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review 2018-09-06 21:29
The Ask and the Answer / Patrick Ness
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...



I read this book for the Doomsday square on my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I have become quite partial to Patrick Ness’s writing, having loved A Monster Calls and thoroughly enjoying The Knife of Never Letting Go. The Ask and the Answer is a solid follow-up to TKONLG, showing us more of this non-Earth world where humanity and the aliens that they call The Spackle must find terms of co-existence and human men must learn to deal with the Noise germ, which makes their thoughts visible/audible to everyone around them. As we learn more about the aliens, we realize that they are dependent upon on the Noise to communicate with one another, but it causes major privacy concerns for human men; for some reason, the germ doesn’t affect women.

But privacy of thought is only one concern in this world—the Mayor of Prentisstown, where Todd grew up, is out to become president of the whole world and he doesn’t care what happens to people who get in his way. He recognizes Todd as a person of principles, who may do something wrong but gets back up and tries to set it right or do better. This second installment sees Prentiss try to recruit Todd to his cause, mostly manipulating him through his loyalty to Viola. I think it is also admirable that Todd is able to identify his emotions and admit that he loves Viola and to stand by her. So often, I feel like men and boys are encouraged to refuse to acknowledge their feelings, leaving the women in their lives wondering if they care at all. I guess this is one benefit of the Noise—Viola knows that Todd loves her.

The differences in the way that Noise affects women and men naturally divides them. Prentiss can’t trust women, because he can’t know what’s going on in their heads. As a result, women find themselves separated and confined quite quickly, which naturally makes the women fearful, resentful, and unwilling to go along with his program. But women aren’t going to take the change in government without a struggle—many women go into hiding and provide violent opposition. Then we get to explore the whole who is a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist question. Both sides twist logic to convince their followers.

I think this would be a great book for high school students, showing conflicts in all their grayness, very little black and white. For although I as a reader identified with Todd & Viola, they do regrettable things along the way and those who think they are on the right side are willing to do violence to make their opinions known. There are so many ethical and moral questions explored, it would make for lively discussions.

If you dislike cliff-hanger endings, you should have the next book teed up and ready to go. I’m willing to let things rest for a while at this point and will probably pick up the last book in early 2019. My reading queue is full until then.




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text 2018-09-05 15:17
Reading progress update: I've read 451 out of 553 pages.
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness



So many themes that are prominent today, featured in a fictional universe where young people could discuss them without all the political baggage of our reality.


I think this would be an excellent series for schools.

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review 2018-09-03 02:41
A distorted view on invulnerability as a superpower
Thirteen Days to Midnight - Patrick Carman

Jacob is a orphan. 


He is unfortunately being sent to a Catholic school. It is a private school that allow indoctrination of Catholic religious bullshit in the classrooms.


It is sickening. 


The effect on children is obvious. Jacob was on a guilt trip and wrongly theorized that there is a balance between life and death. That if one prevent a death, someone else has to die. 


That's the premise of the book. Jacob got his superpower from his adopted father. He passed it to his best friend to test it out. Doing risky things. 


One of the chapter stating how a person in child-raping-Catholic priest uniform spreading on his distorted view on hell and how humans go to hell and animals don't. Really stupid and sickening stuff. 


There is a serious lack of character developments here. Oh is supposed to be someone the reader care about. Oh as a character has no development at all. She is only used as a plot device. 


As the storytelling goes. Not so bad. It is a fast read. It got 2 stars for that part. 


Reading this for Halloween Bingo 13 square. 



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review 2018-09-02 15:42
Bar dla potępionych
Bar dla potępionych - Kealan Patrick Burke

W tytułowym barze poznajemy wiele prawdziwych postaci - większość z nich ma na swoim koncie morderstwo lub inne nie do końca jasne postępki. Co noc w barze pojawia się wielebny Hill, zabierając jednego z bywalców na drugą stronę. To on informuje o tym, kto umrze danej nocy. Tym razem jednak plany się skomplikują i nie wszystko pójdzie po myśli wielebnego
Akcja rozgrywa się w sennym, zapomnianym przez wszystkich i Boga amerykańskim miasteczku Milestone...wszechobecna szaruga, mgła i deszcz. W barze ''U Eddiego'' tylko stali bywalcy - zrezygnowany szeryf, miejscowy dziwak, femme fatale, tajemniczy starzec, narwany dzieciak, niemy wielkolud i barmanka o strzaskanych marzeniach.
Z całą pewnością książka nie wpisuję się w ogólnie przyjęte ramy powieści grozy. Czas spędzony w tym mieście można porównać do odwiedzin w umyśle szaleńca. Nic nie jest takim jakim się wydaje. Miłośnikom czarnego kryminału i horroru może przypadnie do gustu, o ile wyrozumiale podejdą do potknięć pisarza. Pozostałym raczej umiarkowanie. Jedni uznają to za coś dobrego, a inni, że nigdy nie trzymali w rękach czegoś tak okropnego. I oczywiście będą mieli rację, gdyż jest to specyficzna książka. Dla mnie owa pozycja niestety była z tych gorszych. Niczym mnie nie zaskoczyła w niektórych momentach była bez sensu. Nie moje klimaty.

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review 2018-09-01 23:27
When Grief Comes Calling
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Wow. I never watched the movie, so had no idea what "A Monster Calls" was about. All in all this was a very moving book that hits you in all the right places. I do wish the ending had tied things up a bit. However, I get that the author, Patrick Ness, realized he didn't need to spell things out for the readers. We know what comes next for Conor. 


"A Monster Calls" has 13 year old Conor waking up at 12:07 AM and talking to a monster. A monster that has emerged from a yew tree that sits in a church yard. The monster wants something from Conor. The monster promises to tell Conor three tales, and the fourth tale must be told from Conor to the monster.


You are going to feel for Conor. He is dealing with something that many children don't want to think about. His mother is sick and undergoing cancer treatments. It's been him and his mother since his father up and left them both to go to America and marry and have another family. Though Conor is being in the words of his mother and grandmother too perfect, he wants to do what he can in order to make things easier for his mother. However, it feels as if everyone around him knows something that he doesn't. When the monster comes to Conor to tell him his tales, you can picture the people in them. The prince and the farm maiden, the parson and the apothecary, and the man who was invisible. All of these tales will pale in consideration when Conor tells the fourth tale.

Conor's father is a weak man. I was hoping something terrible would happen to him while I was reading. His grandmother is so strong. I admired her and was glad that Conor finally saw what was going on with her. Conor's ex friend Lily gutted me a bit too. I can see why Conor was angry, but I wish that the two characters had more time with each other. 


The writing and illustrations that make up this book were very well done. The darkness that Conor feels and the anger end up feeling like very alive things. Him wanting to be normal and not have everyone treat him differently because of his mother made sense to me. Even though he takes things a bit far by allowing himself to be bullied. 


The flow was really good and I have to say the world building was top notch. 


The ending goes where you hope it doesn't. Have plenty of tissues nearby.


I read this for Halloween Bingo 2018, the cryptozoologist square.  


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