Tag Archives: patrick ness

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

8621462Patrick Ness is definitely one of my new favorite authors. His Chaos Walking Trilogy was BOMB-DIGGITY and I’ll read anything by him from now on. I was really intrigued by the dark illustrations–they were hauntingly beautiful and breathed life into the story.

Cancer is a disease that has touched the entire world and Ness’s story was inspired by author Siobhan Dowd’s idea–one she would’ve written herself had cancer not caused her premature death before the story could come to fruition.

Conor is a young boy who has been forced to abandon childhood too soon in the face of his mother’s illness. Suddenly, at 12:07 at night–a monster stands outside his window. What follows is reminiscent of a Christmas Carol-type lesson as the monster teaches Conor a new lesson every night with each story. Each tale is used to give Conor strength for his mother’s inevitable final battle.

This was an AMAZING book. I highly recommend it for anyone who is left behind after a cancer-related death. Adult and adolescents alike could find some sense of comfort and meaning from this book. You’re right, sometimes life isn’t fair. And like stories, life is interpreted differently from every single point of view. Your version of the story isn’t the same as mine.

Stuff of greatness.

4 yew berries of 5

The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

chaos_a_lHOLY EFF BALLS THIS WAS A GREAT TRILOGY! Woah. No, but seriously. I’ve read about 45 books so far this year (I’m typing this on 4/3) and Chaos Walking is the most original by a long shot! The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men–all amazing!

Our story follows two very different young protagonists. On one hand we have Todd, the youngest boy in Prentisstown. He desperately awaiting his 13th birthday, the day he’ll be a man. Too bad there’s only men in Prentisstown. Maybe there’s only men on the whole planet. Small-town Todd has no clue. On the other hand we have Viola, whom crash-landed on Todd’s planet–a crash that killed both her parents. They’re a scout ship for settlers on the New World. She’s highly intelligent and resourceful, good thing too, if she’s to survive alone in an alien world.

The thing is, the planet is infected with “Noise.” All the men on the planet anyway… (Women are mysteriously untouched). Noise means that everyone can hear your any thought–any time, any day. The “noise” in your head. And you can hear there’s too. Sucks right? It certainly makes it pretty hard to keep a secret.

To make a long story short, Todd and Viola unwittingly get in the middle of a HUGE world war. We’ve got the Men of Prentisstown lead by Mayor Prentiss vs the Spackle (the native alien race) vs the Answer (a group of female terrorists). It’s some pretty crazy stuff. You really never know who to trust.

Suffice it to say, I was VASTLY entertained. I got so much more out of this series than I bargained for and I think it


was a great social commentary about how we treat our planet. This wasn’t some crappy love triangle ridden YA romance grasping at the straws of Science Fiction. This was the real deal. I loved that Ness included some gay characters in the series but didn’t make a big fanfare about it. In fact, you’d hardly notice unless you were looking for them. Every chapter ended with a cliff-hanger, and the constant change in perspective kept things fresh without being irritating.

I also read his ebook short story The New World which is the story of Viola’s trip to Todd’s planet. It was pretty good and FREE! Woo hoo.

It’s safe to say that Patrick Ness is one of those authors we need to keep an eye on, because I expect many great things to come.

5 iron bands of 5