Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Summary from Goodreads:

"War," says the Mayor. "At last." 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


I always have mixed feelings when it comes to reading the last installment in a well loved series. I want to read it immediately because I want to know what happens next. But on the other hand, I want to try and put it off as much as I can because I just don't want the series to end, I don't want to have nothing to look forward to anymore. (It doesn't make sense, I know.) But of course, the former feeling always wins out on the latter. So this post would be part review, part fangirling, part farewell to one of my favorite YA series of all time.


The first installment of this trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go was quite a memorable book for me. Because first, it was the first book that I got for free. (Special shout out to Tina of One More Page for both introducing and giving me this book in one of her blog giveaways!) Second, because I think the whole idea of "Noise" and "Spackle" and the rest of the world found in this book, is such a unique concept, it's unlike any that I have read before. As I continued on with the second book entitled The Ask and The Answer, it went a bit downhill. I thought it was too reminiscent of Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay plot. But I still enjoyed it, although to a lesser degree. Todd and Davy underwent some major character developments here, one among my few favorite moments. Now here comes Monsters of Men, the LAST book in the trilogy where we will find out if Todd and Viola survives. If it is peace or is it war that wins out. If New World is made anew...but at what costs?


We are introduced to some new characters in this book namely:


The Spackle. The indigenous race whom the Men have mistreated and enslaved all these years, out for blood. Their history was shown. How they came and went into this world. How they were mistreated in the hands of men, their masters and they, as gardeners, sweepers....slaves. But they are not mere creatures at all. They feel and think and are very bit as human as men are. They love, they grieve, they hope, they fear. They have "Voice/s" too.  A collective way of communicating, much like the men's "Noise" but more deep and encompassing. Here, I am finally able to have a better understand and form a more concrete image of these creatures. More so, of Spackle 1017, Todd's Spackle, who is every bit as memorable and as layered as Todd.


Then, there is also The Scout Ship, from Viola's world,  having finally landed. And we are introduced to two new characters Bradley and Simone. They have no clue as to the mess they have landed themselves in. Will they be throwing themselves in war that they absolutely did not start in the first place? As what? Mediator? Aggressor? I believe Bradley was more memorable than Simone because he had more of a role in the story really but also becuase I like his character, "the humanitarian". He's rational and level headed and less prone to acts of impulse. 


Then we have the usual beloved characters, Todd and Viola. Viola is her usual self. Headstrong, fierce, and a survivor. Todd on one hand, has taken yet another turn in terms of his character. He is less of a boy and now more of a man. He has a stronger control of his Noise, a stronger resolve, and a much more stronger love for Viola. I did not quite like him in the second book but not anymore. He seems to really have grown for both the better and the worse. The Mayor too has taken a bit of a turnaround. He is still as sinister as ever but there are glimpses of redemption at work inside of him. Or maybe he's just being kind to Todd to mess with his head? Or maybe he is truly on the road to change? And another thing is, I don't know what it is with Patrick Ness and his ability to make me love the animals he puts into the story. First it was Manchee, the dog. Now it's the horses, Angharrad and Acorn. You'll know why, once you read this book. 


The plot still continues to be as explosive as ever. There's full on head to head battle, which is as every bit as harrowing. There are a lot of secret, stealthy attacks as well. The waiting, and anticipating, and thwarting of each other's supposed plan of attack. But what I love most about it is how Patrick Ness was able to convey the toll that war put on each and every person involved. From the soldiers to the civilians. How he conveys the importance of the choices that we make in the grand scheme of things. How (as cliche as this may sound) love could start and stop a war. This is what I look for in dystopian lit. The thought provoking questions and anwers that make you think long after you've read them. And forgive me for the pun, but there seem to be one BOOM! after another in the plot. And I don't mean that in the literal sense, it isn't the actual explosives in the story, sure there are a lot of those too. But I am referring to some major twists that I absolutely did not see coming! It's one unexpected turn after another. Which is a far cry from the Mockingjayish plot of book 2. There are deaths and a resurrection that blew my mind and heart to pieces.


And while I am sad because I am terribly gonna miss this series *sniff*.  I am perfectly happy with how it ended. It is in fact one of the best endings I have read so far.  Patrick Ness, you are a genius. And you will probably be an auto-buy author for me now. I thank you for coming up with this awesome trilogy. I know I just said, this is goodbye but let me say a few more things. What are the odds that you'll write a spin-off? Another novella maybe? And to Hollywood, how about a movie adaptation? Lezmakeethappen. :D


Awards Received: Carnegie Medal in Literature (2011), Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction (2010)


AWBRC entry no. 9

Comments

  1. Beautiful review, Tin! :) And I became a little bit teary-eyed when you mentioned Manchee and Acorn and Angharad.

    Chaos Walking will always be one of my favorite series. And yes to a movie version! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lynai! :)

      This is one of my favorite series too. I liked that while the ending was sad, it was also hopeful. :)

      I never thought I will have to go through the whole Manchee thing again. But I did, with Acorn and Angharrad! What is wrong with you, Patrick Ness? Why do you break my heart so? Haha:D

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    2. Exactly the same complaint of mine! Haha! Those dear animals. <3

      And the roller coaster ride with the last few chapters, don't you just want to stab Patrick Ness in the eyes? Haha!

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  2. Yes, the last few chapters were GAH. Especially in the almost end when I thought everything will finally be okay, then You-Know-Who made his mistake...I wanted to step on Patrick Ness' throat. Hahaha!

    We are extremely violent fangirlers Lynai! Lol! :D

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  3. This series is new to me, thanks for the introduction. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vera!It's one of the best in the YA dystopian genre, in my opinion. I hope you'll get a chance to read it. :D

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