The Ask and the Answer. Finished 6-11-20, 4.5/5 stars, dystopia YA, 536 pages, pub. 2009
Book Two of the Chaos Walking trilogy (1-Knife of Never Letting Go)
We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
The appeal of the first book of the series lay in large part with the relationship between Todd and Viola as they learn to trust each other to stay alive. This book has them separated most of the book, so it’s the hope they’re holding on to and the trust that they have in each other that sell the story.
Todd is being kept captive, watched, and groomed by the man he’d spent all of the first book trying to escape. He also is being partnered with Davey Prentiss, the same Davey who has been trying to kill him. Viola is put in a hospital for and run by women and when she recovers must figure out what is going on in the town and how she can reach Todd. The two end up on opposite sides.
I loved continuing the journey of these two teens and hope that the next book brings them the happy ending they deserve, but I’m skeptical. Way too many of the bad guys seem to survive and desperate times call for desperate allies, so it’s hard to say what lines will be drawn and crossed in the finale. I look forward to finding out!