The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Title: The Ask and the Answer (Reissue with bonus short story) (Chaos Walking Series #2), Author: Patrick NessThe 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…

from Goodreads

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!

2 thoughts on “The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

  1. hmsgofita says:

    I’m almost done rereading the first book. And it is way darker than I remember. I read it about 10-11 years ago and wow I am picking up on the undertones. I think I was in my new mom blur when I read it…It’s dark and I’ve had to put it down a few times. But I’m close. I’m hoping this week and then I’ll start on the next one. I hope to finish off the series by end of summer. Glad you are also enjoying the series. Patrick Ness is a fantastic writer. He has a new one out that I want to get to as well soon.

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