Thursday, January 5, 2012

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Published: 2010
Format: eBook
Genre: YA fiction
Series: Chaos Walking book 3

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 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… (

It's been such a long time since I read the first two books in this series. When I finished The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men wasn't even released - and I'm only getting to read it now. If you're familiar with this series, you know that each book pretty much starts off where the previous one left off. It's one continuous, seamless story. If you're able to read all three consecutively this is a really cool experience! If, like me, you wait over a year to continue the adventure, some of the spark is unfortunately lost in the process.

Everything about this series is marvellous: the characters are deep and genuine, the writing is unlike anything I've come across, and the plot is, to be frank, really cool. A connection is formed with each person in the story, and the book quickly absorbs you into its world. This is what made me fall in love with the first two books, but it sadly contributed to my disappointment with Monsters of Men. I almost feel guilty criticizing the book in this way, because it's partly my fault that I waited this long to read it. I lost the connection with each amazingly complex character. I lost the connection with the frightening world that Ness created. I lost the connection with the series itself, and found myself not caring about the fate of Todd and Viola.

I must admit: once I got about half way through the book my morale improved a bit, but I don't think I appreciated the book like it deserves to be appreciated. There's a lot of fighting in Monsters of Men, and I totally wasn't following. I couldn't distinguish one fight from the next, and the end goal was totally unimportant to me. Characters died, momentous events happened, yet it didn't seem to matter to me. What a contrast compared to how I felt reading the two first books!

In the end, I like the conclusion to this epic series. It wasn't too perfect, and it wasn't too depressing. Just the right balance, just the right feeling left with you. Looking back, I won't be able to forgive myself for potentially ruining Monsters of Men! I should have re-read the previous books, but there just isn't enough time in the day. So please, do not let this review scare you away from these book - the series as a whole is absolutely fabulous. Unlike anything I've ever (or will ever) read. Ness touches upon extremely relevant topics and morals while fabrication such unique characters. Despite my disappointment with Monsters of Men, the Chaos Walking trilogy will always hold a special place in my heart.

Related links:
Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Review: The Ask and the Answer

1 comment:

Candace said...

I never really paid much attention to this series, I guess it never really caught my eye. I do get what your saying, sometimes it's easy to kind of forget things and lose the connection to it all when you wait between books. I've discovered I often have a hard time even reading the following books in series when I have a long wait. Then when I do get them I don't really care anymore and wait even longer which often leads to me liking the books even less.
I'm glad that the series has a special place in your though and I'll definitely go look the first one up!