Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness – Review

Title: Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3)
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi > Dystopian
Synopsis: As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
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Aimal’s Review:

Have you read the first two books, and not the third one, and you’re wondering whether you should continue with the series? What the hell are you waiting for; this series is one of the best series out there, and of course you should stick with it until the very end.

Have you had your eye on this series for the longest time, and you’re still not sure why you should read it? What the hell are you waiting for?! This series is brilliant and beautiful and it will rip out your heart, but then dip it in sparkles and honey. Read it!

Are you reading this review because you saw my star-rating and you completely agree with it? If yes, hell yeah *virtual high-five.*

Are you reading this review because you saw my star-rating and you completely disagree and want to know what in the fuck is wrong with me? Okay then, but I don’t understand how someone can not like this book.

With that unnecessarily long introduction, let me just launch right into the review. If you haven’t yet figured it out, I absolutely love this series, and love this book, and if Patrick Ness wrote an ode to an aubergine that spanned 200 pages, I would read it because he’s that fantastic.

This series has absolutely everything. It has action, suspense, thriller, humor, romance, drama. It will intrigue fans of fantasy, of science fiction, of political dramas, of realistic fiction, young-adult readers, older readers, soldiers, students, politicians, aliens and eskimos alike.

These books are dark and gritty and heartbreakingly realistic, even though they’re not set in the contemporary world. The characters will make you love them and hate them and feel for them and be indifferent about them, all at the same time. The story will draw you in, and keep you up in the wee hours of the morning, flipping page after page with tears streaming down your face and a pressure deep inside your chest because you can’t believe what is happening and because you’re drawing closer and closer to the end with every page.

150 pages from the end, I refused to pick up the book. It just lay there for two days without my picking it up. I didn’t want to finish this series, and what I expected to happen- happened. Since finishing this book, I haven’t been able to pick anything else up with the determination to read it. Books like these are those that give you the worst kind of hangovers.

Plot:

Patrick Ness has an infinite amount of talent when it comes to constructing a complex plot with several intertwining story lines. There’s an overarching story, and then there are several different ones, each as complex as the other. When I went into this series, I didn’t expect it to be as politically rich as it was. I didn’t expect it to be as dark as it was, and this last book is the darkest, most strategically clever out of the series. I am constantly astonished by Ness’s ability to keep the reader engaged, even though he switches points of views constantly- and by constantly, I mean every two or three pages.

There were twists and turns throughout the novel. I was on the edge of my seat, and I had no idea what was going to happen next. I said this in my review for the second book too, I had no idea what the “right side” was. Sometimes, I would think Mistress Coyle was on the right, that her perception of what the world should be was correct; other times, I thought she was simply evil/insane. I would say the same for Mayor Prentiss. Despite the horrific events that the last book ended with, I was still confused and puzzled about what to think about him. Consequently, I was in the dark for most of the book, and that was very effective.

We were given much more insight into the Spackle in this book, since one of the POVs was from a Spackle- one that is infinitely important to not only this final book, but to the series, the characters and the world.

And that end. That end. I was sobbing throughout the last twenty or thirty pages- just uncontrollable tears. I wasn’t expecting what ultimately goes down, and it was so heartbreakingly realistic. The last few lines are still swimming around in my head, because they are so beautiful, so well-placed. They give enough away, but not too much to make it cheesy. And you still want more because you can’t believe this amazing, heart-touching series has come to an end.

Characters:

I’ve loved Todd Hewitt from the first book. I think he’s such a well-constructed character. He has his virtues that make him lovable and everything a hero should and can be. His compassion for people, for animals, for everything around him inspires me. It makes me want to be like him. The boy who can’t kill, no matter what he’s been through, what the people he loves have been put through. The boy who won’t hurt a fly before feeling the overwhelming guilt it entails. But also the boy who’s so angry that his rage blinds him from making rational decisions. The boy who loves a girl so much that his love is overpowering, but slightly foolish. Todd is one character that will stay with me forever, one who has taught me – at the age of 19, nonetheless – what it means to be compassionate and forgiving, to love selflessly and bravely.

Viola grew on me fully in the middle of the second book, and I really like her as a character. I think she’s such an intelligent, rational, sensible girl who doesn’t let her emotions overcloud her judgment, yet she would do anything for the people she loves. Todd changes her- she changes him, and their chemistry and relationship is beautiful to read about. It’s pure, untarnished and innocent- just the kind of love and friendship I like. Yes, Viola got on my nerves a bunch of times because of her thoughts about Todd (if you’ve read the book, you know what I mean), but in retrospect, I think her vices are what make her such a well-rounded character.

I can’t even write down my thoughts and feelings regarding Mistress Coyle and Mayor Prentiss. Two nuanced characters with more dimensions than I can count. Both villains and anti-heroes at the same time. Both despicable and redeemable at the same time. Both brave and cowardly at the same time. Both the heroes of their own story. And isn’t this exactly what it’s like in real life? Hats off, Mr. Ness.

The second characters were just as well-developed and lovely as the protagonists. This series has top-notch character development.

In conclusion:

I am genuinely upset because I won’t get to review another book in this series. I am genuinely upset that I have to let go of the characters, of the despicable antagonists, of the world and the animals and the unique way in which Ness writes these specific books. But I have high hopes for anything else I read by Patrick Ness, and if his other works come even slightly close to the triumph that this series is, I will love it and cherish it for the rest of my life.

This series deserves to be acknowledged as one of the best, if not THE BEST, YA trilogies out there. This series deserves to be read by everybody at least once in their life, no matter where they are from or how long they have lived. This series deserves every word of praise it has ever gotten, or it will ever get.

Would I recommend? To everyone. Always.

P.S: Sorry for the long review- I just had a lot of feels.

Comments

  1. I think you just sold this book to me. I’m hooked already and I haven’t even read the series yet! It sounds absolutely fantastic. Your review was also amazing, I loved reading it and it’s so well done, and that’s why this book series is going on my TBR list right now!

  2. YOU ARE WELCOME FOR YOUR FEELS.
    INTERNET HIGH-FIVE!
    This book. I agree with every single word you’ve written in your review. (Although tbh I put the book down when I saw the first page with the circle and “It begins” or something like that written there!).
    Isn’t Patrick Ness awesome? He writes such clever books (and he’s such a darn leftie that you have to love him already!). THE SERIES THOUGH. It’s insanely clever. (Especially loved the bit when Mayor Prentiss was like he was not a mass murderer but a general, and the woman was like she was not a terrorist, she was a freedom fighter).
    AND IT GAVE ME THE CHILLS. I mean the history was so much like American history (the “new world”, the “spackles”, how they treated everyone).
    IT’S JUST SO GODDAMN GOOD.
    THANKS FOR THE FIVE STARS.
    NESS IS AMAZING.

    • GAH! You’re right- he IS a genius. I was wide-eyed and jittery throughout the whole book! I don’t think I’ve cried so much since I read the last Harry Potter book!

      Have you read any other books by him? I have More Than This on my bookshelf, so I was wondering how it is!

      Thanks for reading. You’re the bomb! :3

      • Your welcome! MORE THAN THIS IS AWESOME.
        The thing about Ness is that he is such a clever man. More Than This is all about the philosophy of Descartes. His “cogito ergo sum” I think therefore I am. And Ness hoodwinks us so much. It’s slightly like the Doctor Who Christmas special a few months ago but WAY better. (And it’s freaking addictive.) GO READ IT. (Once you calm down from the highs and lows of the Chaos Walking series. I love Todd. It was such a pesky but sticky ending).

        • Ah, thanks for your input! Ness is very witty and imaginative, and that was apparent from the Knife of Never Letting Go! I just didn’t want to be disappointed with More Than This but now, I’m even more excited to give it a go 🙂 x

    • I totally understand! Series are a lot of work & pressure sometimes, and it’s worse if you didn’t think too much of the first book but everybody’s raving about the series. And you’re wondering “Should I keep reading, or should I give up?”

      But if you ask me, this is DEFINITELY worth a try. If you’re not afraid to shed a few tears and get your heart ripped out repeatedly, you should give this a go!

      • I’m definitely going to read the rest of ness’ work first. I’ll feel better in deciding whether or not I should read the trilogy. but every single person I’ve heard talks so GOOD about it. urgh decisions decisions

        • That sounds like a good plan. I think the very next book I read (after the one I’m currently reading) is going to be one of his stand-alones. 🙂 I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I do. Have a wonderful day x

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