The Ask and the Answer

by Patrick Ness Book 2 of the Chaos Walking Trilogy

Book Two of Patrick Ness’s “Chaos Walking” trilogy picks up shortly... read more

Book Two of Patrick Ness’s “Chaos Walking” trilogy picks up shortly after the white-knuckle events of Book One come to a close. Fugitives Todd and Viola are now separated, each held prisoner in New Prentisstown—formerly Haven—the place that was to have been their salvation. Mayor Prentiss, their pursuer, arrived first and now controls the town. Savage one moment, he’s all sincerity the next, explaining that his goal is simply to secure a brighter future for everyone and asking Todd to help make it happen. Viola is being held in a house of healing, a community of women run by Mistress Coyle, leader of the only active resistance to the mayor’s oppressive rule. Todd and Viola soon find themselves on opposing sides of what is certain to become a war. Ness explores manipulation, power, and control in a novel that finds Todd and Viola challenged by misinformation, propaganda, and different spins on the facts. The two adults who lead each side justify horrifying violence in the name of greater good, but it’s that violence that gives Todd and Viola pause, making it hard for them to know what to believe as they struggle to find common ground once again. Ness’s provocative and hard-to-put-down novel is set in a dystopic world populated by intensely memorable characters. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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