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.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
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 like to read. i like to listen.
nice finish to a really well written YA trilogy. enjoyed all the character development and loved the conclusion of this intense and exciting story of Todd and Viola.
i must admit that i was both emotionally invested in these characters, and pleasantly surprised by all of their outcomes.
my one complaint about the books (all three, but this one in particular) was there could have been some editing to make them a bit more concise. there's a lot of repeated stuff in these books (mostly internal dialogue) that i found could have moved the story on a bit quicker. this was most evident in the beginning of all three books (the first 1/3 of each installment)...seems like it took Ness a bit of time to ramp up into each book, but once he got there it was great.
this is a solid trilogy
This is the first series I have listened to. The first book was great, but the second and third were too much misery, and not enough victory. The series drones on and on about misery. The ending left me mad for days. Very disappointing!
I started this book series as a result of a book review that put it in the same class with the Harry Potter books, the Hunger Games series, and a few other serial books I have enjoyed. I'm one of those hopeful people who will stick with a book hoping that it will eventually reveal itself.
Alas, this series is not one of those. The series is a little like watching the clothes go around in a washing machine. The repetitive first person stream of consciousness narration is hard enough to follow without the endless coincidences of plot and meaningless circumstance. In a very real sense, the plot has no beginning, middle or end. It just sort of oozes along like a stream of mud, flowing back upon itself and forming little eddies and puddles along the way. The characters all behave as if they are the same character with different names, organized into different groups, yanked onstage at different times.
Anyway, the narrators did a good job with the senseless dialog. I finished the whole thing. I'm still not sure why I bothered.
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