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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Review - Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker books

Publication date: 3 May 2010

Pages: 603

Monsters of men is the final book of the groundbreaking Chaos Walking trilogy, read it!

I could end the review there, but I would not be touching on the serious challenges and issues the book enables young readers to vicariously experience. In this final book Todd - our main protagonist - and his girlfriend Viola's relationship is tested more than ever. Mayor Prentiss - the President of the new state New Prentisstown, gains Todd's trust and exercises mind control techniques to manipulate him. A frightened Viola watches Todd change beyond recognition and as the peacemaker of the story, tries to move the planet towards peace. Her efforts are repeatedly thwarted by the Mayor and Mistress Coyle, leader of terrorist organisation the Answer. Both underhandedly vying for leadership of New Prentisstown. Atrocities of war, acts of terrorism and the serious consequences of personal revenge appear again and again. Executed with extreme sensitivity by Ness who focusses on the character's emotions and personal development.

The most exciting element of Ness' recent offering is the third voice of the earth. The introduction of a new angle on the troubles motivates and excites the reader as you move through the book, which for the most part concerns war and tactics.

Ultimately the fighting leads to devastation and destruction in New Prentisstown, as none of the groups will work together. New hopes for a peace die and the battle for survival is on.

Although the book did not end as I would have liked, the concluding chapter was emotional and shocking. Monsters of Men ended on a note of hope, though, and with a new, powerful voice for peace. The book made me gasp. laugh and cry, again and again. A poignant and exciting book, not to be overlooked.


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