Jul 31, 2011

Review: Monsters of Men

Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book ThreeI have the problem of not knowing when to abandon a book.  I have the strange belief that maybe I have to read it all the way through in order to fully appreciate the novel or that it could get better in the next chapter.  Even if it's clear that the book is horrible, I am still overcome by a strong sense of guilt and feelings that I owe it to the book and/or author to finish.

Sometimes this annoying habit of mine to have to finish books can be rewarding.  I would have never finished The Hunger Games if I didn't feel guilty about not finishing a book my sister actually loved.  Because as much as I love that book now, the first few chapters are bloody AWFUL. 

It even took me awhile to get into The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first book in Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking Trilogy that I finally finished this afternoon.  I ended up absolutely loving the novel and expected to fly through the series to see how it all ended.  The second novel, The Ask and the Answer, wasn't horrible, but it lacked the power of the first, most likely because not much could have lived up to the amazing cliffhanger that ended the first.  But the third, Monsters of Men, was just.plain.brutal.

If I wasn't so invested in finding out how the war in the series came to an end, this might have been the first book I've been able to read halfway through and forget about.  But I decided not to let myself eat breakfast this morning until I finished it so I could clear my curiosity and take the book of my "Shelfari Reading Now" section of my digital bookshelf.  Crazy? Yes. Effective? Yes.

The first book had a disjointed first person perspective through the main character's "Noise" which enabled the reader and other characters to know his every thought.  The second added the perspective of a girl, without noise, to give voice to another side of the war.  It was a little busy, but the book worked.  This last one added in yet another voice, and through that voice, another who could hear everyone's voice.  Confusing? Yes.  Eventually the book reached a point where every perspective seemed to be saying the same thing over and over and instead of adding drama and intensity, added redundancy. 

Will young adults love it though?  Most likely.  It still maintains the theme of instant information, which speaks loudly to them as it's almost all they know.  It has adventure, love, betrayal, mind control, fighting, etc.  It's like the Princess Bride without the sarcasm and sword fights.  So it's nowhere near as good, but it'll get the job done.

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