Monsters of Men is – of course – the book I was referring to in a comment last week. Spectacular was the word I used, and I was pointing out that whereas The Knife of Never Letting Go is a very good book, Patrick Ness has improved with each instalment of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The Ask and the Answer definitely deserved the awards it was given, and the mind boggles when I think about what Monsters of Men ought to get.
At the end of book one I was dismayed to find that there was very little reprieve for Todd and Viola after all they had come through. I was more resigned in book two, but could see that there just might be light at the end of the tunnel. Some way into Monsters of Men I felt it was not at all unlikely that it would end in disaster, but what was more, for someone who craves happy endings, I didn’t mind. I came to the conclusion that if this was heading straight to hell, then it was a most interesting journey and well worth reading.
Having seen life through two pairs of eyes in the other two books, here we get a third point of view with 1017 as a counter balance to Todd and Viola. There is more symmetry in that they have a ‘mentor’ each, and these mentors have a lot more in common with each other than you’d think. There is some good in them. Yes, even in the Mayor. And there is bad in all. You come to see that this is often the case in many scenarios, and there are countless parallels in real life. Good and bad come together.
I toyed with the idea that the Mayor would turn out to be good for a long time. You don’t think he will, but there are many little signs of good. Mistress Coyle is not as good as we girls would prefer her to be. And The Sky has a lot going for him. But maybe he’s not perfect either?
And what about the young people they train to do their jobs? Are they special?
This is such an interesting way to look at what people do. And there’s a lot of background to wars in general, showing us how easily and how often everything will go as wrong as it possibly can.
The horses are the real heroes. And for all who hated Patrick for killing off Manchee the dog, he does something to almost redeem that. And then he does something else to make you despair.
It’s all very human. Or Spackle. Or whatever.