Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Monsters of Men By Patrick Ness (review/spoilers)

Third Book in the award winning Chaos Walking Trilogy.

"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.
Trust me when I say, that Patrick Ness is a brilliant genius. He is a master mind story teller, and if anything, I aspire to write like him some day. The Chaos Walking trilogy has left me in a chaotic mess, even though it's been a few years since I last read Monsters of Men. I recall it was a mid August, Friday morning-last work day for shipping-and I was sure it would come that day (because it had already been to many weeks since I pre-ordered). Sure enough, it had come, though I was still sleeping at the time. Just to fast forward, I finished the 600 pages in maybe a day and a half, or two. The urge to finish it the day it arrived was almost unbearable, but I managed. On the second day, though, I couldn't help it- I stayed up most of the night after failed attempts at closing the lamp, and then turning it back up. 
Aside from my own little experience, let us move on to the commentary.
The plot. It all starts in The Knife of Never letting go (killer title). In the third book, we see Todd, the protagonist, grow from a young boy living his young, innocent life, to a young man, learning to use his thoughts and emotions as power weapons. By the time we get to Monsters of Men, the plot has thickened, and more and more roots start to grow. So much is going on at one time, but Ness pulls it all off. Within the plot, many emotions are intertwined. Certain events will literally make you sit up straighter and read like it's the end of the world. Others will make you close the book, take a deep breath, and open again.
There are many twists in the plot, and that keeps the overall book very interesting. Patrick Ness does not make anything seem predictable, even if you think a conclusion has been reached, something else happens. And guys, you'll never be able to predict the actual ending. Or you might-just not how it happens. 
Another thing I absolutely adored about this last book (more like the whole trilogy) was the style and voice of the story. I have to say, these two things are the ones that have helped bring the whole trilogy to life. The dialogue and sentences are written so they fit the voices of the characters. For example, Todd might say something like:  "It's a ruddy great idea". It really gives you the sense of a farmer boy who just never learned to read. The way Todd narrates the story as well, flows naturally, and it makes us love him more. And the way Patrick Ness organises the sentences just enhances the voice. Another example:
I ride after him, gun up, not shooting, just watching and feeling-
Feeling  the thrill of it-
Cuz that's it-
That's the nasty, nasty secret of war-
When yer winning-
When yer winning, it's ruddy thrilling.
The way it's written really gives you the feeling that as Todd is thinking this, he's thinking it in quick, short thoughts, like the information is so important, and he's really feeling it all.
The characters were all beautifully characterised (as I like to say).

Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
The above is a definition of what character really means, and when people speak of different characters in a story, they are talking about their qualities-distinctive qualities. Something that makes those characters original, and Patrick Ness gives us just this. Todd is a bit on the arrogant, tough, yet innocent side. Viola is ambitious, and bold, yet kind. The mayor is the big bad guy, but he's still human, and still has a history.

There's also a lot about this book that a person can take out of. I think it was the whole information overload thing. Information is everywhere, like a constant noise you can never escape, and the idea in itself is so beautastic, it makes me wish I'd gotten to it first! Anyway, another thing I liked was the transformation of characters as they develop friendships, and relations, and what these connections can mean to someone. Here, it was the relation between Todd and Viola-not your typical romance. It was nice, slow, and very developed.

All in all, many things happen in this third instalment of the Chaos Walking trilogy that just left me euphoric. The ending especially, so go read it, and then read it again!
Oh, and yeah, the title 'Monsters of Men' really fits the story.
Now I just want to get a few spoilers off my should, won't take long. Don't read ahead if you haven't read the book yet!
-The Mayor gave Davy an empty GUN!!! He dares?!
-Oh my goodness, Todd, don't become like the mayor!
- :O Ben is back...
- Todd and Viola sitting in a tent *finally*
-Todd... dead.... might come back to life *me collapses*



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