The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer

Book rating: 05 Paperback Chaos Walking Trilogy (Paperback)

By (author) Patrick Ness

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  • Publisher: Candlewick Press,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 519 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 206mm x 28mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 8 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Cambrudge, MA
  • ISBN 10: 076364837X
  • ISBN 13: 9780763648374
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 1-COLOR
  • Sales rank: 7,819

Product description

Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard -- and secrets are never safe. Reaching the end of their flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor's oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?

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Author information

Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England's Radio 4 and SUNDAY TELEGRAPH and is a literary critic for THE GUARDIAN. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

Customer reviews

By Lydia Presley 18 Dec 2010 5

After reading The Knife of Never Letting Go I admit, I had my doubts about the sequel. How can anything top that writing (not to mention some.. less than enthusiastic reviews I read). I flip-flopped a bit, debating on whether to pick up The Ask and the Answer immediately or read something else first - but finally my curiosity won over. I had to know what happened.

I am sorry I doubted Patrick Ness. This second book in the trilogy further cemented my complete awe for the man's writing. I wondered how he would deal with a potential romance relationship, how he would justify the continuation of two characters who seemed to be at deaths door. But he pulled it off and then some.

This book, however, fully convinced me that it's for an older audience. There are war-time torture technique's used, and although we're not given all the details (just Todd's horror impressions on what he is seeing), the effect is traumatic and chilling. The overall message being portrayed in this book is terrifying, depressing and it has me longing for hope from.. somewhere.

This series is intense and it's worthy of every award and nomination it's received. I cannot believe I haven't seen more buzz about it and will do my best to get the word out because it deserves to be read.

By TeensReadToo 19 Sep 2010 5

It is important to read the first book in the CHAOS WALKING trilogy, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, before beginning THE ASK AND THE ANSWER. Patrick Ness doesn't leave anything out when he begins book two of the trilogy; THE ASK AND THE ANSWER picks up exactly where THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO leaves off.

Todd, after being captured by Mayor Prentiss' men, wakes up with thoughts of Viola. He is beside himself with worry since Viola was dying in his arms when they were captured. Is she dead or alive? No one will tell him, and it is consuming his thoughts.

Thoughts that everyone around him can hear.

While everyone around Todd can hear what he is thinking, he can't hear the thoughts around him. It seems Mayor Prentiss has found a way to stop his Noise and the Noise of his men, thus explaining how Todd and Viola were lured into Haven and captured.

Mayor Prentiss, now calling himself President Prentiss, uses Todd's concern for Viola to control him and force him into working with Prentiss' son, Davy, the one who shot Viola in the first place. Todd can't stand the people around him and feels the tasks assigned to him are barbaric and inhumane.

Fear for Viola's safety prevents him from going against Prentiss and he suffers along with the other townspeople as security gets tighter and more strict every day because of a rebel uprising by a group calling themselves The Answer.

Then...bombs...begin...to...explode.

Patrick Ness has done it again. THE ASK AND THE ANSWER contains the same heart-pounding excitement as THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. The reader will experience Todd's internal struggle with every decision he is forced to make in order to survive under Prentiss' control.

You won't be able to stop reading and you'll be disappointed when you get to the end. The third installment in this fantastic trilogy can't come soon enough.

*Gold Star Award Winner!