Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...
Required Reading: Your life will be meaningless if you haven't read these superstars of literature. See More...


Forever Young Adult Presents: A Review of the Unsanely Awesome Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness


BOOK REPORT for Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Book 3) by Patrick Ness

Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Wild West Meets the Borg
Bonus Factors: Allegory, Cardio, Loyal Pet, Anton Chigurh Badass Villain Award
Relationship Status: Everything I Do, I Do It For You.

NOT SO FAST, FYA READER. Not so fast. Have you read the first two books in this trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask And The Answer? If so, then by all means, please proceed scrolling down this post with the knowledge that, beyond the first 30 pages of this third book, I have avoided spoilers in my review. If you have NOT read the first two books, WHAT IS YR PROBLEM? Hello, haven't we been telling you to read them for months now? And what exactly have you been doing instead, huh? Oh, reading other books we recommended? Well, ok. But still, GET THEE TO THE LIBRARY and pick up the first two books in the Chaos Walking trilogy! And until you've read them both, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW. I'm serious. DON'T READ IT! IF YOU DO, YOU'LL HATE YRSELF AND YR LIFE AND I'LL JUST HAVE TO SAY "TOLD YOU SO!" SO THEN YOU'LL HATE THIS WEBSITE TOO. It's not worth it!

The Deal:

In the final pages of The Ask And The Answer, Todd is forced to free Mayor Prentiss in order to fight a huge incoming army of Spackle, while Viola, with TWO BROKEN ANKLES, races to be the first person to greet the newly landed spaceship. Oh yeah, and the Answer is blowing shizz up, cos that's what they do. And all of this is happening because PATRICK NESS LOVES TO EFF WITH US. Not only does he love it, the man is a genius at it, and his evil mastermind skills are on dizzying display in this conclusion to the Chaos Walking trilogy.

The shit storm that begins on the first page NEVER STOPS as the Mayor and Mistress Coyle continue their battle for a town that may soon be decimated by Spackle seeking revenge for the genocide of their brethren. Throughout the clustercuss of violence and political machinations, Todd and Viola cling to each other, even as they must work separately for their dreams of peace. But are they strong enough to overcome the darkness, not just from war, but from within themselves?

More importantly, are YOU strong enough to handle the COMPLETELY COMPELLING UNSANITY OF THIS BOOK? Because, you guys, it is not for the faint of heart. Or even the "I don't work out, but I do take the stairs" kind of heart. If you wanna survive this book, YOU GOTTA STAY STRONG.


TODD AND VIOLA!! GODDAMN I love those kids. With each book, they get more amazing, more complex and more fist-pump-worthy. Todd, sweet, earnest Todd, truly becomes a man in this book, and watching him struggle to balance the needs of the community with his love for Viola is gut-wrenching and absolutely inspiring. And then there's Viola, the girl who lost her parents, killed a crazy dude, got shot, got branded with an arm band, tortured and had both of her ankles broken and yet NOTHING CAN STOP HER FIERCENESS. (And since you know Patrick Ness, it's no spoiler to tell you that things... yeah, they get worse.) In short, she basically kicks the shizz out of Katniss Everdeen. Sorry, Katniss, but if Viola had been the Mockingjay, you best believe SHE'D BE PRESIDENT BY NOW.

Talky Talk: Wild West Meets the Borg

The he said/she said of the second book continues with an exciting new addition-- the voice of the Spackle, the strange, sad aliens who make me wanna hide them in my closet and feed them with Reese's pieces, ET-style. The unique voices of Todd, Viola and the Spackle alternate with breakneck speed, their individual anxieties, dreams and heartache ratcheting up the tension to 11. I'll speak more to the pacing of the book in the bonus factor section, but major pants go to Ness for crafting deeply layered narratives that pull you in and never let you go.

I also have to mention how much I ADORE the spackle term for significant other: one in particular. How sweetly wonderful is that term? I'm totally adding it to the FYA lexicon.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Just like the rest of the trilogy, the third book doesn't really dither around with romance, because there are more important things to talk about like, hello, WAR and DYING and GENOCIDE and REDEMPTION. However, the core of the story really is the love between Viola and Todd, and while there's nothing steamy about it, it's incredibly powerful.

I could go off on how Patrick Ness' choice to refrain from romance bullshizz is one of the reasons why Chaos Walking is superior to The Hunger Games, but this is a review, not a rant! So I shall refrain. But YES I SAID IT THIS TRILOGY IS BETTER THAN THE HUNGER GAMES.

Bonus Factor: Allegory

From the v. beginning of the series, it's clear that Ness has something to say about the sins of mankind, from war and terrorism to information overload. But instead of getting wrapped up in his own agenda, he crafted an incredible story more eye-opening than any newspaper editorial or soapbox sermon. My investment in the characters forced me to understand the many gray areas between things that previously seemed black and white, and in my discomfort, I found truth.

Particular to this third book, his examination of the annihilation of Native Americans through the lens of the Spackle is incredibly heartbreaking.

Bonus Factor: Cardio

LORD HAVE MERCY SOMEONE GET ME A DEFIBRILLATOR STAT. Y'all, if you're reading this book, I can tell you right now: skip the gym. SO MUCH HEART POUNDING! SO MUCH HEART STOPPING! SO MUCH I WANT TO KILL YOU PATRICK NESS I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE DOING THIS TO ME. Seriously, I cannot recall a single book that has more nail-biting, more holy shizz moments than this one. I had to take SEVERAL time-outs just to breathe and remind myself that I was, in fact, not the one about to get shot/killed/blown up/eaten/blinded/burned/you-name-it-it's-in-here.

Bonus Factor: Loyal Pet

DAMN YOU PATRICK NESS. You took away our Manchee, then decided to reel us back in with the same device, except this time it's in horse form. Sure, Todd's steed, Angharrad, isn't quite as charismatic as my favorite pooper, but every time she says "Boy colt?" my heart melts a little.

Bonus Factor: Anton Chigurh Badass Villain Award

The character of Mayor Prentiss is so incredibly mind-blowing, I had to go and create a whole new FYA award for him. For he is, indeed, the best villain I HAVE EVER READ in a YA series (suck it, Voldy!). In this book especially, it's impossible to decide whether he's good or bad, evil or redeemable, and that makes him deliciously fascinating (and scary as hell).

Casting Call:

I already cast the four main characters in my previous reviews, but now that I've seen the magnificent range of Mayor Prentiss, I'd like to do a recast. I mean, Buddy Garrity, I love you, I really do, but we gotta go with some of the biggest acting chops around, a man who can play crazy and amazing with equal cunning and gravitas.


Daniel Day-Lewis as Mayor Prentiss

And now I REALLY NEED THIS MOVIE TO BE MADE. Because I swear to you on Manchee's grave that if Daniel Day-Lewis plays Prentiss, he will win an Oscar. Period. End of story.

I also need to cast Wilf, because HE IS MY FAVORITE, and the whole time I read the trilogy, I kept picturing Walter Sparrow:


Walter Sparrow as Wilf

But then I looked Walter up online and OMG YOU GUYS HE DIED IN 2000. I AM SO SAD RIGHT NOW.

To distract myself with some hotness, I also decided to cast Lee:


Zach Gilford as Lee

Relationship Status: Everything I Do, I Do It For You.

To borrow the words of The Great Bard, Bryan Adams:

Oh, you can't tell me it's not worth tryin' foooooor! I can't help it, there's nothin' I want more! I would fight for you! I'd lie for you! Walk the wire for you! Yeah, I'd die for yoooooou!

And yes, Todd and Viola, you know it's true. Everything I do, including this review, I do it for you. Because yr story amazes me beyond belief, and I will do my best as a YAngelist to insure that the entire world knows you and comes to love you, just as I have. Cos there's no love, like yr love. And no other, could give more love. HERE'S NOWHERE! UNLESS YOU'RE THERE! ALL THE TIIIIIIME! ALL THE WAAAAAYYEEAAAYY!

P.S. Note the DNRIP and TEABS tags on this post. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. Patrick Ness does NOT mess around, y'all.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).