Monsters of Men, Patrick Ness – Readalong

Hello Humans! If you read my readalong of Dragon of Ash & Stars then this post will come as no surprise! Yes, I am finally reading the final book in the Chaos Walking series – having bought them at the end of 2018. FINALLY.

This series has broken my heart on more than one occasion so prepare for me to have feelings.

There may be spoilers for the previous books in this series but I’ll try to keep it spoiler free for this book.

Goodreads Summary:Monsters of Men

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

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It Begins

Ooof I had forgotten how the last book ended. I can’t quite decide if I actually want Todd and Viola to end up together – it feels to me like any ‘I would murder a thousand people/aliens to save your life’ isn’t the most healthy relationship. I suspect that’s the point and I highly suspect that one or both of them is going to die and/or break the other’s heart in this book.

What I was pleased about was having a chapter or so from the perspective of the Spackle – who are by far the most interesting and compelling characters of this whole series. More of this please.

Second Chances

There was in fact more! Excellent! Not too much to say about this part as it was (or at least it felt) primarily battle – which is not something I tend to absorb in too much detail – it all kind of blurs together for me.

I’m still not sure which of them is going to die – and I’m beginning to not really care. I need these two characters to realise the world is bigger than just them, but they don’t seem to be headed that way at this stage.

That being said, there are 450 pages left so plenty of time for lots of plot and character development.

Control Yerself (their spelling not mine)

OK. Now starting to see (even more than before) why my spouse keeps warning me that this book is very dark.

If you, like me, find the idea of mind control terrifying then…well…be aware.

Also, I was right, these characters seem to be, at least a little, expanding their worldview somewhat. YAY.

The Spackle POV is still by far the most interesting. I think that’s partly because I am so done with any romance in this story, but also it’s fascinating to explore the culture of this species that, up until now, have been little more than side characters at best.

Alliance

Ok, I was getting a little despondent there but I’m now half way through and I am back on board. Things are starting to make sense, other things are starting to come together, alliances and enmities are bubbling to the surface – it’s good.

I mean. It’s still terrifying and utterly plausible and showing the worst aspects of humanity but it’s written well.

This may be a 600-page book, none of the books in this series is short, but it doesn’t feel long. The constant changes of POV and also font help it to move along quite quickly – so don’t be concerned about the length of these books if you’re thinking about picking them up.

Obviously no spoilers but I will say that there has been a revelation that genuinely surprised me and, in hindsight, I should have seen it coming. EXCITE.

The Envoy

I’m pretty sick today so I’m powering through – so forgive me if these check-ins are pretty same-y but there’s not a huge amount I can add at each stage. Things are still happening, Todd has yet to really redeem himself, I feel like Viola gets it a little bit more. Mayor Prentiss is a douche canoe – what more can I say?

I am enjoying it though, still fast, getting more interesting/high stakes with every part I read – it’s impeccably paced – keeping my interest over 600 pages is pretty impressive.

Life During Peacetime

YES. THIS IS WHAT I WANT. PEOPLE CONFRONTING THEIR FEELINGS AND HAVING TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS. It took a long time for this book to get anywhere and I think it’s colouring my enjoyment somewhat.

Other than that – not too much to report that wouldn’t be a spoiler.

The End of New World – End

I did it! This is actually two parts but the last part is a short one, more of an epilogue, so I decided to plough through to the end. That was so good!

Final Verdict

While I think this book is perhaps a little too long, it takes a while to get to any real plot, it is still really good – a great end to a great series. Of all three books I think the first one is the strongest, but on the whole it is a solid trilogy, and one I’d gladly recommend to anyone who wanted to read some dystopian YA with a science fiction twist. You’ve got to be prepared to face a heck of a lot of heartbreak and disturbing content along the way but it’s somehow very cathartic. Wonderfully paced, punchy and powerful this is a series I won’t soon forget.

My rating: 3/5 stars

I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.

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What will the TBR jar pick next?

The Golden Compass Philip Pullman

Ok. Cards on the table – I can’t remember if there are three separate notes in my TBR jar for His Dark Materials or if it’s just one – either way my next read is going to be The Golden Compass. This is a series that I just never managed to read when I was a teenager (for various reasons) and I’m excited and nervous to finally get to start it now!

Stay tuned for my readalong – coming very soon!

What say you? Have you read this series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

J

 

 

 

 

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