Review ‘Chaos Walking’ Book 2: “The Ask and the Answer”

by on November 2, 2011

in book reviews, Entertainment

CHAOS WALKING book two - The Ask and the Answer

This is a quick book review of the second of three books in the Chaos Walking trilogy, “The Ask and the Answer,” by Patrick Ness.

There are slight story spoilers below:

“The Ask and the Answer,” an obscure sounding title, that makes more sense as the story of Todd Hewitt and Viola are explored more in depth than the previous chapter. In the first book, the last we saw of these two young folk in “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” Todd was carrying Viola into Haven, looking for medical aid.

“The Ask and the Answer” starts up and Todd awakens, prisoner to the Mayor of Prentisstown, who had taken over Haven before Todd even arrived and called it New Prentisstown. He has also given himself the new mantle of The President. Something he has to constantly remind Todd of.

This 2nd chapter of the Walking Chaos trilogy explains the insidious control that the Mayor (The President) exerts over Todd. It’s a simple enough situation, with Todd as his prisoner, escorted by The Mayor’s son, Davy, to do daily menial work.

But as time progresses, so to does Todd’s resistance lessen and his job duties are increased to the point of an unimaginable association. Between his first job, to his responsibilities of herding the… well, you need to read it to believe it.

CHAOS WALKING book two - The Ask and the Answer

On the other side of the story is Viola’s experience, as she’s kept in confines with the healers, or the women of the town once known as Haven.

But alas, a resistance group known as the ‘Answer’ looks to take the town of Haven back from The Mayor President, in any fashion possible. The Answer is staffed mostly by women and some men who have lost the women of their lives to various aspects of the prior battles.

The Mayor shows how horribly tactic-minded and calculating he can be through this narrative. You know he’s evil, but he says and does things that makes the reader wonder for real, what the bloody heck his true intentions are.

But as I like to always say, actions speak louder than words. But you have to be careful with that one too, since Todd is going around, having learned to use the phrase, “I am the circle and the circle is me.” Yep… the Mayor’s chant we first heard back in the first book of the Walking Chaos trilogy.

And that’s all I’m going to say about the story.

The book delves more deeply into the mindsets of both Todd and Viola as they grow from their independent experiences and the narrative swaps back and forth from their perspectives. Even when they’re in the same room, which is an interesting style.

We will also learn just how cold and calculating The Mayor can be when he needs to be.

If anything, I think “The Ask and the Answer” was better than the first book for me. If you liked the first chapter of Chaos Walking, I think you’ll love this one.

And if that’s not enough, the end of the second book leads straight into the third Chaos Walking chapter and that book starts out in such an energetic frenzy that it is real hard to put down.

But I had to, so I could write this book review of Chaos Walking: “The Ask and the Answer.”


On Amazon: The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two

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