommend you to keep going till the end because I think it’s worth it.
QUICK SPOILER ABOUT TAatA
I don’t know if I’m just imagining things but Davy’s death (so upsetting tbh) was so similar to Manchee, I wonder if it was done on purpose? And if so, do you think it will happen again on Monsters of Men? I have a theory that it will be Viola almost dying and calling out for Todd (she might actually die but I would hate that) and she could almost die but not really. What are your thoughts? Comment down below!