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MONSTERS OF MEN by Patrick Ness


From the Chaos Walking series, volume 3

by Patrick Ness

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4751-3
Publisher: Candlewick

The momentum of Ness’s breakneck science-fiction trilogy slows noticeably in this voluminous conclusion that is told in three voices: Todd’s, Viola’s and native Spackle 1017’s. At the end of Book Two, the two opposing human factions led by the Mayor and Mistress Coyle were at war with each other and the Spackle. Meanwhile, a new convoy of Viola’s colony had arrived only to find themselves in the middle of a war zone. Book Three, replete with themes of war, colonialism, terrorism and redemption, laboriously details how the three groups negotiate an uneasy peace at great personal loss, including the deaths of more than a few major characters. Some 250 pages pass before the Mayor and the Mistress even meet. By then their story, along with Todd’s and Viola’s (who spend most of the book frustratingly apart), has become less compelling than that of the broken and beautifully characterized 1017, a Spackle who is fated to become the reluctant leader of his people. This is a case where half as long might have been twice as good. (map) (Science fiction. 14 & up)