Monsters of Men

Chaos Walking book 3: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. Pub. Walker Books Ltd, 2010.

“It’s war that makes us men in the first place. Until there’s war, we are only children” So sayeth the Mayor of New Prentissville, the scoundrel that Todd considered he had beaten at the end of the Ask and The Answer. This novel addresses that proposition.

To summarise the first two books. This Series is set on a planet that has been colonised by, for want of a better word, humans. Men have been separated from women, and they suffer from a disease that forces them to have no secret thoughts as they can be heard by any other man. This is called noise and the men are controlled by it. The noise is printed as different script.

The native inhabitants of this planet Spackle have been defeated in battle and enslaved by the Ask led by Mayor Prentiss and his hoodlums. Opposition to the Ask is led by Mistress Coyle who leads the women and sympathisers or the Answer.

Todd and Viola are teenagers who are together and are on neither side although they oppose the Mayor and the Ask and loosely support the Answer. They want a peaceful future.

At the end of  book 2 the Ask, the Answer and the Spackle had all formed armies and a huge confrontation loomed. To add to the mix, new colonists, led by Viola’s friends Simone and Bradley, land in the middle of the war.What influence will they have?

It is a Battle Royal but is “war the only path to Peace”? A very relevant question in today’s world.

Patrick Ness introduces a third voice aside from Todd and Viola, and this voice represents the Spackle, the voice of an Indigenous people that have been trampled asunder by a colonising power. I am sure many will understand this point of view.

What we have is an ebb and flow of battle and philosophy, in which all the things the reader wanted to know from the first two novels is answered. I cannot say more.

This is the end of the story and it is brilliant. Truely cutting edge writing. Get it and read it. If you haven’t read the other two books then you need to read them in order. A stunning concept well told.

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