Over the month of August I participated in a reading challenge from Prettybooks on Tumblr. The challenge was to read all three books in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness.
I’ve never read anything by Patrick Ness before in my life so I figured this was a great opportunity for me to do so and participate in something with the Tumblr community. And I have to say, I never expected to like these three books as much as I did.
First, let me say that I love world builders, if you’re going to write a fantasy/dystopian novel your world has got to be perfect for me to get any kind of enjoyment out of. And this world that Ness imagined was beautiful. For example the very idea of Noise and that the entire planet is Information was fascinating to me, and that is what really drew me in.
The main character, Todd, is almost 13 or almost a man in this new world society of New Prentisstown, which is run by Mayor Prentiss. But to backtrack slightly, the settlers of New Prentisstown came from Earth and were settlers of the new world. At the start of The Knife of Never Letting Go Todd is the youngest boy in a town were all the women are dead. And the Noise is deafening. Noise is the thoughts of every man, every animal, every bug on this world.
For spoilers reasons I won’t tell you why, but Todd ran away from home and whilst running away he met Viola. A girl. And she has no Noise.
The following two books, The Ask and The Answer and Monsters of Men follow Todd and Viola as they explore the world and finding their place in it. Eventually Todd is forced to delve into the history of this world of Information and Noise and how he is supposed to live in this world he was never prepared for.
As with most YA books, we find an OTP with Todd and Viola. And I won’t lie, I ship Todd/Viola HARD. But they both have to grow up and make choices that teenagers should never normally have to make. They fight (but not in a Hunger Games kind of way) and they do things they regret almost instantly. And what I love about them is that no matter what they will always go back to each other. Everything they do, ultimately, is for the other.
In Monsters of Men, Todd says “I ain’t leaving you. Not even in my head,” to Viola, and to me, that exemplifies their entire relationship through out the series.
I’m really trying hard to not give away too many spoilers because I seriously love all things about this book series. You’ll find love for characters you never thought you would and you’ll find sympathy in odd places.
But honestly, for me, everything good and wonderful about this book goes back to the world that Ness built.
(PS. I have no idea how I did the thing at the top…)