Monsters of Men

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, Book 3)

As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale. (

I just finished this book last night and you guys, my emotions are still totally raw.  This book is phenomenal.  The entire series is totally breathtaking.  If you, for any reason have skipped out on it (like, for example, I was never interested because a) it didn’t sound like my thing and b)I knew it would tear me up), do yourself a favor and read it. It’s not a snuggly, warm, happy series, but it is so good and Ness has given you characters to completely love, characters you want to root for, characters you want to see succeed. And then he’s created those you will hate with a fierce passion. Bad guys who are supposed to be good guys and bad guys who are just inherently evil and guys who aren’t bad but want revenge.  It’s all so dramatic and it’s so, so good.

If you’ve not read the other books (start with The Knife of Never Letting Go), there are some spoilers here, so be warned.

In this final installment we pick up where The Ask and The Answer left off. Todd has untied his prisoner, Mayor Prentiss, in the hopes that he will help him fight against the oncoming attack from the Spackle, now organized into an enormous army with weapons the humans have never seen.  Viola is on her way to the Scout ship, which has finally landed, signaling that the new settlers are only a couple of months behind.

There is so much war in this book. And Todd is becoming more powerful. He can quiet his Noise now. And he can control people with it too.  And it makes Viola feel cut off from him when she can’t hear him.  He’s getting too close to the Mayor (hoping he’s changing him, making him a better man).  And all the while, Viola is spending more and more time in a sick-bed on the scout ship because the band on her arm is badly infected, bad enough to kill her.

I know. Ugh!

This time around, we hear from a new voice.  Todd and Viola still share the story from their individual perspectives, but we get to know the Spackle and that notorious number 1017- the one who vowed to kill Todd for his cowardice. By sharing more about the Spackle, we get insight into the planet and its Noise and how this is not necessarily the curse that men have thought it to be. Perhaps it could be a good thing if only they’d let it be.  Or unless you’re the Mayor and believe that controlling people is for their best interest.

This was such an excellent end to a fantastic series. I’m so sorry that it’s over.  I loved these characters, especially Todd and Viola. The love they have for each other is beyond friendship (and only has the slightest tinge of romantic love). It is deep and all-consuming in the best, most self-sacrificial way. These two would do absolutely anything to save one another.  And it’s that devotion, that drive to see the other survive that pulls them through and keeps them fighting against what often seems like insurmountable odds.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 Was there ever any doubt?  This book had me before it began because I loved the characters so much already, but it was truly a good story on its own and such a painful, heart-wrenching conclusion that had me sobbing. And yet somehow, in the very end there was still hope. THAT is what I needed for my Todd and Viola.

Memorable Quote:


I was going to cause this damage myself.  I was going to say, yes, do it, fire it—

Kill all these Spackle, these Spackle with their real reason to attack someone who deserves it more than anyone on this planet—

If it would save Todd, it wouldn’t have mattered, I was going to do it—

I would have killed hundreds, thousands to save him.

I would have started an even bigger war for Todd.

And that realization is so huge I have to reach out a hand to Acorn to steady myself.