The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Series #2)

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Series #2)

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The riveting Chaos Walking trilogy by two-time Carnegie Medalist Patrick Ness.

“Grim and beautifully written. . . . Superb. . . . This is among the best YA science fiction novels of the year.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reaching the end of their flight in The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781531824105
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Series: Chaos Walking Series , #2
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, the prize-winning novel A Monster Calls, and More Than This. He has won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal (twice), the Galaxy National Book Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Costa Children’s Book Award, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, the Red House Children’s Book Award, and the UKLA Book Award. He lives in London.

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The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking Series #2) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
PlumPudding More than 1 year ago
Oh my . . . oh my god. I can't even form coherent thoughts right now. I probably should wait at least a day before I review this book just so I can actually think. Because the first book was driven, focused, a beautiful telling, but the second book is where Patrick Ness's genius absolutely leaps off the page and grabs you. All those plot twists, character arcs, the meticulous planning of events, they could only be thought up by a genius. I've decided. Ness is a genius. A masterful storyteller. He knows how leave readers dying for the next page, how to make his characters and relationships fester in one's mind until they have to pick the book back up again. He knows people, too. Real people, not just characters slapped on a page. These are real, breathing people with minds and personalities of their own as complex as people I know (heck, even more so). What would this character do in this situation? It seems as if most writers put down what THEY want the character to do to further the plot. What Ness does is listen to the character. These are all actions of the characters, not the writer. I rarely ever see this done well. Perfect, actually. I can't praise this book highly enough. It made me feel every emotion, and not just feel it, suffer it. This book is TERRIBLY traumatic. I might have been screaming as I was reading it and freaking out those around me. The manipulation, the thought processes, they were all so traumatic because they were so believable and well-written. I'd also like to point out the absolute flawlessness of Viola and Todd's relationship. It's not even something easily explained, because it, like the characters themselves, is complex and so, so very genuine. Again, this man is a genius. A storytelling genius. I know I'm gushing, but I can't seem to stop. This trilogy gets inside my head and I can't think of anything else. One of my favorite books, hands down. I don't think I'll ever get over it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in two days, and loved every single page of it. There are plenty of twists, and the plot never gets boring. If you read the first book, there is absolutely no reason not to read this one.
Kaylene Kilbarger More than 1 year ago
As always i was blown away..perfect story from a perfect author..wat else could you ask for?great ending..wouldnt change a thing..well maybe having an epilouge?haha
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
The second volume of Ness’ Chaos Walking series is another solid dystopian YA novel—it checks all of the genre’s boxes (adolescent virtue triumphing over adult evil and corruption, romance complicated by politics, supernatural elements that can serve as weapons or obstacles, easily recognizable metaphors and symbols) while incorporating what amounts to a planetary gender war (the men are The Ask, while the women are The Answer), which promises to become complicated by the unexpected uprising of the oppressed indigenous people of the New World (here called the Spackle). Although I am not blown away by Ness’ narrative, I do acknowledge it as an exemplar of the genre, yet I wonder whether this series is one of those phenomena of YA literature that is more popular among adults than it is among adolescents. On to the final book of the trilogy…
AshRyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness brilliantly dramatizes both the utter horror of war, and the even greater horror of passive submission to tyranny---which is, after all, simply a permanent state of war against the populace. The clear lesson to be drawn is that force must be used in retaliation only, and always, in self-defense against those who initiate its use for any other reason. The first book of the series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, was pretty good and quite interesting, but this follow-up is truly great. The violence is even more brutal, but less gratuitously over-the-top; this book is more about thoughtful thematic and character development, as the characters learn what it means to be adults.Unfortunately, in the final book Ness ends up equivocating on or vaguely passing over most of the deeper issues he raises throughout the series, but the trilogy is still worth reading for this remarkable second installment.
ReginaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I loved about this book: The amazing world that is created. It is completely unique. Space travelers, nonhuman beings, new world order. Good intriguing stuff. The pacing and intenseness of this book. I listened to the audio version and the manner in which the story is delivered left me breathless. I never wanted the book to end. The strong affection and love the characters have for each other. Their tie is almost tangible. Todd and Viola never lose sight that the survival and happiness of the other person is their goal. The questioning of people in authority. Showing their intentions behind their action. I love this. The questioning of whether desiring a certain right outcome justifies doing wrong things to make the right thing come about. If a righteous rebel group wants to overthrow a fascist dictator, is it okay to use brutal force on the civilians to do so? Is it okay to sacrifice innocents? Where is the line of morality if an innocent was never intended to die, but does? The drawing of characters and situations that show how easy it is for people to be co-opted and encouraged to do hurtful evil things to other living creatures in order to save themselves or others they love. Or perhaps the motive of the co-opted is just to get a long. But isn¿t this still wrong? Beautifully writing the slippery slope of morality and submission. Tiny steps taken in following orders and swallowing discomfort lead to grander choices down the road. The heroine. Viola is an amazing heroine. She is brave, self-sacrificing and she never loses sight of what is right. Ness wrote Viola in such a way that she is truly inspiring, I loved having her point of view in this book. I loved the mysteries and the slow reveals. I loved not knowing who I could believe or should believe. The violence served a purpose; it was not all just for entertainment. Instead, Ness was leading the readers down a path of questioning people¿s choices and questioning those in power.Problems with this book: The morality represented in the book. I do not accept that feeling bad or guilty about one¿s bad acts redeems the actor. A future (moral and good) leader would never submit to immoral acts as easily as Todd did. People who love each other are not so easily misled about each other. The ending is frustrating. Very frustrating. Todd still keeps making the same stupid choices. Poor Davey. In a way Davey was this book¿s Manchee. I feel bad for how, as I assume, that Davey was emotionally neglected and abused by his father. He still did some really bad stuff. Asking for forgiveness and feeling bad, again I don't think it makes it all okay. Viola and Todd¿s belief that love conquers all. It doesn¿t. And I guess, the ending of this book demonstrates that. Love is great and solves a lot of problems, but it doesn¿t conquer all.
booksun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The reason why I gave the book only 21/2 stars is because I found it so cruel! Especially the character of the Mayor/President and then the way he was interrrogating and torturing Viola when Todd was watching. It was so cruel and sadistic and maybe I am too much of a naief person. But I would like to have a bit more hope and the power of love in this novel.Although I do agree with other reviewers that the story of this and the other chaos walking book is so demanding that you can't put the book down unless you have finished it.
AmandaCharland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This trilogy is probably the darkest young adult fiction that I have ever read. The second book in the trilogy contains some horrific concepts. Are they horrific because they are true? The antagonist in this story uses the cold hard truth to rip his enemies apart. The awful truths of this book do the same to the reader. We often fantasize about having to vacate this planet after we mess it up. This trilogy explores the harsh realities of what happens when we still don't get it right in the next world. Realities about leaders and followers that force you to decide where you would end up and what you would do. You won't like what you find out. This trilogy is definitely for a more mature reader. I don't like the references to women in this book, or the Spackle (native creatures) but that's really the point. Pick it up if you are looking for some food for thought, otherwise, run the other way.
Mariah7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just got done reading The Ask and the Answer and I couldnt not put it down. I liked it better then The Knife of Never Letting GO. ***SPOILERS***It was so unpredictable! I loved the relationship that grew between Davy and Todd and was praying that he would survive! But deep down I knew he wouldnt. I felt so bad for Davy when his real feelings slowly came out, and his death was done perfectly. The only thing that bothered me, and the reason it did not get a five star, was that it seemed like Todd and Viola didnt learn from their mistakes. Viola always tells Todd the plans and it NEVER does any good. Other than that little annoyance I loved it!Cant wait to read Monsters of Men.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So. I know this is a much-beloved series, with extraordinarily high ratings, and the writing is certainly good. But the content is just so horrible, depressing, bleak, etc. etc. I really considered abandoning the book about 2/3 of the way through because reading it was such an unpleasant experience. The protagonists have no control over their fate, but instead are ruled by awful people who will do anything for political gain. We don't even get into the heads of these leaders to get a sense of the complexity behind their decisions; there's just a continuous stream of bad things happening to good people who are unable to do anything about it. Ugh. Maybe this is impressive realism, but that's not what I read fiction for. There are enough problems for me in the real world.Even worse, enough started happening in the last 50-100 pages that I'm left wanting to read the third book to see how everything will end, and I hate that. I didn't enjoy this book and don't expect to enjoy the next one either, and yet I feel trapped. I just wish it were over already.
2chances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*wipes sweat*. Whew. THAT was a grueling read. In "The Ask and the Answer," we are back in the dystopic, Earth-like world of "The Knife of Never Letting Go," where the very atmosphere of the planet causes all the men's thoughts to become audible. Todd and Viola are in the clutches of the incredibly, horrifyingly evil Mayor Prentiss, who has manipulated New Prentisstown into near-absolute submission. But Viola finds herself becoming part of the female resistance, the Answer, and Todd is trapped into being the Mayor's right-hand man. Both of them find that their new situations force them to do unimaginable things, in order to insure the survival of the other.And that was why this book is so grueling. Seriously, the fictional world of "The Ask and the Answer" makes Nazi Germany look civilized and humane; the things Todd has to do in the book often made me physically flinch and several times I had to stop reading the book. Eventually I DID stop reading the book; I had to read the final volume first, so that I could see how it all resolved, before I could continue reading this one. Once again, however, Ness Has crafted a racing-paced, breathless page-turner of a novel; and he does not flinch from examining painful, often horrifying situations to answer the question: how many terrible things can you do, how many frightful choices can you make, and still remain a human being instead of a monster?
mrsderaps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This second book in the Chaos Walking series is absolutely riveting. There is just no other way to say it. The first book was great and original. This one is brilliant. So awesome that I had to order the third book in the series before I finished this one. I just had to.There are some series where it doesn't matter if you've read the first before you read the second. I don't think that this is one of them. I would definitely recommend that you read before reading The Knife of Never Letting Go before reading The Ask and The Answer. This second book will just make much more sense if you do.And, onto the plot of this second book. It picks up right where the first book left off: Viola has been shot and Todd is helpless to save her. The Mayor of Prentisstown and his army have invaded Haven and are planning to dominate the entire planet.Because Todd is held in captivity, he does not know what the mayor is doing to or with Viola. He does not know the extent of the cruelty that he has unleashed on the survivors of Haven. He has no idea. Until he starts to play along with the Mayor's (now President) plan. Convinced that Viola is no longer on his side, Todd actually works to aid the President in his evil plan. He even starts to believe that the President is actually on his side. And that Viola has abandoned him. But, when a mysterious rebel group called The Answer starts an uprising, who will Todd choose?There are so many valuable lessons to be learned/ thought about/ discussed in this dystopian novel. There are obvious connections to the treatment of Native peoples everywhere, the Holocaust, and revolution. This series is very teachable. I've had several students read (and love) the first book in this series. I can't wait to go back to school (eeks. I said the "s" word!) and show them that I have the second book.Now, if the third would only show up in my mailbox sometime soon...Finishing Mockingjay has made me a very impatient reader!
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: **Warning: Here be some major spoilers for the end of The Knife of Never Letting Go; read on at your own risk.** Todd and Viola, on the run from the Prentisstown army, have finally made it to Haven... but they weren't the first ones there, and now it's not Haven, it's New Prentisstown. Todd and Viola are separated - he to a shabby locked room in the top of the cathedral tower, and she to the healers on the newly-established women's side of town. The Mayor (now styling himself the President) swears that all he wants is peace, and for Todd and Viola to trust him and work with him. As long as he can threaten the safety of the other, they'll each cooperate, but trust will take longer to come by... especially when a radical opposition force starts detonating bombs around the town.Review: My review for The Ask and the Answer boils down to one line: It's just as good - if not even a smidgey bit better - than The Knife of Never Letting Go.So, if you haven't read TKoNLG, then a) what are you waiting for? It's fantastic!, and b) No, seriously, go read it. If you have read TKoNLG, then most likely you're already diving after TAatA without stopping to read my review of it first.Some particular things I loved about this book: I loved the addition of Viola as a narrator; and that we get to see her blind spots and misapprehensions and to contrast them to Todd's. I love that this book has a message, and something to say that's relevant to the way the world is today, but that it gets that message across to a young adult audience without dumbing it down its complexities and grey areas, and without having to shout "There are parallels here! See? Do you get it?!?" I love that this book took one of the nastiest characters from the first book and completely turned him around and made me love him without me realizing that's what it was doing. And most of all, I love that this story is so insanely compelling that for the last 2/3s of the book I was glued to the pages, barely breathing, barely even thinking anything besides a constant litany of "Oh no. No. No no no." (Patrick Ness is not a nice man, either to his characters, or to his readers who care about those characters.)The only thing I didn't was how easily Todd got played by people more devious than himself... and not just once, but time after time after time. I mean, yes, that's who he is, and I suppose he hasn't had the upbringing on a diet of fiction to be able to recognize a classic slimy don't-trust-'em villian when he meets one, but: really. Eventually something has to sink in. (So I guess my internal litany was more of a "Oh no. No. No no no. ....for real, again? Oh no no no." But regardless, this book as a whole was just great; not exactly something I could call a fun read ("No no nonooo!") but a fast, compelling, and fascinating read for all that, somehow managing to tell a complete story while still leaving things on the brink of a giant cliffhanger. 4.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Just fantastic; everyone, especially those who like dystopian sci-fi, should give this series a try (but don't even think about starting with the second book.)
snat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
**Some spoilers for those who have not read the first book**I didn't so much read the first book in this series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, as inhaled it. Original and disturbing, Ness is not afraid to take some risks as he tells the story of Todd Hewitt, a boy about to become a man in Prentisstown--a town inhabited only by men. As we read, we find out that Todd lives on a colony planet so distant from Earth that it takes decades to get there. Upon arrival, the first colonists went to war with the indigenous inhabitants, the Spackle. In a desperate effort to defeat the invaders, the Spackle release a germ that kills all of the women. The men survive, but with a strange side-effect: they can hear each other's internal monologue. At least this is the story Todd was always told, but when he discovers a real girl in the swamp Todd is forced to flee for his life and learns that everything he thought was true is a lie.The Ask and the Answer picks up where The Knife of Never Letting Go left off. Todd and Viola, whose uneasy truce forged a devoted friendship, are separated when Mayor Prentiss (the antagonist from the first novel) names himself President, quarantines the women from the men, and establishes martial law in New Prentisstown. As Mayor Prentiss exerts his power, a female rebel force known as the Answer rises against him, and Viola finds herself swept up into the Answer. Meanwhile, Todd is forced to do President Prentiss' bidding in order to keep Viola safe. He's put in charge of managing the enslaved Spackle workforce being used to build the New Prentisstown envisioned by the President.What is so fascinating about the novel is how Ness explores the brainwashing and mind games employed by each side as they use Viola and Todd as expendable pawns in their quest for victory. Viola struggles with the terroristic tactics used by the Answer against innocent civilians in the name of their cause, while Todd is forced to face his shame in killing a Spackle in the first novel as he witnesses the dehumanizing treatment of the thinking and feeling alien race. As Viola and Todd try to navigate the labyrinthine truths, loyalties, and beliefs that are relics from a war that occurred before either of them were born, they begin to question themselves and their trust in each other. This psychological complexity is heightened by the fact that the reader still isn¿t sure who the bad guys and who the good guys are¿if, in fact, there are any good guys. There are no easy answers and Ness forces readers to think through the complex issues of war, justifiable violence, and racism.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading The Knife of Never Letting Go I admit, I had my doubts about the sequel. How can anything top that writing (not to mention some.. less than enthusiastic reviews I read). I flip-flopped a bit, debating on whether to pick up The Ask and the Answer immediately or read something else first - but finally my curiosity won over. I had to know what happened.I am sorry I doubted Patrick Ness. This second book in the trilogy further cemented my complete awe for the man's writing. I wondered how he would deal with a potential romance relationship, how he would justify the continuation of two characters who seemed to be at deaths door. But he pulled it off and then some.This book, however, fully convinced me that it's for an older audience. There are war-time torture technique's used, and although we're not given all the details (just Todd's horror impressions on what he is seeing), the effect is traumatic and chilling. The overall message being portrayed in this book is terrifying, depressing and it has me longing for hope from.. somewhere.This series is intense and it's worthy of every award and nomination it's received. I cannot believe I haven't seen more buzz about it and will do my best to get the word out because it deserves to be read.
SuzReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great follow up to the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go! In this one, we see how the main characters Todd and Viola handle trying to keep true to themselves (not succumb to the many pressures of their leaders) and stay alive so they can escape together to a better place. Great pace and writing - I really felt Todd and Viola's struggles. Would recommend this and am looking forward to #3!
jmaloney17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Chaos Walking series is worth reading. You may see a lot of comparisons to The Hungar Games trilogy. They do have a somewhat similar feel, but they are definately different stories. This is a story of differences and similarities. It is about the grey area. It is about inner strength, and about love and peace. Highly recommended.
Evie-Bookish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved it, maybe even more than the first one. It's just so wonderfully written, you can't stop reading! Patrick Ness is a new shining star and I am a huge fan of his writing style. The book was absolutely magnetizing, I loved the fact that we could read the whole story from two perspectives - Todd's and Viola's. It is definitely one of my top favorite books (of YA genre) and I am 100% sure I will read just about anything that Patrick Ness will produce in the future - he is brilliant!
tbert204 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I effing love this trilogy.I'm not a fan of cliffhanging books. And the first two books have been just that. But somehow, Ness has managed to keep me satiated with open endings that somehow seem tidy. Two things have kept me engrossed with the story. The characters. The Mayor is a top-notch antagonist. He's sinister, cool and calculated; he's deceptive and pure effing evil, but somehow manages to convince you he's not. Every single time. Todd continues to grow into a strong, sympathetic and, most certainly, flawed hero. Viola, as well. And their relationship continues to mature without ever being physical in a way that is deep and meaningful, setting up the never-failing power couple that is stronger together than apart. And, a nice surprise, is seeing Davy's character grow from this whiny brat bully into a broken kid that you almost feel sorry for.The story. Ness kept me intrigued. I was never quite sure where the story was going. There has continually been a turn or twist that I couldn't quite guess. And I think he's put together quite a convoluted plot with many moving parts that seem to be slowly coming together at a very satisfying pace, setting the stage for an interesting conclusion in the third book.I could still do without the phonetic-style of writing for Todd and other uneducated Prentisstownies. I'm afraid it turns off people in the beginning (it almost did for me). But I've enjoyed his often rambling style of writing. I'm eager to get to the third book. And please, Lord, let there be a conclusive ending. That would be cool.
LauraLulu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is such a great series. It is a dystopian YA trilogy about Earth settlers on a new planet. The 1st book is written 1st person from Todd's perspective, a 13 yr old boy, and the 2nd book is 1st person w/two POVs, Todd's and Viola's, a 13 year old girl. And it's my fave kind of fantasy writing--immersion. Where the author just drops you into the world, and you learn little things here and there from the characters eyes & thoughts. No info dump. It makes it more of a mystery--Todd will allude to something and you're like "Tell me everything!" but he doesn't. You just have to wait. ;)I read something recently about fantasy writing and whether you prefer the info dump or immersion in your world building. And someone made a great comment in favor of immersion. If you were writing about making a piece of toast in the toaster, would you stop and think about, or explain to someone else, what the toaster is, how it works, and when it was invented? No, because it's just a part of your world. The same goes for an imaginary world--if something is a regular part of that world, it feels awkward for the character to stop and explain everything, since that's not a normal train of thought for something that is commonplace to a character. Did that make sense? Lol.Anywho, there's nothing scifi about this series, besides the fact that they're on another planet. I'm pretty sure the settlers were religious, or anti-government, and left Earth to create their own Eden. But that wasn't the case. It reminded me of a group of people leaving civilization and thinking they would make a perfect little community for themselves out in the middle of nowhere. And after the supplies they brought ran out, they weren't ready. And it turned into a backwater, every man for himself kinda place.And...the best part. There was some virus on the planet, that only the men are susceptible to, and it makes their thoughts available for everyone to hear. The call it your "Noise". So that's a crazy part of the story--nothing is secret in a man's head. I was so used to the protecting of thoughts, after reading the 1st book that was all in Todd's POV, that when reading the 2nd, I found myself saying "Don't think that! Your NOISE!" and then would remember I was reading Viola's POV. She doesn't have noise. Her thoughts are her own.Ok, I've rambled enough. If you like dark YA dystopian fantasy, pick this series up.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Almost better than The Knife of Letting Go, Ness' second book is an engaging read. Picking up right where the first left off, The Ask and the Answer is a much darker novel. Ness develops his characters further and does a good job of showing, rather than telling, us what Todd and Viola's world is like (or about to become). I can't wait to see where Ness decides to go next.
TQI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was the sequel, "The Ask and the Answer" I was so deeply engrossed by this amazing book that I read or "devoured" this book in one sitting.I suppose the Sunday Times was abosolutely correct.
TZacek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've found a solution to my problem. If I don't read anymore spectacular dystopian fiction series books for young adults, then I will no longer be sitting here waiting with baited breath for the sequals to come out... sometime in the next... year? Oh God, I can't wait that long. Patrick Ness has penned his second novel in his Chaos Walking trilogy and it is a stunner. He and Suzanne Collins may go in my book for best books of 2009. It's really hard to give any sort of explanation of the second book without giving away key points of the first so I will warn you now that you should just go read the first book and come back. I'll wait...You good? Ok!The Ask and the Answer picks up where the last book left off. Literally. Haven is not Haven. It is New Prentisstown and the Mayor is now the President. Viola is whisked off god knows where with her mortal bullet wound and Todd is locked up. What follows is what the new President claims is "an end to war." He sets about to change the rules, women and men segregated, set to work and the formation of an army. The inhabitants will now have to earn their right to the cure. Oh, did I mention that? There is a cure for the noise and only those who the President deems "worthy" will receive it. Slowly, some people start to feel that perhaps the President isn't as bad as he seemed. People are ok, right? No one has been needlessly hurt, going on with their daily lives, its just new management. Right? But there are people who are still uncomfortable, still unhappy with things. And they call themselves the Answer. Todd and Viola are dragged into one of the most complex situations in a novel that I have read in a long time. Neither is sure of anything or anyone. Who to trust, who to follow, what to do. It is all up for grabs. The ending leaves us with a clear NEED to get our hands on the next book. The one that isn't slated for release for at least another year. GROAN!But what a way with words that Ness has. There are parts of this novel (85%) that are just so... bleak. Torture scenes and action scenes that literally made my chest hurt. Ness has a mastery of fractured, believable language and character development that makes for a painfully enjoyable novel. I am invested, Mr. Ness. A+
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love science fiction. And this is GREAT science fiction. Ness does it again with the follow-up to his first book in the Chaos Walking series, "The Knife of Never Letting Go." While the first book in the series was full of non-stop action, this one slows down a bit and allows both the world and the characters to develop a bit more deeply.Viola and Todd are forced to go their separate ways, and each finds a different place for them in the war between "The Ask" (run by the Mayor/President) and "The Answer" (run by women and supported by many). Ethnic cleansing, torture, and terrorism (played on both sides), give an excellent depiction of the complications within the human psyche. Superb and thought-provoking.The only reason this will not get nominated for the Printz is because you must read the first book to full enjoy the second.
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Ask and the Answer is a delightful step up from the pretty darn solid start of The Knife of Never Letting Go.While the first book is a journey narrative that has a lot of action but occasionally lacks deeper substance, The Ask and the Answer is a tale that digs deep into questions of morality, hard choices, responsibility, loyalty, and what makes you who you are. The narrative structure is tighter, the themes more interesting, the characters more mature and fleshed out, and both the questions and answers intriguing. I particularly liked the exploration of fear and prejudice and the 'other' of the unknown that rises from a society where everyone can hear men's thoughts, but no one can hear women's.