Review From User :
I am shocked. I am speechless. I don't even think I can do this book justice by writing this review. My first reaction is just to scream "OH MY EFFING GOD!!!" (only I don't say "effing"! heh heh Well, if you've read the books you get the joke) which is exactly what I said about fifty times after I finished reading it last night.
Seriously, it isn't often that a book like this comes along. I don't think a book has left me feeling this shocked and amazed in years--not even the first two books, which also totally blew my mind.
All right, well, let's get down to business. I should stop ranting and get to reviewing.
So, Monsters of Men is the third book in Patrick Ness's amazingamazingamazing trilogy, Chaos Walking. As I already said, the first two books--The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer--absolutely blew me away, so I had very high expectations for the final chapter. Of course, when you have high expectations, you get nervous, too. I didn't know how on earth Ness was going to end this or what he was going to do with it but I trusted him to write something incredible. And ohmygoodness he totally exceeded those very high expectations.
Ha, so, funny story about this book. It came out in the UK in early May, and it is not scheduled to come out in the United States until late September. I was just about to explode with impatience, and I totally would have died if I'd had to wait that long. Fortunately someone told me about this website, The Book Depository, which allows you to order books from other countries with free shipping. (YESSSS!!!) So I ordered it and it came for me in the mail yesterday (after my last day of school, too! talk about the best day ever!) and I pretty much read it nonstop from 3:30 to 11:30. I even took it to my sister's middle-school graduation and read it standing up, because I could not bear to put it down. Teehee.
So, anyway. The book. I do not even know where to begin. AL;KDFJSJF;SJKFD. Yeah, that's about all I have to say. Just kidding. But really, I'm trying to find the words to write this.
Basically, these books are emotionally exhausting. I don't know how else to put it. You become so attached to Todd and Viola and you see them go through so much terrifying crap and it's just like aaahhh It gives you that total feeling of dread that eats away at the inside of your stomach, and your eyes are glued to the page and it's like "HOLY CRAP! What if one of them dies or both of them dies or AGGGH!!! NO NO NO PATRICK NESS WOULDN'T DO THAT Oh wait, he totally would. CRAP!" I was hardly breathing the whole time I was reading this. And at the end my heart was literally pounding because I was so shocked and so terrified and so devastated and so amazed and I had tears in my eyes and I was about to scream at the book and GAH. Trust me, it takes a LOT for a book to affect me like this. Okay, I am hyperventilating all over again, just thinking about it. Moving on.
So, Todd and Viola. Let's talk about them, because I love them like they were actual people. Firstly Todd He has been our beloved narrator since book one--he's a sweetheart, he's funny, he's honest, he's confused, he's completely believable And in Monsters of Men I loved him more than ever. He is definitely one of my favorite main characters of all time. I totally felt for him in this one, and it was heartbreaking to see how he gets caught up in the horrors of war yet, his dedication to Viola keeps him from completely losing himself. (Awwww <3) And Viola is totally awesome too--strong and determined, and just as dedicated to Todd as he is to her. (AWWWWW! I'm gonna make myself cry. *sniffles*) Their adorable relationship really drives the plot along. Just about everything Todd and Viola do, they do for each other. Although the story is dark, disturbing, and violent, at its heart it is ultimately a story about how love triumphs over war.
Patrick Ness. Let's talk about him now, because he actually IS a real person, and in my opinion he is a writing GOD. I know that a lot of people turn away from this series complaining that the writing gives them a headache. (Poopies on them. GRRR. Wait, what I didn't say that.) And what these people don't recognize is something called originality, which I dare to say most authors lack these days. So, yes, Patrick Ness does write in a stream-of-consciousness style--one-sentence paragraphs, paragraphs that break off in the middle, occasionally spelling words phonetically, switching perspectives every two pages And yeah, it takes a while to get used to it. I didn't like the first book when I started it, but after about 100 pages or so I got hooked, and I have been addicted to this series ever since. Part of its true power is in Ness's writing. Although it's not the typical "good" writing style, meaning it defies quite a few grammar rules, it is truly amazing writing. There's a difference between being a bad writer and making a choice to not write in a typical style. In this case, it's the latter, and it pays off. Patrick Ness writes in a concise manner--carefully choosing words and images so that each one is meaningful and sticks permanently in the reader's head. His writing is raw, emotional, and completely haunting. And it manages to do this while still being very subtle--that is, Ness doesn't have to outright say things to make them obvious, and that somehow makes them more powerful. I don't know how else to explain it, but you have to read it to see what I mean. I tried to do some writing last night after I finished reading and I just couldn't because I felt like I'd been put to shame! I'm not saying I want to steal his style, but I can only hope that I will find a writing style of my own that will affect someone as powerfully as his has affected and inspired me. :)
This book is truly, truly amazing. It's a fascinating exploration of human nature and every aspect of it--how we make war when we want peace, how violence destroys us and how love heals us, how we mature from girls and boys to women and men, how love influences the choices we make I could go on and on. But over all, these books are astounding, compelling, heartbreaking, touching, terrifying, and haunting. This is by far one of the best books and one of the best series I have ever read in my entire life, and if you have not read them you are missing out on an amazing story. GO READ THEM NOW.
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?