Book Review (Series Review) – Chaos Walking Trilogy

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3).

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The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Let me start off by saying that this series has become one of my favorites series ever. Ever. I feel like this is a masterpiece and Patrick Ness is a genius. My only wish is to meet him so I can give him a hug for putting me on such an emotional roller coaster with such a beautiful piece of literature. I want leather-bound signed super nice copies and they will be the stars of my library. Wow.

I’ve written a review about the second book earlier in my blog, but after finishing the third book about twenty minutes ago, I couldn’t just do a review on it alone. The entire series as a whole is so extraordinary. The third book of course is fantastic and probably my favorite of the three, but even then it’s only by a string. No single book in this series would be nearly as good if the others were not there to support it. I wish I would have read them in a row with no other books in between. I feel like I would have loved them even more, but the breaks allowed me to break out of the universe a bit unfortunately (though lucky me, Patrick Ness’s writing is so intoxicating it only took me about a chapter in each book to get pulled right back in).

But anyways.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy is a young adult science fiction story, where when you come into the first book, you’re thrown into the world of a boy named Todd. He lives in a settlement on a new planet, all of the women are dead and nothing is kept secret. Every thought, every significant or insignificant picture, word, feeling that crosses your mind, is broadcast out for anything within the vicinity to hear. Even the animals’ thoughts can be heard. All of these thoughts culminate together in an endless wall of noise that is impossible to escape. If you run out of the settlement into the woods, you hear the bugs. Nowhere can you leave the noise behind. One day, Todd is out with his dog Manchee… and he comes across a patch of silence.

That is what drew me into the book. Patrick Ness’s writing and characters and imagery kept me there. The way he presents his words on the page have just as much of an effect as what the words actually say. I hope that makes sense. Once you open the book and see, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Throughout the series, Ness’s characters go through such personal development, good and bad. After a while, the perspectives between the chapters start to alternate, allowing you to read for more than just Todd’s point of view. And none of these perspectives did I find boring or irritating. I was engrossed in every character while at the same time craving to hear the thoughts of the others.

As the series progressed, it became almost a common occurrence at the end of a chapter to yell some form of wordless despair or joy or whatever the author left me with. Each chapter was intense, especially getting into the last two books. I teared up more than once, I was humbled, I laughed. This book put me through such a range of emotions, man. I just couldn’t (can’t!) get enough. There are three short stories set in this universe that I have yet to read. I will do so as soon as I’m able (one’s in my second book, which I have lent out!).

Apologies if this review is nothing more than me vomiting words of love on a page, but that is the impression this series left me with. Nothing but adoration, joy, despair… anything and everything that comes with finding your new favorite book. Go read it.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Hnnngh

March TBR

I’ve decided I’m going to flip my TBR around a bit, because I noticed that basically every time I decide ‘I’m going to read a book this month’ I end up reading everything except that book. So my TBRs now I feel are going to include my TBR Jar Challenge for the month and basically anything I’m in the process of reading already. And at the end, I’m going to say what I feel in the mood for, if that makes sense. This way I’m not locked into reading any certain book and essentially read what I want while still making a post like this worth typing.

My TBR Jar pick for this month is “Read a Classic Novel”. This one is both exciting and daunting for me. I’ve been wanting to get more into classical literature, but honestly the field of it is so huge, I don’t know where I would begin. I own a few already, but none of them are sticking out to me too much at the moment. I feel the one that most catches my interesting is 47 Ronin, which is a collection of classic Japanese stories. I might end up saving this one for another challenge though, so don’t quote me. I know I can read a classic this month, but at the moment, I’m not settled on which.

Other than that, I plan to continue reading the books/series I’m currently reading:

Saiyuki – I borrowed the entire series from my sister so I should zoom through it.

Life, the Universe, and Everything – I’m very much enjoying this. I want to chase couches across prehistoric earth, it’s not fair.
Monsters of Men – the last book in the Chaos Walking series.

Game of Thrones – This one I’m listening to on audiobook. There are sooo many chapters, man. Really enjoying it, though 😀

And if I get to anything else this month, the more the better. I’m feeling epic fantasy.

What are you reading this month?

February Wrap-Up

Welcome to my February Wrap-Up! This month, I read two novels and three manga. Not a wonderful reading month for me – my course work this semester is insane. You probably don’t care, but it seems like all my professors are in cahoots. They all make things due on the same day. It’s butts.

BUTT ANYWAYS, THE BOOKS. THE IMPORTANT BITS.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2)The first thing I completed this month was The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. This is the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and man, I think I loved this one more than the first one, and I really really loved the first one. Douglas Adam’s humor just clicks with me. It’s just perfect. I have probably mentioned before, but this series for me is being read very sparingly because my SO and I are reading it out loud to each other. So, it only gets read a chapter or two at a time, and only when we’re both free to do so. I think it makes it all the more enjoyable, because his voice is just perfect for this book. But anyways, I love this series, partially because of the series itself, and partly because of the memories I’m making while reading it. I hope to get through the rest of them as well. 😀

The second book I read was The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. This is the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, and I actually wrote a full review on it, which can be found here. I really enjoyed this book, and am currently reading the third one. I know my TBR Jar Challenge for the month was to finish a series, and I had chosen this one to do that… well, I didn’t finish the third one. (I did complete a different series, but I’ll get to that in a moment). I highly recommend checking this series out if you haven’t already. The premise of it alone was enough to pull me in, and the writing after that kept me there.

The third and fourth things I read were volumes 1 and 2 of Rurouni Kenshin Restoration. This is the series that completes my ‘finish a series’ challenge. I also wrote a review on this series, if you’re interested. This series is a condensed retelling of the 28 volume series Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This series is fantastic, and the retelling was pretty damn decent as well. This is a historical action manga set in the Meiji Era of Japan. If you’re at all interested in this, read the original 28 volume one first, or you’ll be confused as hell.

Saiyuki, Vol. 1And the last thing I finished was volume 1 of Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura. This, I borrowed from my sister, who is lovely. This is the first of a nine volume series that deals with demons and science and humor and action and feels. It follows four characters, a buddhist priest, two demons and a half demon as they travel across Asia to India to investigate a strange release of energy that has caused the continent’s demons to go crazy and bloodlusty. The characters are fantastically developed and very funny. This is as much of a comedy as it is an action manga. And technically, this is a reread for me – I read it when I was in high school. At that point though, I didn’t have a goodreads, so the website counts it as first time read for me, yay. And it kind of feels like it regardless, but I don’t remember what the hell is going on, it’s been so long. So needless to say, I’m really enjoying it. And I remember loving it when I was younger, so hopefully I’ll love it just as much this time around.

So that’s all that I read this month. My TBR for March will be up soon here. Happy reading!

Book Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2)The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

How do I put into words my feelings about this book. Hm. I suppose I should start with a synopsis.

The Ask and the Answer is book two in the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. I read the first book last year and rated it four stars. This book though, I loved so much more. I received this book as birthday gift from my lovely friend Acey last summer and only got to it now. (So thank you because I know you’re reading :P)

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the synopsis of this particular book, but for the overall trilogy, it goes like this:
The main character is a boy named Todd, who lives in a little town where you can hear the thoughts of everyone and everything around you. The cows think ‘grass grass!’ and the dogs think ‘gotta poop!’. And the people of the town, their thoughts congeal together to create an unending noise, one that follows everyone day and night. Yep, even peoples’ dreams show up in the noise.

And then one day, Todd stumbles upon a patch of silence.

AND THEN SO MUCH WONDERFUL HAPPENS.

This book blew me away. The first book was good, this book was great. Easily my favorite book of the year so far (yep, more so than The Hitchhiker’s Guide, which I’m head-over-heels for). The writing, the characters, the plot. All of it was wonderful.

The writing flowed very well in this book. I found myself reading 100 or 150 pages at a time, which is unusual for me. I’m definitely more of a ‘one or two chapter per sitting’ reader. I couldn’t put this one down though. (and lucky for me, I have book three, so that bugger is next). The way that the thoughts of people and animals are written in this book is always so fascinating. It’s really hard to keep my eyes from darting across the page to read what is obviously a thought before I actually get to that part. It’s addicting.

The characters in this one, wow. SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I loooved this book, it made me so attached to everyone in it, bad and good. And finally the plot. Without giving spoilers, let’s just say the plot is twisting and turning and cliffy and wrenching and just ugh, read it read it.

And when I was approaching the end of this book, about fifty pages away, I was prepping myself for a cliffhanger – I knew it would be coming. I just knew it. What I didn’t know is that the last 20 pages of my edition was a short story of something else. Meaning my cliffhanger came twenty pages sooner than I was expecting. I scared my boyfriend, who was sitting next to me at the time, when I yelled ‘WHAT?! NOOO’ and slammed the book against my face (which is how you properly display dismay at a cliffhanger, btw). So yes, third book is calling to me. Will read it next. Go read this book, you know you want to.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
My heart, it’s in knots.