by Patrick Ness
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Re-read with Jen (again) (shut up just shut up 😉 )
Again, I am blown away by how magnificent this series was. The world that Ness created is so complex, intricate, and altogether heartbreaking that you can’t help but fall for these flawed characters. Time and again they are faced with extreme circumstances and forced to make decisions no child should ever have to be faced with-they make mistake after mistake-and they come out stronger than before each and every time. I felt all the same emotions as the first time, even with knowing what happens…that’s what makes a book stand out, what makes it shine: It’s ability to make you feel time and time again no matter how many times you’ve read it. Heartbreaking, soul-crushing and all-consuming, I can’t imagine if I’d never read these. Unforgettable and utterly compelling, I will read these over and over….and never once get tired of this magnificent story. In all? This series is an absolute win.
Todd, the boy who won’t kill, with his all encompassing love for Viola even at the expense of his own life if it came down to it, will forever be a favorite character of mine-no matter how many books come and go…he truly is a remarkable and feeling young character…and I adore him.
Ah, Jeez. What can I possibly say to sum up such an amazingly epic series? If someone had asked me six months ago if I would read a series centered around war and corruption, I would have looked them dead in the eye and said, “No effin way” (‘Cept I wouldn’t say ‘effin’;)). The most surprising thing, however, is that I have placed this series among my top favorites. Now, I know I’ve been slinging around the word ‘favorite’ a lot in recent history, but this ‘favorite’ is unique all on it’s own. This series has one of my, you guessed it, favorite characters of all time-Todd Hewitt.
When I finished last night, I was an emotional wreck. I was bawling my eyes out because of that unforgettable ending, that ending that will
stay with me forever
. I didn’t think I could possibly write a review that could explain the ferocity with which this series ingrained itself into my soul. I love it I love it I love it, and that doesn’t even cover the half of it.
But, and I’ve already said this, Todd is one of my all time favorite characters, and he doesn’t deserve anything less than a decent review in his honor.
Where to begin. Redemption. Lies. Doubt. Betrayal. Love. Trust. Hope. Told from three different POVs, we get an insight to every aspect of this war. A war that was completely unnecessary. A war that will ruin more than one life in the big scheme of things. A war that has Todd and Viola separated and fighting for their lives AGAIN. They see each other, but they are working on different fronts, trying to coax both sides so it will not be an all out bloodshed. But then we have a third side-a loose cannon, if you will. And with that third side comes the third POV.
I’ve thought all along that while I love dual POVs, I love Todd’s POV the most-it’s what made me fall in love with the series in the first place, so I longed to be inside his head for more than a few pages at a time. I wanted to see what he thought, what he wanted, what he was going to do. I felt somewhat bored at the beginning with all the switching of POVS-yes, the whole book was action-packed, but I just found one of the POVs to be a bit monotonous.
By far the most powerful theme in this book would have to be the question of who to trust. Some characters have claimed they work hard for redemption, while others act power hungry and will do anything to keep the upper edge-no matter what the cost. My mind was spinning the. Entire. Story. The characters become desperate under the circumstances, and with that desperation comes the need to choose a side, choose the side that will or won’t save someone who has taken a dramatic turn for the worst-is this person telling the truth? Will the medicine work?…or will it inevitably kill the one person Todd loves most in the world?
Todd was just a young boy, barely a man in TKONLG, and we saw that through his inner noise-his voice. Here we are, three books later, looking at how he has grown in such little time. Making decisions that even some grown men will never have to make, he has matured beyond his years. Even in the face of corruption and death, though, is his inner strength and beauty-that willingness to see the good in even the most evil of people, that yearn for all animals, that need to redeem himself of his past misdoings, and to ultimately create peace in a new world where everyone can live not in fear, but together as one united people.
This series has touched me so deeply on a level that I didn’t even know I possessed. Maybe the fact that Todd would do literally anything for Viola, anything for his horse, resonated within me so deeply I will never forget. And as I slept on this ‘you have to be a glass half-full type of person’ ending, I decided as I woke that I’m okay with it. Every time I think of that damn end I feel a pull on my heart strings and a drop in my stomach, but overall, I’m ecstatic. I loved it. The whole thing. Even the end of it all. I respect it, and it will never leave my mind. I will never, ever, ever forget…and I guess the easiest way for me to sum up is to say the things that I’ll never forget-an homage, if you will:
+Todd-the boy who can’t and won’t kill
+Todd’s loyalty, dedication, and love for Viola
+Viola-the rip in the noise that set all these books in motion
+Manchee-the talking dog-his ruddy good dog who would do anything to save him
+The love between Ben and Todd, that father/son connection that tore me up
+The cliffhangers at the end of Every. Single. Damn. Book.
+The struggle with which Todd fought mind control
+Even, yes, I’ll say it, Davy Prentiss Jr.-the boy Todd saved from himself
I might think of more to say later on, but at the moment, this feels like a natural point to stop-a natural way to say goodbye to my beloved fictional world I’ve come to both fear and love. So with a heavy heart, I say goodbye to them all, and hope for nothing but the best. Isn’t that how the whole story began….hope? And that’s how it all ends-
and a heap of ruddy fucking tears.
*bawling* I don’t know what I’ll rate this one. I don’t know what to think or say or write. This series has touched me on a whole different level….one of my all time favorites. But…:I don’t know if I can ever write an adequate review for this one. Guess I’ll see how I feel in the morning.