Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

No spoilers!! I promise!! So feel free to read. Of course, don't feel obliged to read :p I have to start by saying that it's been two weeks now since I've finished Monsters of Men. I had to let it sit for that long before I could talk about it with any kind of poise. Otherwise you would've just had a review that consisted of many "OMG"s, lots of spoilers, pleas to Patrick Ness to somehow write more in this universe, and an oath that I would somehow make it possible to have his babies even though I'm a man myself :/ Yes, none of us would want that sort of review, now would we? You may still end up with something close to that, but I'll try not to do that. Monsters of Men concludes Patrick Ness' amazing Chaos Walking trilogy which began with The Knife of Never Letting Go (one of my favorite titles ever for a book) and continued with The Ask and the Answer. I remember hearing about Knife and thinking "what's the big deal". People were OMGing all over the place about it. People I fully trusted when it came to books. So I gave it a shot and was hooked from the first line of the series:
“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.”
It sends me through a spiral of emotions now just reading that first line over again and knowing what awaits Todd and his dog, Manchee. What awaits everyone in this amazing series. How it starts from that simple line that holds so much and crescendos into this final book that just amazes, crushes, rebuilds, crushes some more and...well, you just have to read it. What I can say about this final book is that it continues the wonderful themes that Ness has built on throughout the series and adds to them. Ness is so subtle, yet at the same time so directly addresses the harshness of war, the beauty and the strength of love, the ugliness of intolerance and bigotry, how simple and wonderful acceptance can be if we make it that way...acceptance of each other, acceptance of race, differences, sexual orientation, gender...or how hurtful and abominable it can be if we choose the other path. This is a book and a series about paths. There are always multiple paths to take. The character are often literally faced with two paths to choose. Sometimes those paths are more figurative though. Like the characters, we have our own paths to choose in life and while this is a work of fiction, it talks volumes on what faces us today. Ness has creates some of the most memorable and beautiful characters that I have ever seen. And I say "seen" because I picture them all in my head so vividly. He's created not just Todd and Viola and Ben and Manchee and The Mayor and The Spackle, but a whole myriad of secondary characters and a whole world around them that all come alive. And everything is important. Each character means so much. There are characters that are introduced in each book, characters that first got a voice in Monsters of Men that I came to love. I'll warn you of this, this book, Monsters of Men is one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. But you knew that already, didn't you? ;) It continues exactly where The Ask and the Answer left off and I can't tell you where it ends. But I can tell you that I was content with the ending. And that's all I can say on that. I'll never have a complaint with this series. I'll never have a bad word about this series. Just the opposite. I'll sing it's praises from the rooftop. This series has gone right up there with American Gods and Speaker for the Dead for me in my list of favorite books. Certainly in my top five books if I had to give a list of them.

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