Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 519
Received: Borrowed from library

Release Date: September 8, 2009
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Reaching the end of their 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, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives 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?


This is the second book of the trilogy and I have to say it's just as amazing as the first! I am so glad I found this trilogy, Patrick's writing is amazing! You can read the review for the first book in the series here.

This novel starts of right around the time the first one ended at, which I really enjoy because you don't feel like you missed out on things, and don't have that going back in time to figure out what happened. Patrick does an amazing job at writing an evil character, I mean the mayor is such a hard character to figure out throughout the book. You can never tell why he does what he does, he is one of those calculating victims that seems like he may actually be for the people.

I really enjoyed how everything slowly progresses from the first novel, it makes me anxious to read the last novel. There is still a lot of action throughout this book but there is more of a reason for everything that happens compared to the first book. This book is a lot different from the first book, it is almost like the characters are in a new world. Yet, still in the same way the old, scary world. The separation of the men and women really take you back to the beginning of the first book when it was just men.

I also really enjoyed the alternating narratives of Viola and Todd because it brings the reader closer to what Viola thinks and feels. We don't get much from Viola in the first book, so I really like that Patrick Ness makes her more prominent in this book. She is a large part of the action happening in the first book but does not talk much, whereas readers hear a lot more from her here.

What I really enjoyed was the idea behind the mysterious "Answer" throughout the book, who exactly are these people and why are they doing everything. It also brought in a question of trust to every character throughout the book. I enjoy the books where you don't really know who the good guys or bad guys really are and this is definitely one of those books. Everyone seems to be helping everyone else and yet you can't tell what the reasons are. Is the "Answer" actually helping or hindering what is happening? This is definitely a book that makes you think.

And then of course the ending of this book! Such a cliffhanger (even bigger than how the first one ended). Which is a surprise in itself. I imagine that the third book will outdo both these. I find that Patrick's story just keeps getting better as you continue on with the books! This is one of the best YA series I have read, and I will definitely come back to these books again!


  1. I agree, the Mayor is one of the best villains I have ever read. With both him and Mistress Coyle, I was left wondering about their true motivations and their goodness. I would literally change my mind about them from chapter to chapter. So unbelievably well done. I also agree about how nice it was to see things from Viola's POV. In Monsters of Men, yet another POV is added! I'm excited for you to read it!

  2. I just finished this book and promptly read the third. What an amazing series. Wow. I thought Patrick Ness did an amazing job in creating the Mayor and also Mistress Coyle. Two sides of the same coin. But both very scary and very dangerous in their pursuits. You should definitely finish the third. He also adds in the voice of 1017, so now you have the Spackle's perspective.



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