BOOK REVIEW – The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick NessThe Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
by Patrick Ness
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Re-read with my lovely Jen!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

5 LARGE, AMAZING STARS!!!

Worth every star in the world. (It was SO MUCH MORE FAST PACED THAN I REMEMBER!)

The world that Ness creates is beyond any stretch of imagination I could ever dream of coming up with-I’m seeing that in spades the second time around. So many things I overlooked the first time made the story that much better the second time around. He is an amazing writer and I will forever re-read these books with a huge, masochistic smile on my face…I only hope that maybe someday he will write another set of characters that move me like Todd Hewitt and Viola Eade do-Their story mesmerizes me each and every time I pick up this series…I know it will continue to for the rest of my life. These books aren’t forgettable. They are, in fact, extraordinary, and I feel bad for anyone who has never gotten to immerse themselves into this vivid and candid story. So glad I took the time to re-read the second and third book, because the first time I was so focused on how much I loved book one that I didn’t see how interesting and detailed and merciless these scenes were and how they quite literally took my breath away. I cannot wait to see how I react to book three the second time around-the first time I was a blubbering, incoherent mess-I can only imagine how much worse it will be since I’m even more attached to Todd and Viola after a year of never forgetting them.

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*4.5 Stars*

…Never love something so much it can be used to control you.

After a completely awesome cliffhanger in book one, I was anxious to start book 2 immediately. And while I didn’t have as strong of an affection for TAATA like I did for TKONLG, I still enjoyed it immensely.

Many times the second book in a series is labeled a ‘bridge’ book. After a totally action packed first installment, the second is normally used to throw some wrenches in the plan and make things even more complicated for the H/H-making for a mind-blowing, unputdownable, and unforgettable final book.

I have to say this is the case with TAATA. Viola and Todd are separated. Which already made me sad, but even more than that, there is a war brewing. Everyone is in the clutches of the evil mayor, but no one knows whether to believe if he is really evil or not. He plays God, keeping the women from the men, issuing curfews for both genders, assigning jobs to those who are not soldiers, and has everyone placed in living quarters right where he wants them. It sounds bleak, doesn’t it? It is.

Told from both Todd and Viola’s POV, we get to see what’s going on in every angle of ‘New Prentisstown’. Viola is assigned as a healer, and Todd is under the Mayor..er..President’s nose, doing all his personal bidding and manual labor. Each of them pining for one another, both willing to do anything to get to one another and give the other a chance for safety and survival, this story made for an emotionally charged compilation of longing and willingness to do what must be done to ultimately get to their counterpart. I loved seeing how strongly they cared for one another, and getting an insight to their inner monologue really put things into perspective:

+They only have each other
+They fought against the world together
+They have saved each other numerous times
+They have made sacrifices
+Even when torn apart from different sides, they still choose each other
+They would literally do anything for one another

Really makes you see how much they care, doesn’t it, when put into perspective?

I agree with what one of my GR friends said about the tone of this installment-while I still loved the story and could not put the book down, there was a lack of humor that I missed from the first book. There were horrible occurrences in book one, some that I still haven’t gotten over, but there was just a different tone that really drew you in and made you fall in love with Todd and his journey to become a man under the worst possible circumstances. There was a darkness in TAATA that hung over your head with each passing page, building into something real and palpable. There was torture, there was desperation, we built new friendships, again their inner strength was tested and contorted into something that could control and consume them…it was as heartbreaking as it was gripping.

Reading half of this at work, I became a madwomen who couldn’t seem to pull away from the story even for a moment. The desperation that was pulled from each character fueled the story to epic proportions, building up to a high-stakes showdown. Like I said, there were parts that I longed for things to be different, but then we wouldn’t have yet another awesome cliffhanger to build off of. We wouldn’t have an all out crazy mess to fix in book three. Most importantly, we wouldn’t have had the last 150 pages built up into such an angsty mess that I couldn’t even concentrate on normal, everyday life until I got to the end. And now I can’t wait for the much anticipated (by me) finale.

It’s not that you should never love something so much it can control you.
It’s that you NEED to love something that much so you can NEVER BE CONTROLLED.

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