Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Book #1 - Monsters Of Men by Patrick Ness

Monsters Of Men

Monsters Of Men in the final book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. It's virtually impossible to write about Monsters Of Men on its own without spoiling the entire trilogy for those who haven't read it, so instead I'm going to write about the trilogy as a whole. The first book, The Knife Of Never Letting Go was read by a friend of mine who came by it through work and enthused about how great it was, I eventually got round to reading it late last year as part of my holiday reading. The Chaos Walking Trilogy to my understanding, is marketed at teenage boys in the Young Adult section of libraries and book shops. I'm a 29 year old woman with an English degree specialising in the Classics, and I thought this trilogy was utterly fabulous to a degree that I have a writers jealousy at not having written it myself. In the first book 'The Knife Of Never Letting Go' we are introduced to Todd, the last boy left in his town, Prentisstown, all the other boys having past the age of 13, the age at which a boy becomes a man in his community, and finally his birthday is approaching.

Through the writing we learn that Todd and his community are settlers from our own planet earth, who have come to a new planet and colonised it. We learn that when they arrived, three things happened:

a) Some kind of virus wiped out the female population leaving only the men left alive

b) The effect of the virus on the men and the animals meant that all their thoughts could be heard, the sound of all their thoughts creates The Noise, a permanent collective buzz in their community.This affords no man privacy or secrets. Comically, The Sheep, mostly say 'Sheeep' and Todd's dog Manchee doesn't say much more than 'Todd' and 'I need a poo' but you understand the oppressive nature of having no private thought for all concerned.

c) Following their arrival the humans had a war with the indigenous population The Spackle which they successfully won.

And then, just as he approaches manhood, Todd comes across a surprise in the's a girl...a human girl.   

And so, the trilogy begins. Although I can't say much about this book, Monsters Of Men, what I can say about the overall trilogy is that its fantastic and compelling, making you desperate to read the next book once you've read the first, an example of how dystopian fiction can be done for young people, I've never read anything like it in that age group. I found Monsters Of Men slightly disappointing for certain reasons and so can only give that book 7/10 but the entire trilogy is a 10/10 MUST READ.

If you have teenage children, get it for them and sneakily steal it, and if you don't just get it anyway!!!

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