Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Ask and the Answer

Title: The Ask and the Answer

Author: Patrick Ness

First Published: May 4th 2009

Series: Chaos Walking #2

Genre: YA,  Sci-Fi, Dystopia

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 536

My Copy: Physical copy

My Rating: 8.5/10

Goodreads Summary
We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

This was a thrilling sequel to The Knife Of Never Letting Go. Following the cliffhanger from he first book, Todd and Viola are thrown into a new world completely under Mayor President Prentiss' rule. He rules with an iron fist, separating the women and the men from each other and keeping them all in the state of fear and confusion.

The Answer is a rebel group of women who decide enough is enough and begin to fight back. On the outside, it seems like a good plan, but when we read further in and figure out more, the Answer isn't as good as it seems. I feel really bad for Viola, who learns over and over again that the only person she can really trust is herself.

The scary thing in this book, is that the lines between good and bad, right and wrong are all blurred beyond recognition. We have our major antagonist: President Prentiss. He's the main villain: tyrant, murderer, manipulator, etc. You get the idea. I stand by that he is a terrible person. *Spoiler alert* When he shot Davy - his own son! - without a care in the world, it was the most heartbreaking scene in the book. Not only was Davy betrayed by his father, but during his dying moments he believed he was betrayed by Todd, his friend. I nearly cried. :( *Spoiler over* But then the Answer - a rebel group - stands up against him. At the beginning, it sounds like the average rebel group, but that's when it gets really tricky. Who is the bad guy here? The tyrant or the bombers? It is really difficult to decide who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Unfortunately for our two young protagonists, they still believe strongly that there are only two classifications: right and wrong - nothing in between. That's why they're struggling to survive in this world.

Todd is definitely not the same person. He's no longer the young boy who couldn't kill. He's matured and grown up throughout the course of this book. Learning to control his Noise and emotions, he is withdrawn into his thoughts, unfeeling when he kills others. The one thing that hasn't changed is his feelings towards Viola. The two of them are a good team, even if they haven't spent much page time together. Okay, I may have lied a bit. Like 95% of this book is built on the separation of Viola and Todd, showing how each of them endure and survive in a new world. It's also built on their misunderstandings. That was painful to read.

I really liked how the Spackle were more developed in this book, since in the first book, they weren't the focus. Here, we have Spackle slaves in New Prentisstown, all mindless robots working till they die. There's one Spackle that I really want to learn more about, and he/she/it/they is/are 1017. I hope it's explored in the next book!

This ended on an ultimate cliffhanger, so I can't wait to read the final book! With a turn of events, things look even bleaker than before. I doubt they'll all survive, as usual. I hope Todd and Viola make it though, since they definitely deserve a peaceful life after everything they've been through!

My Chosen Quote
“To live is to fight, to preserve life is to fight everything that man stands for.”


  1. Oh whoa, I didn't know the Knife of Never Letting go was a series! I always thought it was a standalone. That being said, I haven't read it yet, so I probably would have known it was a series if I had read it first! The ultimately cliffhanger? That sounds deadly, for sure! I'm going to have to pick this series up soon!

    1. It's a great series and I must say, my favourite was the Knife of Never Letting Go. The first book is always the best!


Hi there! I hope you liked my post! I'd love to hear your thoughts, so if you'd like to drop me a little message/comment, that would probably make my day! :) Thanks for visiting my blog!