The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Picking up roughly where The Knife of Never Letting Go left off, The Ask and the Answer gets into some seriously warped mind games as Todd and Viola are forced to negotiate a new, and increasingly dangerous, landscape. (Without Manchee. Boo. Or, more accurately, "poo.")
Power plays are the word of the day, every day, in this book. Torture, of humans and Spackle alike, forms huge chunks of the pages here, and in the end, it's just one of many psychological weapons that two shadowy enemies use against each other. "Moves and countermoves," as a certain Evil Santa-type might say.
It's safe to say that this book is the Mockingjay of Chaos Walking, or at least the Mockingjay Part 1 - the beginning of the end. (Although, of course, Ness wrote this book before Mockingjay hit shelves.)
Although a bit overlong (which, for me, meant some of the book's events, especially its many bombings, had a way of blurring together, not unlike the "white noise" effect of a few of Batman v Superman's action sequences), The Ask And The Answer continues Ness' compelling post-apocalyptic opus with only a slight sophomore slump. Soon, I'll finally be able to finish the trilogy, only six years too late. Stay tuned.
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