Monsters of Men

Patrick Ness, Candlewick, $18.99 (608p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4751-3
The Chaos Walking trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion in this grueling but triumphant tale. Three armies stand poised for battle, one controlled by the murderous but charismatic Mayor; a second headed by the equally Machiavellian terrorist, Mistress Coyle; the third led by the Sky, leader of the indigenous telepathic race known as the Spackle. Meanwhile, a convoy of ships is approaching the planet, bringing still more human colonists, though it isn’t clear that there will be anything left to settle when they arrive. Todd and Viola, along with the Return, an embittered former Spackle slave, find themselves in positions of increasing power and are faced with a variety of complex and ambiguous moral decisions, any one of which may lead to wholesale destruction. Trying to overcome their anger, hatred, and fear, each must confront the reasons why “in a place of all this beauty and potential... we just repeat the same mistakes.” As in his preceding books, Ness offers incisive appraisals of violence, power, and human nature, and with the series complete, it’s clear that he has crafted one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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