As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many.
The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
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©2010 Patrick Ness (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I have both read and listened to this entire series, so this review is for all three books in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I read a lot of YA fiction (that's where most of the best sci-fi/fantasy literature is being classified, these days), and on the whole, I have not been impressed with the sloppy, bland prose in many of the more popular series. I decided to try this series because of the narrator, Nick Podehl, who did such a fantastic job narrating the first two books of Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear).
While I expected another great performance from Nick, I was not prepared for the power of Patrick Ness's writing. I'm not even sure how to describe the effect it had on me. He so effectively portrays the thoughts and feelings of his characters that it is like you are inside their heads to the point where reading or listening to this series can become physically exhausting or exhilarating or terrifying or desperate or confused or sad or whatever the character is going through, because he writes the way that people think, or at least the way that I think.
Normally, when I start a series that has already been completed, I will go through all of the books back to back, but the overwhelming intensity of the story gave me so much to think about and process that I had to take a few week's break between the books. This is not a happy, lighthearted series. It is about the real, deep evil that can exist in human beings. It is also about the innate goodness that can somehow grow even surrounded by this type of evil. It is about friendship, and sacrifice, and the decisions we make, and having to live with the consequences of our decisions. I guess I'm rambling now, so I'll just summarize by saying, this is powerful, breathtaking, thought provoking, important stuff. This story will get inside you, and stick with you long after you've finished it. I hope Patrick Ness continues to give the world more stories.
The writing, the writing, the writing! Patrick Ness is absolutely brilliant!
Nick Podehl was great in Name of the Wind, and Wise Man's Fear, as I mentioned. However, his performance in the Chaos Walking trilogy is gaspingly, jaw-droppingly amazing. I was blown away. The Ask and the Answer, and then Monsters of Men, also feature real powerhouse performances by Angela Dawe and McLeod Andrews that were equally stunning. I plan to look for other audiobooks narrated by Angela and McLeod. This was a rare case of the audiobook living up to, and many times surpassing, my expectations having read the books in print form as well. All three narrators deserve whatever equivalent that the audiobook world has of the Academy Awards.
It would be impossible to pick one, without mentioning major spoilers.
Read this series, or listen to this series. And then tell your friends to read or listen to this series.
Paid reviewers, after two weeks get 4-8 votes and have that power to strike unhelpful against others. Check their history! Your money!
Absolutely nothing, say it again. War makes monsters of men. Be prepared to have that theme over and over, Ness beats you over the head with it. This is the third book and starts right where book 2 left off. You do not want to read this book until you have read the first two.
I give this book four stars, but I give the series five stars and I liked it a lot better then Hunger Games or any of the other YA I have listened to so far.
This book does not get five stars, because the middle part is a sappy teenage romance that was not part of the rest of the series and it lent itself to the whinny teenage bitchiness that hunger games was so popular for. I understand that teenagers are usually whinny and melodramatic, but it does get irritating. Like Hunger Games, adults are the enemy. All adults are evil and selfish. I am not real happy with that.
The book gets four stars because, I like getting to know the spackle, which are really The Land and humans are The Clearing. The ending is very powerful. The power of love is felt and shared with the reader. You hear how, It is not how we fall, but how we get back up again. You hear and feel the strength of Us. What two people in love can accomplish together is powerful.
The narration is excellent and I love using a different narrator for each main character. There are lots of back and forth between characters and it helps to have a different voice for each. The narration for Neal Asher's books would have been so much better with more then one narrator.
This series had me on the edge of my car seat. I would find myself sitting in the parking lot at work just to hear what was going to happen next. These books have made me laugh,cry and yell.
Mommy of twins
In MONSTERS OF MEN the final book in the Chaos Walking Series author Patrick Ness adds yet another perspective to the mix. Giving the reader insight into the Spackle’s pov through the eyes of #1017 which was a good thing for the story I guess; but I found myself really just looking forward to the bits written from Todd’s point of view, even Viola’s voice didn’t hold my interest like Todd did. I think that might be why I like the first book out of the series the most, because the whole thing is from Todd’s perspective.
Anyway, back to MONSTERS OF MEN… this last installment which is all about War and Peace and which one will prevail. I don’t want to give anything away, but you might be surprised how everything plays out in the end. What I will say, expect death and lots of it; also Viola’s people will make contact with New Word before the book is through. I do think Ness did a standup job finishing off the series and tiding up loose ends, yet leaving just enough open for the reader to imagine the remaining characters as their lives move forward after the conclusion.
Chaos Walking is a good solid series that is unlike anything else I’ve ever read and I applaud Ness for his creativity and originality.
I loved this audiobook series so much that I became very sad as it approached the end. It transported me to a totally different universe and although I am upset that it's over, I am very pleased with the ending.
Recommended for readers who love themes about gender, youth, growth, maturity, science fiction, and friendship.
The voice acting was superb and I am now officially in love with these narrators, but especially Nick Podehl. His southern drawl is echoing throughout my brain like I'd been infected by the noise germ.
What an incredibly dark and emotional series. Highly recommend.
This story is so beautiful, so rich with emotion & conflict and the narrators' performances are so true it made me weep more than once.
All the characters are masterfully written, even the animals. I could read it again and again.
I would rate the voice actors 10 stars if I could, this performance and story are gripping and emotional. The way this book is written only adds to the immersion, incredible audiobook experience.
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