Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness(Kindle)



The book starts out where The Knife of Never Letting Go left off. Todd is being held in New Prentisstown by Mayor(self-declared new President) Prentiss. He won't tell Todd where Viola is or even if she is alive. The Mayor has seemingly walked into Haven and taken over without a fight. He has set himself up as President. He and his army have separated the women from the men.

Viola is in a house of healing. The healers running the place are women. They will not tell her whether Todd is alive or dead. When Mayor Prentiss shows up to question her he too will not tell her about Todd. He wants to know about her ships that are coming to New World.

One of the first things that President Prentiss has done is to take away the cure for Noise. Supposedly as punishment for not following orders. He seems to have no noise of his own though. And he is somehow managing to manipulate people's thoughts and actions.

When some of the women escape New Prentisstown and start an attack on the city calling themselves The Answer, it is the beginning of war. Todd feels that Viola has abandoned him. He is being manipulated by the President. He is sent to work at a monastery using the Spackle as slave labor. Davy Prentiss is in control of the site. It is a nightmare for Todd watching the Spackle being mistreated. Viola is desperate to save Todd but Mistress Coyle refuses to allow her to go on raids to rescue him. Only 8 more weeks remain before the ships are to arrive on New World. She failed to get a message to them to let them know what was happening in the new world.

With two people seemingly manipulating two different sides, war seems inevitable. On which side will Viola and Todd be? Or will they be separated forever by their doubts of each other and the manipulation of people over them?

Wow, there were some scenes in this book that were hard for me to read. The torturing of the Spackle and the women was horrible. For the most part though the book was fast paced and I was very invested in finding out how it turned out. If I hadn't been reading it on my Kindle I would have turned to the end of the book and read the last couple of pages(YES, I am one of those!), just to see how things turned out. As it is I didn't do that and it looks like I will have to get the last book in the series to find out how it all ends. This book had so many different emotions in it.  A son's desire for his father's approval, betrayal, love, loyalty, sadistic behavior, manipulation, power hunger, depression and many more that I am missing I am sure. It made me angry at times, made me want to shake a couple of the characters and say "snap out of it!", made me want to exact revenge(ah, there's another one!), made me nauseous a couple of times. A sign of a good book is when it causes your own emotions to come into play along with the characters in the book.

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