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"I may not know how to fly but I know how to read and that's almost the same thing."-- Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness


"He is worse than the others, I show. He is worst of all of them. Because--
The rest are worth as much as their pack animals, I show, but worst is the one who knows better and does nothing."

Spoiler Alert.
Patrick Ness is a bastard.
Just so you know ahead of time, there will be no mercy.

Book 3 began exactly where Book 2 left off: The army of New Prentisstown is at war with the army of The Answer and Mayor President Prentiss is talking his way out of being overthrown by Todd. The Spackle forces are attacking and Viola's racing to intercept her incoming scout ship before Mistress Coyle can get there.

The story once again expands by adding yet another point of view, that of 1017. 1017 is essentially the one that got away... and proceeds to plot vengeance. He was a Spackle slave in New Haven, who watched his one in particular, die to keep him safe. Forced to work under Prentiss's command and branded with a number intended for livestock, he survives a brutal massacre and escapes to find his people. And this is where his POV, becomes really useful; the reader gets to learn about the Spackle from a Spackle. The Spackle are fiercer and smarter than they've let on and they've spent their downtime between wars inventing new weapons. They call themselves The Land and are a species perfectly evolved to a planet that induces telepathy in its inhabitants. They choose a leader, The Sky, to watch over them, to think independently and make decisions to their benefit. And The Sky keeps his secrets...

Todd and Viola are once again caught in a war they want no part of... Todd is stuck keeping tabs on Mayor Prentiss who's becoming increasingly nice, even though no one is buying that brand of BS, except maybe Todd who only ever wants to see the good in people. Viola is stuck trying to keep the scouts, Simone and Bradley calm, while preventing Mistress Coyle from convincing them to unleash Hell on New World.

Throughout the majority of the story, New World is having an all out civil war and there's nothing civil about it. Mayor Prentiss calls his peculiar brand of leadership a war tactic when really there's just a lot of murder. Mistress Coyle calls it opposition against a tyrant when she plants bombs in unexpected places, but most see it as terrorism. And as Todd and Viola try to be advocates of peace, getting what they want is going to cost big.

Which brings me right back to Patrick Ness is a bastard. Todd and Viola, having found each other time and time again, fought for each other, and survived bloody, fiery wars... Todd and Viola, constantly having to prove themselves the heroes of the story, despite the despair...The ending brings hope, hope in the human and the Spackle alike, hope that happiness is near. And then Patrick Ness drives MacTruck over that hope. And I read the final pages in tears.

I can't really find anything to complain about in the final installment...The plot-timing was perfect, the plot twists were exciting. The suspense kept me flipping pages even when I wasn't sure I wanted to read what happened next. The loose ends were tied up beautifully. And even though Patrick Ness made me cry, I can't fault him too heavily for that... The fact that he was able to make me feel so much is a testament to his ability as a storyteller.

Rating: 5/5

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