Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Ask and The Answer

I still haven't found my list. However, I do remember reading this one--it would be hard to forget it.

The Ask and The Answer is the sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go, and it's even better than the first one. I wouldn't recommend, however, reading it without having read the first. It launches back into the story without a whole lot of explanation, which is fine if you've read The Knife of Never Letting Go as I have, but could cause problems if you haven't.

Todd has been captured by the Mayor of Prentisstown, who has determined to make himself the new president of the whole planet. Forced to work for him in order to keep the girl he loves safe, Todd finds himself starting to sympathise with the Mayor's ideals, even though he cannot share in the methods he uses. Meanwhile, Viola finds herself in a House of Healing, and ends up joining the group which fights against the Mayor, whiile Todd fights against the women who commit bombing atrocities in the city and call themselves The Answer. In response, the violence begins to escalate on both sides, particularly with the Mayor setting up The Ask, to torture women for where their organisation's headquarters is. Brilliantly told from start to finish, this is a fascinating book that makes full use of the book layout to tell the story, as well as the text. The Noise is as brilliant as it was in the first, with the thoughts of men echoing out into the surrounding area, while women remain mysteriously silent. It's a fantastic book, very enjoyable, and I couldn't put it down. I should really have been reading stuff for the history readers' group, but I read this instead because it was smiling at me, and I'm glad I did. Brilliant book.

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