Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3)

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3) - There is no need for me to write a review. There have been goodreads reviews aplenty that rave about Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy. And this is going to be more of the same, so why bother typing this up? Because this ending was so epic I JUST CAN'T HELP IT. The Chaos Walking trilogy cannot be pegged into any genre; it is not just a "dystopian" novel with space crafts and Big Brother-esque leadership. In fact, I would classify this story as a Western than anything else; it details the daily struggle to maintain order, the flexibility of the law, and the way no one is ever completely comfortable living in this new wilderness. This novel is a study of power, the way people use it--or, better put, make excuses for it--and are controlled by it. I've heard mixed reviews about the final book of this series, but I was completely blown away. The story does not resolve itself entirely; Ness's world is way too warped for that kind of security. And this is one of the tensest reading experiences I've ever had; I both loved and dreaded the twists of the book, once again sucked into Ness's universe. His "gritty" universe. I mean, "intense" universe. Or just "heartbreaking" universe. As far as narration goes, Viola and Todd take the cake as the best dual narrators for a series. Viola and Todd have this intricate relationship that goes much deeper than the typical (and I regretfully say "expected") romantic match-up. This is because Viola and Todd don't just care about one another, they don't just rely on one another; they are comrades. They've seen the horrors of the world, and know each other thoroughly because they endured those experiences together. They are flawed, they are afraid, and the pressures of this new society do shape some of their decisions. The world they've found themselves on is in no way stable; at any moment one or the other could (literally) disappear in the fray of battle. Yet still they evolve--into emotional adults--rather than let the damage of war turn them bitter. And they chose to hang on to one another, no matter the cost. (And it's not as corny as I'm making it sound.) This series also depicts the terrifying power that adults can wield over children. Even the "good guys" of the story, with their altruistic intentions, can still intimidate the younger characters. More often than not, the adults assume control because they feel entitlted to it, and that frightening sense of entitlement scares off any arguments the children make. The adults aren't one-dimensional heroes or villains; they are people, who like anyone introduced to power, are tempted to use their position to get what they want. I don't think this review will do justice to this incredible/gritty/heartbreaking/awesome series. So if you do happen to come across this and are still unconvinced, glance at some of the other reviews listed here. They will probably be more eloquent.