Saturday, June 19, 2010

Monsters of Men (YA/Adult)

Monsters of Men. Patrick Ness. 2010. September 2010. Candlewick Press. 608 pages.

"War," says Mayor Prentiss, his eyes glinting. "At last."
"Shut up," I say. "There ain't no at last about it. The only one who wants this is you."
"Nevertheless," he says, turning to me with a smile. "Here it comes."

Monsters of Men is the third in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. The first two are Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and The Answer. It continues the intense adventures of Todd and Viola as they risk everything to save everything.

Has there ever been a better villain than Mayor Prentiss? For better or worse, Todd feels that Prentiss is a necessary evil. Of course, Prentiss is now President--a title that he may or may not be able to hold onto much longer. Depending on who wins this war. And depending on Prentiss' other enemies. Is peace even possible so long as Prentiss still breathes?

Is this what war is?
Is this what men want so much?
Is this sposed to make them men?
Death coming at you with a roar and a scream so fast you can't do nothing about it-- (56)
I'm not sure how much it's even possible to say in a review of Monsters of Men. It goes ugly, dark places. It stays there. Through this intense journey--this dark, dangerous, ever twisting-and-turning journey--you've got two people who love each other so dearly. But is this love worth risking everything for? Can war become too personal? How well do you know yourself? How well do you know the person you love? Can anyone ever be trusted so completely? Can Todd and Viola (and friends) find a way to make peace? lasting peace? Or will this war lead to the end of the new colony...
Choices may be unbelievably hard but they're never impossible. (181)

It's been obvious since the beginning that wars make no sense. You kill people to tell them you want to stop killing them. Monsters of men, I think. And women. (287)
Monsters of Men is complex and compelling. The storytelling is incredible. Especially the way Ness has created these all-too-human, oh-so-flawed characters. The way Ness makes you care about everything so very deeply. Todd and Viola's story is so personal, so intense. He keeps you turning pages, that's for sure. And there are more than a few surprises.

I would definitely recommend reading this series. Not that I think it is for every single person. NO book is right for every reader. But this series is so well-written, so complex, so intense, so compelling. The second book restored my faith in reading. And this third did not disappoint.

Other reviews: Things Mean a Lot, Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Vulpes Libris, Bart's Bookshelf, Fluttering Butterflies, The Hungry Readers.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

10 comments:

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 11:05 AM  

Fabulous review Becky. You cover so many things that are special about this series.

KateW 11:21 AM  

Intriguing. The whole mayor thing makes me thing of Buffy, third season!

Allison 12:45 PM  

I am dyyyying to read this trilogy. I definitely need to buy them!

Julie P 1:49 PM  

Interesting.....and you wrote a great review. I am going to check out this trilogy on Goodreads. Thanks, Becky!

Emidy 1:54 PM  

I love this series! I'm going to start The Ask and the Answer soon. Can't wait!

Cleverly Inked 2:47 PM  

This is a new series for me. Lovely review.

melissa @ 1lbr 6:55 PM  

Oh, so jealous you read this one already! Guess I'll just have to keep waiting...

Chris 12:25 AM  

Great review Becky :D So glad you read it!!! I can't wait to see what Ness does next!!

Debi 7:03 PM  

Oh Becky, this review is just perfect! This book, well this whole trilogy, just blew me away. I can't even express how much I love these books--even though they ripped me to shreds.

Marg 6:51 AM  

I read the first book in this series not too long ago and really enjoyed it! Definitely planning on continuing to read the series.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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