Saturday, February 8, 2014

REVIEW: The Chaos Walking Series

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and a man without a filter is just chaos walking.”
- Todd Hewitt, The Knife of Never Letting Go

I came across this book a while back, and let me tell you the backside blurb does no justice WHATSOVER to the book. Hence, the delay in me finally reading it.

The story takes place on a planet which men have invaded after killing the indigenous intelligent life (the Spackle) in a ruthless war (you know, men being men). But the men got a rude shock when they realized their thoughts were no longer private, it could be heard by anyone else – Noise. But, what they couldn’t stand was the fact that the women didn’t have it, and after a while, the men killed them too. So Todd begins his story in a female-less world, Prentisstown . “Populayshun 147 and falling, falling, falling. 146 men and one almost-man.”

But he has to run away (“I’ve stopped even asking what’s going on since nobody’s seeing fit to tell me nothing”) with his dog Manchee (“ow, Todd?” – I swear I love that dog). But he finds someone on his way.

Viola Eade. A Girl.

This series was a constant heartburn. Like, my blood-pressure-is-shooting-heartburn. I can’t give away anything more without spoiling you so *zips mouth*

But there are some things you should know. Like the fact that after a constant stream of heroine-centered dystopian novels, this is a breath of fresh air. And the action sequences are very much movie-like because of impressive usage of the present tense.

There is a villain (the usage of the term would be subject to debate) who gets the spotlight in the second book - the Mayor (the President, the President). "Brilliant” would be a grain too little to describe what he is, “Evil” a grain too much, and a grain shy from "psychotic". Perfect “villain” in other words (“I’m not your real enemy, Todd”).

Then there is some food for thought. As in why we should fight, kill, not do either, is war personal, is it wrong to make it so, difference between a man and a boy, the choices we make, losing/finding your identity, racism (the races being those who are men and those who are not), having to be a leader when you don’t want to be, and when to stop fighting, not start another war. The last book introduced a third POV that was completely surprising but essential/intelligent.

Man alive, but my head hurts.

Then there is Todd and Viola. TODD AND VIOLA. I’ve never shipped another pair more strongly than this one. These two inspire some REALLY strong emotions.

And lastly, if you thought the first book was ok plot-wise (like I did), hang on for your dear life when you pick up the second (like I just barely did).

VERDICT: 4.5 stars.

(Honestly, the stars don’t mean anything. Just go read it.)

P.S.: I can’t help myself but give you a heads up. Watch out for the ending (with stress-relievers at the ready).
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