books, Reviews

The Reviewing Reel: Monsters of Men

Of Monsters and Men by Patrick Ness


Here we have it. Finally, I manage to keep up a ‘series’ of sorts, or at least a series of three reviews all pertaining to a book series.

I’m running out of things to say about this series that aren’t just ‘it’s amazing!’, ‘it changed my life!’, ‘Todd and Viola are the best characters in all of YA ever and I love how their relationship develops over time!’, so bear with me for this one. I’m going to try and make this a little bit more critique-y than the previous two, or at least try and give you some more semblance of the plot.

(By the way, if you want to read my previous reviews for this series, you can find them here and here. For this review, I will be spoiling elements of the first two novels in this trilogy, so make sure you’ve read the first two novels before reading this review!)

Monsters of Men is the third and final book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, a series that focuses on the stories of Todd Hewitt and Viola Eade in a futuristic, fantastical world of the New World where men’s thoughts can be heard aloud (which is called ‘Noise’) and women are feared and repressed for their lack of said ‘Noise’.

At the very beginning of Monsters of Men, Viola is close to death in the Scout Ship, as she has been infected by the tracking bands placed on her by Mayor Prentiss’s army. I think I said before in one of the previous reviews on this series that I really enjoyed the elements of feminism within the novels, or that the subject of slavery was done really, really well.

The Spackle are a race native to the New World, and they are constantly subjugated by the humans, who are colonising and have previously colonised the planet. In the previous book, they were stamped with the metal bands that Viola suffers from having, and they were used primarily for slave labour. Mayor Prentiss is the leader of this initiative – as, previously, humans and Spackle have lived side by side in harmony – which just makes him an even more despicable character than he previously was.

It’s hard to talk too much about this book without giving much away, but we know from The Ask and the Answer that Todd is made to fight for the murderous Ask side, under Mayor Prentiss, whereas Viola is working against him with the Answer and Madam Coyle. Throughout the series, we know that Mayor Prentiss is literally one of the most despicable humans to ever live, and he’s basically impossible to like. Madam Coyle is a little more grey if you like. I personally feel more compelled to like her than dislike her, but I know that she’s an incredibly horrific character in her own right.

I also loved the ending of this novel – it perfectly sums up how Viola and Todd have grown closer together, and it’s actually really touching. But, again, I’m trying to give nothing away. All I can say is that you should read this series and you’ll understand my extreme love of it. The book also has a great anti-war message which I think is hard to find in most other young adult literature.

If you would be interested in me giving a spoiler-full, in depth, full-length review of all three books in one, then let me know in the comments! Similarly, if you’d like me to review any more of Patrick Ness’s novels, then let me know too.

However, I did give this book 5 stars (again? Patrick Ness, you are a legendary writer). I always love reading this series, and I probably will love them for life. They’re the best YA book series that I have ever read, and I would recommend them all to anyone who loves fantasy, subtle romance, fleshed out characters, sci-fi and young adult done amazingly well.

Ellie xxx

(all links are affiliate links – I receive a small commission for every purchase through that link)

Keep calling for me, Viola… Cuz here I come.

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