Literary Friday: The Ask and The Answer

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"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..

Patrick Ness has done it again- a thrill-ride of a novel, YA but with very human themes for deeper adult understanding, veins of current socio-political issues deftly woven through an action/adventure story. I read The Ask and the Answer in 3 days, and it left me breathless.

In this second book of the Chaos Walking series, there's less of the supernatural villains, and more political machinations and civil rights questions. We find more characters to love and lose, and the twists are fast and hard all over.

Can you tell that I loved it? I loved it. I'm holding my breath until the third book comes in at the library, because he left the story on another cliffhanger.
I really appreciate that, although it's paced quickly, the book isn't all tropes and plot devices. The choices made by the characters are logical and (much like in real life) often influenced by misinformation, short-sightedness, or self-interest alone. 

I still love Todd, though he's gracefully becoming less boy and more man.
I still love Viola, who is becoming stronger and more certain.
And I still love that the book has nothing to do with romance.

I recommend this book for everyone who enjoys adult-level YA, dystopian and scifi adventures, action-packed stories with their own subtlety, character development, strong female and male protagonists without having to choose just one hero, and anyone who believes in the power of teamwork. And also, anyone who read the first book. And if you haven't yet...what are you waiting for??

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