Monsters of men by Patrick Ness

Monsters of men is the final volume in the Chaos Walking Trilogy.  I am usually terrible at following through and reading an entire series, but this one (and the Hunger Games too) is just too good to stop halfway.

“And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await?”

At the beginning of this one I was really shocked by the violence, if you are reading the series you will know that bad bad things are about to happen at the beginning of this final book, and rest assured they do, and indeed there is ongoing violence all the way through.  There is war, there is peace, stalemate and there is an emotional rollercoaster.  Mayor Prentiss is up to all manner of evil and Mistress Coyle is determined not to be left out and plays the power games as well as the Mayor.  Todd and Viola the main characters in the story are joined by the voice of the Spackle man that Todd allowed to live at the end of the second book.  This series explores such dark areas as genocide, terrorism, power and political machinations but also love, friendship, humanity, loyalty and family.

What did I think?  I loved it, I became totally engrossed and read the second half this morning.  I think it is the equivalent of the first book in the series, The knife of never letting go and better than the second book.  I know there are others who think it is weaker, but for me the resolutions and the relationships explored in this book are really special.  I cried and cried in the sad bits, and even caught myself weeping unexpectedly in parts that weren’t particularly sad.  The book is beautifully written, I love the way Patrick Ness writes the relationship between Viola and Todd, it is full of love and kindness and feels wonderfully real.  I’ve loved this series, and I look forward to seeing what Patrick Ness will do next.

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