Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monsters of Men

It took me a while to remember where this series left off, but once I got into the third book of Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series, I was hooked.

Book 3 of the series, Monsters of Men, picks up right where the second one left off and is, in my opinion, the most action-packed book of the three.  This book focuses on all the characters readers have gotten to know and involves the native species (the Spackle), the current settlers, and the new settlers arriving soon from space.  Tensions run high in this book.  Of course Todd and Viola are important characters, and I enjoyed reading about what happened to each of them.

I don't want to say too much about the story, just because this is the final book in a series.  What I will say is that I thought the series was good.  I really liked all three books, and I felt each book was different.  All three together, though, really have an important message for us.  Even though these fights and adventures take place on a planet far away, they have lots to say to all of us about life with each other, about war, and about the power others have over us.

Here's a passage that I felt spoke to the stories and also the world we live in:

     I can feel how red my face is getting and I begin to shake from both fever and pure hot anger.  "That's only one way it could have worked out.  There are a whole bunch of other things that could have happened, all of which end up with me and Lee blown to bits."
     "Then you would have been a martyr for the cause," Mistress Coyle says, "and we would have fought in your name."  She looks at me hard.  "You'd been surprised at how powerful a martyr can be."
     "Those are words a terrorist would use--" (210)

One of the big ideas that hit me with this book was just the idea that people will do whatever it takes to win.  Also, that in times of war, you might make decisions that are difficult.  People get harmed in war.  This book has lots to say.

I liked the ending.  It wasn't exactly what I expected, but it worked.  Overall, this is a great sci-fi series full of action.

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