Title: Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking, #3
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: May 3rd 2010
A new edition of this award-winning conclusion to the Chaos Walking trilogy, with a bonus short story, Snowscape.
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? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge…
The electrifying finale to the award-winning Chaos Walking trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival and the devastating realities of war. This new edition contains a bonus short story, Snowscape. Set shortly after the events of Monsters of Men, this gripping story reveals sensational new truths about Todd and Viola’s world and the future of the New World.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
At the end of The Ask and the Answer, finally reunited, Todd and Viola defeated the Mayor; but it’s never that simple. The Answer are marching on the town from one direction, determined to take down the Mayor, and the Spackle army are marching from the other direction, determined to get vengeance for the slaughter of Haven’s Spackle slaves. As Viola races off to meet the scout ship that has just landed Todd is faced with a tough decision. He cannot lead the men into battle against the Answer and the Spackle and is instead forced to let the Mayor go free to defend them.
Todd finds himself fighting side by side with the Mayor to push the Spackle back, and when Viola reaches the settlers she finds Mistress Coyle has beaten her there. Having to stand strong against three armies Todd and Viola find themselves once again stuck in the middle, Todd with the Mayor and Viola with the Answer, only this time they are working towards the same goal; peace.
But peace is not easy coming. The Answer do not trust the Mayor, and the town do not trust the Answer. The leaders of both factions fight for what little power they can claw at over the people who follow them. Viola along with the Bradley and Simone lobbies for peace along the Spackle but 1017, who escaped the massacre and despises Todd, doesn’t want peace. He wants revenge and he determined to go to any lengths to get it.
As 1017 seeks revenge, Mistress Coyle seeks to see the Mayor fall no matter the cost, and the Mayor seeks control Todd and Viola finds themselves stuck in the middle of a very dangerous battle as they fight together for peace.
Todd is no longer burying his emotions in this book however he is still very much under the Mayor’s influence. Todd thinks he has control, that he is the one in charge but it’s hard to see whether it’s Todd or the Mayor who’s really pulling the strings. In spite of that though Todd’s intentions are pure, all he wants once again is to make the world safe for Viola, and that’s what he makes the Mayor promise him.
The relationship between Todd and the Mayor is a complicated one. I have no doubt that the Mayor loves Todd, he sees him as a son and someone who makes him into a better person, but from Todd’s point of view he cannot trust the Mayor, and even when he starts to believe he is having a positive effect on the Mayor he still doesn’t trust him, or even love him like a father the way the Mayor wants.
Viola is much the same as she was in the second book, still fighting the war and still trying to understand what is happening on this New World. However now Simone and Bradley have arrived she becomes their guide and you can see how much she has changed just by reading about the other settlers who have just landed. Above all Viola believes peace can be reached between the humans and the Spackle, but she knows there are tough decisions that need to be made as well.
She doesn’t trust the Mayor, and wants Todd as far away from him as possible but she also knows Todd is the only one who can control him. While Viola and Todd both have their seperate paths to walk in this book it was great seeing them back on the same page again. Both of them are willing to go so far to keep the other safe, and they trust each other more than anyone else which is why Viola accepts Todd’s closeness to the Mayor; she knows he will come back to her when he needs to.
Both Mistress Coyle and the Mayor are very grey characters; one is a mass murderer masking himself as a saviour, and the other is a terrorist masking herself as a freedom fighter. Both believe that what they are doing is right, but it’s only in their eyes that that is the truth. I loved the addition of the new settlers, especially Bradley who was always the voice of peace. He understood that harsh decisions needed to be made during the war but at all times he pushed forwards for them to reach an agreement.
It was also great in this book learning more about the Spackle. Monsters of Men was told from three POVs this time; Todd’s, Viola’s, and 1017’s. 1017 hates Todd for what he did to his people while under the influence of the Mayor, he wants revenge more than he wants peace and is willing to go to extreme lengths to get his vengeance.
The world building in this last book stays consistent to the level it has in the previous two books, and a lot of the questions from The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer are answered in Monsters of Men. We learn a lot more about the Noise in this book; we see the Mayor’s control over it as he teaches Todd how to mute his Noise and how to use it as a weapon. The Noise has always been something of a mystery. Everyone has accepted it as part of their lives but in this book we finally see more of it, maybe not more of how it came about but more about how it can be used and controlled. Reading part of this story from the POV of one of the Spackle means we saw a lot more about their way of life and their side of the story when it comes to the war. It was really interesting, especially learning all about their hierarchy and their culture.
The last few chapters of this book were terrifying and heartbreaking and amazing. If anyone else has finished reading this book come and talk to me about the last few chapters because I am not over how this book ended and it will a long time before I am. This series is amazing, and this last book was the best of the best. The Chaos Walking trilogy has become an all-time favourite of mine and I would highly highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
What did you think of Monsters of Men? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.