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Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three Paperback – Sep 13 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (Sept. 13 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763656658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763656652
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 4.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal–winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Two Battles


" WE HIT TH E SPACKLE HEAD ON !" the Mayor shouts at the men, aiming his Noise right in the middle of everyone's heads.

Even mine.

"They'll be gathering at the bottom of the road," he says, "but that's as far as they're going to go!"

I put a hand on Angharrad's flank beneath me. In under two minutes, the Mayor had us up on horseback, Morpeth and Angharrad coming running from round the back of the ruins of the cathedral, and by the time we'd hopped up, stepping over the still unconshus bodies of the men who tried to help me overthrow the Mayor, there was the army taking messy shape in front of us.

Not all of it, tho, maybe less than half, the rest still stretched up along the southern road to the hill with the notch on it, the road to where the battle was sposed to be.

Angharrad's thinking and I can feel spikes of nerves all thru her body. She's scared nearly half to death.

So am I.

"BATTALIONS READY!" the Mayor shouts and immediately Mr. Hammar and the later-arriving Mr. Tate and Mr. O'Hare and Mr. Morgan snap salutes and the soldiers start lining up in the right formayshuns, twisting thru each other in coils and getting into order so quickly it almost hurts my eyes to watch it.

"I know," the Mayor says. "It's a thing of beauty, isn't it?" I point my rifle at him, the rifle I took from Davy.

"You just remember our agreement," I say. "Yer gonna keep Viola safe and you ain't gonna control me with yer Noise. You do that and you stay alive. That's the only reason I let you go."

His eyes flash. "You realize that means you can't let me out of your sight," he says, "even if you have to follow me into battle. Are you ready for that, Todd?"

"I'm ready," I say, even tho I ain't but I'm trying not to think about it.

"I have a feeling you'll do well," he says.

"Shut up," I say. "I beat you once, I'll beat you again." He grins. "Of that I have no doubt."

"THE MEN ARE READY, SIR!" Mr. Hammar shouts from his horse, saluting fiercely.

The Mayor keeps his eyes on me. "The men are ready, Todd," he says, his voice teasing. "Are you?"

"Just get on with it."

And his smile gets even wider. He turns to the men. "Two divisions down the western road for the first attack!" His voice snakes thru everyone's head again, like a sound you can't ignore. "Captain Hammar's division at the front, Captain Morgan taking the rear! Captains Tate and O'Hare will round up the rest of the men and armaments yet to arrive and join the fray with the greatest dispatch."

Armaments? I think.

"If the fight isn't already over by the time they join us-" The men laugh at this, a loud, nervous, aggressive kind of laugh.

"Then as a united army, we will drive the Spackle back up that hill and make them regret the day they were EVER BORN!"

And the men give a roaring cheer.

"Sir!" Captain Hammar shouts. "What about the army of the Answer, sir?"

"First we beat the Spackle," says the Mayor, "then the Answer will be child's play."
He looks across his army of men and back up the hill to the Spackle army, still marching down. Then he raises his fist and gives the loudest Noise shout of all, a shout that bores right down into the very center of every man hearing it.


"TO BATTLE!" the army cries back at him and sets off at a fierce pace outta the square, racing toward the zigzag hill. The Mayor looks at me one last time, like he can barely keep from laughing at how much fun he's having. And with- out another word, he spurs Morpeth hard in the sides and they gallop into the square after the departing army.

The army heading off to war.

Follow? Angharrad asks, fear coming off her like sweat.

"He's right," I say. "We can't let him out of our sight. He's got to keep his word. He's got to win his war. He's got to save her."

For her, Angharrad thinks.

For her, I think back, all my feeling about her behind it. And I think her name-


And Angharrad leaps forward into battle.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stettler Public Library on May 24 2010
Format: Hardcover
As with books 1 and 2, Chaos Walking Book 3 was amazing. Fast paced and a rollercoaster ride, the journey of Viola and Todd continue to hold my attention. Monsters of Men introduces a new, exciting and volatile character that will shock you, brings back characters you thought had left and generally keeps you guessing at every turn. Don't trust ANYONE! You won't know the end until the end. Even then, do we really know?

Although this is being promoted as a "teen" book, it appeals to everyone. It is a social commentary on information and how we are dealing with it; how access to information can be a powerful tool and a destructive one if used the wrong way. Honestly - this series should be studied at the university level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on Aug. 10 2010
Format: Hardcover
MONSTERS OF MEN is the wonderful conclusion to the CHAOS WALKING trilogy. It picks up where THE ASK AND THE ANSWER leaves off - right at the beginning of WAR!

The Spackle, the Answer, and the Mayor's army are all converging on New Prentisstown - and Todd and Viola are stuck in the middle.

Patrick Ness creates the same heart-pounding suspense in this novel as he did in the first two books. Multiple points of view give the reader a full understanding of what is happening.

Be sure to set aside a block of time when you start this book - or the first two, for that matter. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. I was so worried for Viola and Todd throughout the story. I was stressed and cringed as I got further into the story - afraid for what the author had in store for them.

Mr. Ness made me growl in frustration and brought me to tears. MONSTERS OF MEN ended perfectly!

Reviewed by: Karin Librarian
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Format: Paperback
Felt more like a direct continuation to THE ASK AND THE ANSWER, so reading them back-to-back worked perfectly. Read this in one sitting on a long car ride. So many twists! I am glad that Viola's perspective was included in this book, as in the second, and it was also really interesting to see a third perspective added in.

This whole series really makes you think. I mean, these people come to a new planet to start a new life, but they make the same effing (heh) mistakes that they always had on the first planet. The books show just how hard it is, once you've began the cycle of violence, to put an end to it, to find peace again. And yes, these books take place far in the future on a planet with two moons but they are so REAL and so BELIEVABLE.

And the Spackle! Wouldn't it be so like us, even today, to find an alien species and assume we are better, stronger, and take their land like we own it?


Also let me just say how great it is that in this future both heterosexual and homosexual relationships are simply accepted, in both humans and aliens. No big deal. Also, how beautiful is the phrase my one in particular?

Sorry for this completely incoherent review. There is just so much to say, and so little effective ways to say it.

Glad I was able to read it all in one go, as it is so fast-paced I cannot imagine ever putting it down. Terrifying, just like the first two. Patrick Ness is such an amazing writer. I want to get my hands on everything he has written, and everything he writes in the future. Though I do doubt that anything will affect me quite like this gem of a trilogy.
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By Poppasan on Dec 12 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't get past the depictions of noise as a printed mass of conflicting words. The words in different sizes and different directions just didn't do it for me. I didn't finish it. A creative approach that missed the mark.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 161 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
BOOK HARBINGER: One word, Brilliant. June 4 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
War. That is all the Mayor, with a gleam in his eye, can say. Stuck in the middle, all Todd can do is watch Mistress Coyle's terrorist army boom into New Prentisstown, spy the native Spackle soldiers zigzagging down the hill in front, and accompany Mayor Prentiss as his men march to meet them. Somewhere, the scout ship of incoming settlers will be landing in the middle of Mistress Coyle's army oblivious to the chaos and Viola, ankles broken, galloping away from it all on her horse Acorn. Badly outnumbered and with two sides to fight, Todd and Viola are conflicted as ever. Peace or war, forgiveness or revenge, and hope or despair; if only the decisions were that polar. How much of their moral integrity are they willing to sacrifice to save each other?

Who could wait until September for the concluding book in this trilogy? So much drama, intensity, and unpredictable unknowns? I couldn't. There was no turning back once I calculated that for only a couple dollars more, I could have it now, and in the spiffy UK edition no less. (Which seriously, if we're talking about cover art, it has one of the most creative and one-of-a-kind book jackets out there. ) It also has to do with a certain author named Patrick Ness, who is the king of cliffhangers. The Ask and the Answer ended, again, with everything still on the line and a new plot twist. I can't help thinking: was he trying to kill us with suspense? But I can't see it written differently. Ness' signature chapter and ending cliffhangers reflect the entire tone of this series: furious pace, anything-can-happen, action-driven story arc for a futuristic people forced to settle a New World sans technology but with unknown alien natives and uttered thoughts called Noise.

More than the first two books in the Chaos Walking trilogy, Monsters of Men will unfailing hook you so that you can't put it down. Alternating sometimes as much as every other page between the perspectives of Todd and Viola, each viewpoint usually cut off mid-scene, mid-action, and on the brink of disaster, leaving you saying "what?". Being honest without a by-your-leave the incredibly fast pacing was almost overwhelming, veering on overstimulation. For those of you able to read each book in the series back-to-back, I don't think this would be an issue. It took me several pages to find my bearings and get emotionally back into the ambiguity of both the Mayor and Mistress Coyle's sides and feel invested. But once the third, differing perspective is introduced, my interest piqued and I easily let the brisk plot carry me along. A big light is shined on the Spackle creatures - what they're like, how they communicate, and how they fight. Frankly it was fascinating and combined with our increasing experience with the people of Prentisstown, the singular abilities of the Mayor, the growing capabilities of Todd, the healers of Mistress Coyle, the pieces began to fall together into a compelling whole. What are the origins of Noise, its capabilities and its true purpose? All of these questions that have been building on each other since The Knife of Never Letting Go are answered compellingly. To say I was completely satisfied with the conclusion after two books that leave you hanging is an understatement. That's not to say that Patrick Ness keeps you guessing until the final page, or everything is answered, but in the least all the loose end are tied up. Finishing Monsters of Men was a memorable experience for me which admittedly involved some crying. Before my bookpushing gets any worse PLEASE if you like scifi/dystopian YA in the least go out and get this series. You won't regret it. It was a near perfect series for me and will go on my all-time favorites list.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Amazing ending to the trilogy July 30 2010
By Bonnie Svitavsky - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's so hard to know what to say about this book. It's an amazing ending to the series, and it is worthy of all those cliches... my heart was racing while I read it, it kept me guessing throughout the very last pages for what would happen to my beloved characters, there were more twists and turns then you could shake a stick at, and I was in tears at the very end. I'm going to do my best to keep this spoiler-free.

This book, like the previous two in the series, deals with weighty issues of love, loyalty, trust, communication, and information. But Ness also delves into relationships between parents and their children, leaders and followers, and the responsibilities associated with all of these roles. And then there's the issue of redemption... can people go beyond the point of redemption?

The story focuses onto Todd and Viola, Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle, and the Sky (leader of the Land - or Spackle as they are called by humans) and the Return (previously known to us as 1017). Outside of these main pairings, we have two settlers, Simone and Bradly, who are friends of Viola's and control the scout ship we saw landing at the end of The Ask and the Answer. And we have the returning Mistresses, Wilf and Jane, Lee, and Angharrad and Acorn (yes, I included the horses, because I LOVE those horses). As in The Ask and the Answer, we can draw the comparisons between the Mayor and Mistress Coyle, seeing how they each use power and politics to try and seize control. But, while I thought they were far too similar in the last book, we see them strongly diverge here as they both realize that the war has changed from the one that they started.

The reader is constantly shifting in this book, from the perspective of Todd to Viola to 1017. The changes are fast-paced and abrupt, which can take a little getting used to, since it feels like you're almost always having the rug pulled out from under you. However, it's worth it to keep with the story and just try to get into Ness's rhythm.

The ending is... ambiguous. It will make for excellent discussion, as will the way that the characters finish their own stories. Ness puts such a strong emphasis on forgiveness, acceptance, and hope throughout the series that I have a hard time not feeling hopeful at the ending. You really would be doing yourself a favor in reading this series. It has a little over everything... sci-fi, survival, adventure, animals, appeal to guys and girls, romance, super powers, and war. Maybe that makes the book sound overloaded, but it's also a beautiful story with characters who will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

On a slightly offbeat note, I don't think I'll ever be able to read or hear the word "Todd?" without getting choked up. Just typing it now has me tearing up!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Perils of war and the possibility of redemption Oct. 8 2010
By J.Prather - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Monsters of Men is an epic novel of war told on a grand scale. The book begins immediately after the last one ends, with the beginning of a three sided conflict between the Answer, the Spackle, and Mayor Prentiss. Viola and Todd are stuck in the middle, and the action sucks the reader in straight from page one. The author does not flinch from showing the brutality of war and exploring questions of the morality surrounding it. The characters struggle with placing the good of the whole against the good of the one, and whether war can be or should be a personal thing. Mayor Prentiss says at one point that "War makes monsters of men....Well so does too much knowledge." On a planet of information, that makes for plenty of opportunity for men to behave badly and also to redeem themselves. These themes run throughout the story.

Perhaps my favorite part of this book was the portion told by Prisoner 1017. His experiences and his journey were portrayed so vividly that they added a new dimension to this story. His path to redemption told in counterpoint to the Mayor's journey was telling and effective. Unfortunately, with all the things that this story had going for it, I walked away feeling rather disappointed. There was just nothing new here, aside from Prisoner 1017's story. There were no character twists, and by about a third of the way into the novel, I felt like I was getting repeatedly hammered over the head by the points and themes described above. I felt frustrated that the author kept pounding the same points home time and time again, when I got it the first time. While the Mayor was quite the effective villain in the first two novels, I found him to be rather tedious in this one. I could see clearly what was going on with him, and was just frustrated that Todd and Viola couldn't.

In sum, while I didn't find this to be the page turner that I expected and clearly some other reviewers have experienced, I still found this to be a fairly good ending to what I feel is an incredibly original and exciting sci fi series that holds a lot of appeal for both teens and adults alike. I will still be recommending this series often, but more for the first two books than for this one.
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Great series...except for this book. Jan. 14 2011
By Zebo Quad - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The only thing I can think of that happened between the wonderful "Knife of Never Letting Go" and the final installment in this series is that the editor fell asleep. Or thought that the addition of a third narrator, the Spackle, was such a brilliant idea that the rest of the book didn't need to be read. I will concede that the Spackle narration was my favorite part, and a great (perhaps only saving grace) addition, but...

1. All the elements that made "Knife..." so great disappeared! Talking animals companions went by the wayside. They introduced humor to this bleak world and created characters that weren't totally twisted. For that matter, the animals's noise really ceased to be a major element at all. I really loved Manchee. I wanted more Manchees. I needed more Manchees.

2. What is with Todd and Viola screaming each other's names into the nothingness?? Holy moly, that was annoying. It was like the Titanic movie, but worse. Sometimes there were two pages with Todd screaming Viola's name on it six or more times! Who does that?

3. Ness drawing out the action for the sake of suspense turned into a ridiculous parody here. Melodrama and scene-splicing intersected here to this unbelievable magnitude it was impossible to stay "in the story", if you know what I mean.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Unique, thought-provoking, but loooong. March 24 2011
By Tony Bertauski - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a difficult review to write.

I'm not a professional reviewer, only giving my personal experience of a story. Sometimes I'm not sure why I like/dislike one. This book falls in that category.

It's well-crafted. The variations in fonts added to the reading experience. And it was well-written. The story arc flows nice and smooth. The characters remained true to the first two books. However, with 50 pages left to read in this monster book of 600 pages, I didn't really care all that much how it ended. After plowing through the first two giant books, that's not the experience I expected.

Here's why.

I don't think the characters change all that much in the third book. The Mayor is still a cunning, seductive, unpredictable villain. Viola and Todd still pine for each other. We are introduced to a third character and get wonderful insight into a Spackle mind, and that's what kept me invested in the beginning. The characters do grow and evolve near the end, but in predictable fashion.

However, I think my experience was flat because the pace felt sluggish. He kept me guessing at the end of several sections, but it was like a movie that needed to end an hour earlier. Todd's threats to whip the Mayor fanny get old, as do Viola's promises to protect Todd, and the Mistress's promise to destroy the Mayor. The story arc is interesting and Ness's imagined world where thoughts are exposed is fascinating. It was just too long.

I blazed through the final 50 pages. It wasn't entirely predictable, but my interest had waned. I just wanted to finish. The ending concluded with a fizzle rather than a pop.

3.5 stars.