The Ask and the Answer Book Review

‘Finally, we come to the real thing, the thing that makes men men, the thing we were born for, Todd.’ He rubs his hands together and his eyes flash as he says the word.


-pg 519


This book is the second in the Choas Walking Trilogy: Book 1: Knife of Never Letting Go, Book 3: Monsters of Men

The Ask and the Answer

by Patrick Ness

What to say, what to say? This book had so much suspense to it, so much wondering and waiting, that I don’t know if I can do a review without giving anything away…

I’m going to give it my best try.

First, a summary, as always.

The story picks up right where the last book left off, with Todd and Viola in the Mayor’s clutches. Hevan is now New Prentisstown and Todd and Viola have been separated, neither knowing whether or not the other is alive. Todd is being controlled by the Mayor, forced to do his every bidding, in the hopes that following orders will keep Viola alive. Viola on the other hand, is learning a different side of the story, and while she struggles to find Todd, she is sucked into a womanly world of secrets and dark questions. The Ask and the Answer is a thrilling sequel to the Knife of Never Letting Go and an emotional ride that will have even readers with the most secure morals question what is right and when wrong is no longer wicked.

And now, because I can’t see this working any other way, here are my bulleted thoughts on book 2:

–The Ask and the Answer has for the most part the same cast of characters as in book one. There are a few new folk, but they easily embed themselves in your mind and you are not left struggle to keep up with a whole array of new faces. Which is very nice, I must say.

–This book was told in alternating points of view, between Todd and Viola, which really, really, added towards the drama and suspense, especially in the end.

–Some deep, deep questions are brought up that really ask readers to question the images of good and evil that society has made us believe in. It really pushes the limits and stretches the mind. That is one of my favorite aspects of this series, that everything is not black and white. Because in real life people aren’t black and white, are they? This book really captures all aspects of the human struggle to make the right choices. And it does so very, very well.

–There were some plot twists that I could see coming, but they were built up with such suspense that they still kinda threw me and made me gasp.

–Todd and Viola are so perfect. I like it when a book builds a relationship that has essence between the characters. What’s nice about these two is they haven’t been sneaking around and makin’  out and watching each other sleep by crawling  in through bedroom windows (I’m looking at you Edward Cullen), but they have been thinking about each, all the time. And to me, that show a much deeper and sweeter relationship than any “Oh, I don’t want to be with you, but I must!”/”I’m bad for you but I can’t stay away!” -insert-long- confession-here romance.

–You get to know the villains so well, that you really can’t tell if they are wicked or not. Now, when I say, know the villains, I don’t mean an inside look on their daily lives. What I mean is that the main characters (narrators Todd and Viola) give a good sense of what these antagonists are doing, and thinking about, and through their actions, you start to question and doubt these evil doers, to the point where you are just as confused and vulnerable as Todd and Viola themselves.

–I ended up liking Viola’s parts just as much as Todd’s.  They each had a different kind of voice and thought differently, and it was interesting to get inside her head.

–I really loved the transformations the characters went through, and how they struggled to make the right choices and how they were affected by the decisions they make. In a lot of books, you get conflicts that involve violence, but you rarely see the good guys suffering from their actions of taking lives. Todd has a conscience and isn’t afraid to let us see it.

–This book is a little less actiony. I mean, some big stuff goes on, but Todd and Viola aren’t on the run, so they aren’t moving around and peeking over their shoulders as much. Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t as gripping. I was so addicted, I couldn’t stop reading it– during class, car drives, anywhere. The action is more subtle, you might say. More in your head…

I think I covered everything. I mentioned the drama, right? The thought-provoking questions? The characters? The build up?

But wait! I forgot to mention the total cliffhanger-I-called-it-but-I-still-can’t-believe-I-was-right-and-I-don’t-want-to-be-right-ending!!!!

Let’s just say, the ending was as such that I might spontaneously combust while waiting for the third book. No joke.

So, my final thoughts? Well, my W key keeps sticking and my keyboard fells sticky… and this book was great. Frosted Flakes grrrrrrreat kind of great. And if you liked the first book, the second does not disappoint.

Amazon link

[Once again, due to the fact that this book’s writing wasn’t any literary masterpiece, it doesn’t get a 4. But, it is as worth reading as any 4. Really.]

Ri’s Rating:


I LoVe this series!!!!!

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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  1. The Knife of Never Letting Go Review « The Spotted Mushroom
  2. Book Review: The Ask and the Answer | Absurdly Nerdly

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