In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.
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.
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer - books one and two in the Chaos Walking trilogy - for which he has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. He was also shortlisted for the Carnegie medal. Patrick has written two other books for adults and is a literary critic for the Guardian. He lives in London.
The Chaos Walking trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion in this grueling but triumphant tale. Three armies stand poised for battle, one controlled by the murderous but charismatic Mayor; a second headed by the equally Machiavellian terrorist, Mistress Coyle; the third led by the Sky, leader of the indigenous telepathic race known as the Spackle. Meanwhile, a convoy of ships is approaching the planet, bringing still more human colonists, though it isn’t clear that there will be anything left to settle when they arrive. Todd and Viola, along with the Return, an embittered former Spackle slave, find themselves in positions of increasing power and are faced with a variety of complex and ambiguous moral decisions, any one of which may lead to wholesale destruction. Trying to overcome their anger, hatred, and fear, each must confront the reasons why “in a place of all this beauty and potential... we just repeat the same mistakes.” As in his preceding books, Ness offers incisive appraisals of violence, power, and human nature, and with the series complete, it’s clear that he has crafted one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The first word of this conclusion to the trilogy is "war," and war between various factions takes up much of this book. The action begins immediately and is told from two and then three viewpoints with no backstory that might bring readers new to the series up to speed. Todd and Viola attempt to persuade Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle, respectively, that peace is the better path to the future, peace with one another and with the vast army of Spackles that looms above the valley. Unfortunately, the Mayor and Mistress only want peace that comes with victory for their faction. A scout ship arrives from the approaching convoy of colonists, changing the balance of power. The Mayor uses his "Noise," the ability that male humans and all of the Spackle have to communicate mentally, to control his army and to influence Todd. Mistress Coyle and the other mistresses shelter under the protection of the scout ship and work to cure the infection of the bands that threaten the lives of many of the women, including Viola. Ness distinguishes his various narrators by the use of different fonts, further distinguishing Todd with a select few words misspelled. This is a complex and engrossing work that series fans will devour but which may be impenetrable to those who haven't read the earlier volumes.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
The momentum of Ness's breakneck science-fiction trilogy slows noticeably in this voluminous conclusion that is told in three voices: Todd's, Viola's and native Spackle 1017's. At the end of Book Two, the two opposing human factions led by the Mayor and Mistress Coyle were at war with each other and the Spackle. Meanwhile, a new convoy of Viola's colony had arrived only to find themselves in the middle of a war zone. Book Three, replete with themes of war, colonialism, terrorism and redemption, laboriously details how the three groups negotiate an uneasy peace at great personal loss, including the deaths of more than a few major characters. Some 250 pages pass before the Mayor and the Mistress even meet. By then their story, along with Todd's and Viola's (who spend most of the book frustratingly apart), has become less compelling than that of the broken and beautifully characterized 1017, a Spackle who is fated to become the reluctant leader of his people. This is a case where half as long might have been twice as good. (map) (Science fiction. 14 & up)
Series: Chaos Walking Trilogy (Hardcover)
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 14 - 18 years old
For Grades: 9 - 12
Number Of Pages: 603
Published: 28th September 2010
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.2 x 4.6
Weight (kg): 0.762