Review: Chaos Walking Trilogy

I just finished gobbling up the Chaos Walking trilogy, written by Patrick Ness.  I really loved it and thought I’d share with you the reasons why.

chaos walking

Book One: The Knife of Never Letting Go

The first book was a wild ride as I tried to situate myself on New World, the planet now inhabited by human settlers, a planet where men’s thoughts (their “Noise”) is audible.  Our protagonist is Todd Hewitt, on the verge of manhood and about to discover the dark secrets of his small town’s past, as he desperately attempts to out-run an army.

Huge, unapologetic cliffhanger.

Book Two: The Ask and the Answer

Book two, though, is when it gets really, really good.  War erupts.  As this is a spoiler-free review, all I will say is that it ends with another huge, unapologetic cliffhanger.

Book Three: Monsters of Men

Again, I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that the war being fought in book two adds in another side.  Three-way war?  Heck yes.

Things I Loved:

* The books were incredibly thought-provoking.  I felt like they accurately showed just how much gray area there is no matter how desperately we want things to be black and white.  I love books that make me think.

* Understated love triangle.  The romance elements not only took a backseat in this series, they took the waaaay backseat– like in a 15-passenger van.  That said, it made everything seem so much deeper.  When teenagers liked each other, it was out of deep respect and appreciation for each other, not silly, fluffy, he/she-is-so-hot-that-I’m-melting nonsense.

* Complicated villains.  What’s better than a bad guy that might not be fully bad?

* POV.  Book one is from Todd’s perspective; book two alternates between Todd’s POV and Viola’s; book three adds in a third voice (but I’m not saying whose!).

* An unusual conclusion.  Not the pat, tied-in-a-bow finale YA so often presents.

* I repeat: thought-provoking.  What are the ethics of war?  Can every person be redeemed?  Should war be personal?  What would I do if suddenly everyone had access to all my thoughts?  **shudders**

I highly recommend this series by Patrick Ness.  If you’ve read it, leave your additional comments below.  I also want to know: Team Todd or Team Lee?  What did you think of the ending?

10 thoughts on “Review: Chaos Walking Trilogy

  1. I read them a last year an though I loved the deeper issues especially with the whole idea of why they coming to a new planet and the eventual war…I struggled with liking the characters and now I can’t even remember why. Also, I was frustrated with the slang and the swearing mainly from a teacher’s perspective who puts these books on the shelf…and was it annoying.

  2. thanks for the recommendation. I will try these out. I like it when I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out, especially when there are cliff hangers like you say.

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