Wednesday, 18 July 2012

'Monsters of Men' by Patrick Ness

I'm not exaggerating when I saw that 'Monsters of Men' by Patrick Ness is one of the best books I've ever read. Just like it's two predecessors in the 'Chaos Walking' trilogy it's thrilling and a joy to read yet also makes you think about some pretty big themes and ideas.

'Monsters of Men' is the third and final book the trilogy which began with 'The Knife of Never Letting Go'. To avoid spoilers I won't discuss the plot too much, but just say that the setting and characters are rich and well-developed drawing you in as a reader. The plot has so many clever twists and turns that I didn't see coming (despite my friend warning me to look out for them). Ness creates suspense and tension masterfully and manages to juggle three distinct narrative voices throughout. I found this created a great dynamic, although got slightly frustrated by this device at times. Not because it wasn't used well or I didn't like it. Simply because just as I was on the edge of my seat with one characters story I was left on a cliffhanger and moved to another's. Apparently I'm a very impatient person.

Some very large themes are also addressed incredibly well. The book forces you to think about quite dark concepts including war, power and redemption. One line which really stuck out for me was "a frightened but willing army being led by a blind man". In the novel there's a very obvious literal interpretation but this quote just stood out to me with all the different connotations and meanings which could be found about war and whether it's necessary and if anyone truly wants it.  I know plenty of young-adult novels address similar themes ('The Hunger Games' anyone?) but I felt these ideas were much more strongly represented in this book.

To sum up I loved this book! It was a breath of fresh air (sorry about the cliche) and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. It was the perfect conclusion to what has become one of my favourite book series. Now if someone would be kind enough to lend me a Kindle I can read the prequel 'A New World' and be all set for the film (I can't wait).

5 Stars

Next Read: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - A classic I've never got around to reading. I'll also finally understand Bella Swan's obsession with the book.

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