Title: The Ask and The Answer
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking trilogy
Publication date: May 2009
Rating: Four and a half stars.
*Synopsis from back of book*
"Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd and Viola once again face their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss.
Immediately imprisoned and separated from Viola, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.
And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode... "
The action starts straight away, sensible considering the MASSIVE cliffhanger of the last book. This one has some truly cracking moments. Bombs, rebellion, more bombs...
I felt so conflicted when Todd and Viola got sucked up into the grizzly worlds of The Ask and The Answer...separately. Plus with the impending arrival of Viola's ship it's all super tense. I didn't think there were any lengthy boring gaps where I thought it was drab because a hell of a lot goes on, especially because it's told from Todd and Viola's viewpoint - and different things are happening with them both. New Prentisstown becomes a town of war and terror under the influence of two opposing sides, and is completely victimised as both aim for victory.
Todd is transformed by so much in this story, and I feel sorry and simultaneously pissed off at him a lot of the time. He has to deal with his feelings for the spackle and their's for him, the pressure of the Mayor's influence, and spending everyday with Davy Prentiss. Viola practically shines in this book, her true strength of character blossoms as she battles through loss and mistrust. Their relationship also blossoms, it's just lovely. It's not overly romantic but it's quite clear that they centre around each other a lot despite all that fights against them and apparent betrayal.
There are so many fantastic characters in this books, fantastic in terms of their presence and totalitarian personalities. And it's really hard hitting, but I thought this was a great second instalment and I wasn't disappointed, though it was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I really hope that in the next book we hear more about Lee, because I felt like he was more of a plot tool than someone relevant, but I really want to hear how it turns out for him.