Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The thing about this series is that it starts out magnificently in The Knife of Never Letting Go, but by the time it comes to its conclusion, it's lost steam. That's not to say Monsters of Men is a bad book, not by any stretch of the imagination. But in between the message about War Is Hell, Ness gets the story so bogged down in Noise and a barrage of new terminology that, between Books 2 and 3, it becomes extremely hard to follow what's going on. Also, for all the talk about the book being loaded with feels, I think Ness front-loaded that into Book 1 - you know which infamous death I'm talking about. The sequels, however, are increasingly filled with Zack Snyder-esque slow-mo white noise, with little room to feel any feels.
That said, though, Monsters of Men satisfies on the twisty-plot front, particularly with the disturbing mind games the Mayor and Mistress Coyle keep playing against each other. That is, until the very end of the book, which doesn't feel like much of an ending at all. I don't think Ness was quite done with this story, but he couldn't bring himself to at least do what Christopher Paolini did and extend the trilogy's finale so the series becomes a tetralogy? (Wow, never thought I'd see the day when I'd be wondering why someone doesn't emulate Paolini.)
Oh well. I'll at least have the first book in this series. And A Monster Calls, as well as More Than This, to remind me that maybe Ness isn't so overrated after all.
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