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[Book Review] - The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

   Author: Patrick Ness
   Series: #2 - Chaos Walking
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: Novemeber 15th, 2011
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe.

     Reaching the end of their tense and desperate 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, aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical government. Todd, meanwhile, faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives — Todd’s gritty and volatile; Viola’s calmer but equally stubborn — 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?

My Review:

     The Ask and the Answer, when I finished this book, I was in awe. I loved this book, and instantly this series I wanted this book to be a movie. When I sat and thought about this book, I understood just than how real, and how raw this book was. There is just so much to this book, how the running pair of Viola and Todd go through a worst ordeal than the first book. Viola and Todd in this book, are not only stranded, but split apart to deal with the new world in their own way.

     Todd is split and put into the church chapel with the old mayor of the world and Mr Prentiss and his son run the city on their own. Okay well maybe more so Mayor Prentiss more so than anyone else, and as the town is taken over the cure to the noise is slowly taken away. The town used to be silent, a cure running through everyone so that they could live in peace. A larger town, not by our standards today, but by theirs a few hundreds or thousands of men in one localized area with their noise open wide to everyone would get loud and almost impossible to sleep or live by.

     Viola is put into the houses, where groups of women heal those who are injured. Houses of Healing, and the Mistresses who lead the others, each in different house, all seem to have a different agenda of their own. Both Todd and Viola struggle time and time again to get to each other. Their firm belief that each other can save the world, and together they are capable of everything is a romance and a ideology that every couple should have.

     However the story goes awry when the houses of healing turn into a revolutionary group with Mistress Coyle, the house leader for Viola. Having been part of the original war with the Spackle, the revolutionary group, The Ask, know how to fight a war. And when they bomb New Prentisstown and take off. Their war has started.

     As well, Todd's found himself involved with rebuilding a church or some type of barracks out of town and his crew of Spackle help rebuild. However Davy, the new Mayor's son, views them as slaves and incompetent; whereas, Todd is the opposite and empathizes with he Spackle. However, when the Mayor wants the Spackle banded, a growing resent rises through the Spackle group; and as well the events leading to the completion of the building of The Answer, ends with a genocide.

     The worlds of the The Ask and The Answer collide hard, and with the two groups waging war on each other. Mistress Coyle and Mayor Prentiss, two nearly identical leaders with the same intent; both Coyle and Prentiss want to lead the world into a future which they control. A world in which everyone would suffer, but both of those view the world as better with one group than the others. A world that Todd and Viola are stuck in the middle of; stuck in the middle of a waging war that they are all inbetween.

     This book is just everything I was looking for, there is so much action and drama. The raw emotion and pain in this book, felt both by Viola and Todd. The Ask and the Answer shows a world with separation of sexes. How men are greater than women or whatever. Than there is that bit of raw betrayal, the sacrifices Todd and Viola make for each other. This book is everything, that a reader couldn't hep pass up. I enjoyed this book, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to see a book that involves a couple who struggle through a dystopia unlike any other, through gender issues and fight through anything just to get back to each other. A book that involves a government torturing its own people, but not only the adults but the children as well. I will never forget the scene of Viola being waterboarded in the city, while Todd watches.

     As well, this book makes my shelf and I started the last book, Monsters of Men. I hope the series goes great with the rest and ends just as well. Here's to the greatest couple I've read in a book and I hope to see more of them. And here's to Monsters of Men, and hoping for a fantastic end!
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