Synopses & Reviews
Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe.
Reaching the end of their flight in The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor's oppressive new regime.
In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?
"This grim and beautifully written sequel to Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go picks up where its predecessor left off and will have readers racing to its painful conclusion. Having escaped from the dystopian, all-male Prentisstown, teenagers Todd and Viola have fled to the city of Haven, only to discover that Prentisstown's mayor, a powerful and charismatic sociopath, has gotten there first, intent on controlling the entire planet. Separated, the friends are caught up on opposite sides of a horrific, morally ambiguous civil war, with Todd coming close to madness. (Viola later reminds Todd, who has undertaken some shocking and cruel responsibilities while working with the mayor, 'We all fall but that's not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.') This superb novel, which ends with a gripping cliffhanger that sets up the third Chaos Walking book, uses a brilliant cast of well-developed characters and its singular setting and premise to present a provocative examination of the nature of evil and humanity. This is among the best YA science fiction novels of the year. Ages 14 up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An amalgamation of society's most brutal facets — fascism, terrorism, torture, ethnic cleansing — with all kinds of relevance to our world....[A] relentless flurry of heavy-hitting issues, hinging on appeasement, complicity, and maintaining one's morality in the face of impossible choices." Booklist (starred review)
"Provocative questions about gender bias, racism, the meaning of war and the price of peace are thoughtfully threaded throughout a breathless, often violent plot peopled with heartbreakingly real characters." Kirkus Reviews
"Ness takes his characters to new, dark places....[T]he series continues to develop a fascinating world, and its fully formed characters and conflicts draw attention to difficult issues with a rare, unblinking candor." The Horn Book
"Science fiction lovers will be looking for the next installment in this fast-paced and imaginative series." School Library Journal
"Gripping story of two young people fighting to stay true to themselves and each other under terrible circumstances....[A] stunningly clear depiction of the moral wreckage of civil war: power-lust, shifting loyalties, betrayals and seductive competing justifications for violence." Wall St. Journal
The follow-up to the literary sci-fi thriller The Knife of Never Letting Go continues the saga of Todd and Viola, who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard and secrets are never safe.
Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe. (Age 14 and up)
About the Author
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England's Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for the Guardian. This is his first book for young adults. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.