Monday, February 28, 2011

Audio Book Review: The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

Reading Level: Young Adult
Pub Dates: Book - Sept 2009 / Audio - Sept 2010
Length: 13 hours
Narrators: Nick Podhel and Angela Dawe
Series: 2nd in the Chaos Walking series
Acquisition: received for review

Summary:
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...
The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Wow.

I finished listening to The Ask and The Answer a couple of days ago and I'm still having a hard time putting my thoughts in order. Mainly do to the fact that this book totally blew me away.  The second in the Chaos Walking series and just as good as the first. Better perhaps.

Picking up right where book 1 ends, so so so much happens and yet, in the end, I very much felt like Todd was right back were he started.  With this series, it's more about the journey then the destination. I love that!

Todd is a character that you can't help but fall in love with. Everything he's been through, everything he has been forced to endure and yet, he hasn't been broken. He came close, and it was heart breaking but it was also powerful.

Audio critique:
I never thought I would have a favorite voice actor but Nick Podehl has won me over. Fabulous acting - very full of feeling and depth. I was literally hanging on his every word. The addition of Angela Dawe to the cast just heightened the overall affect for me.  They both did a fabulous job. Even when portraying the same character, I never felt confused by the change in voice.

I love the way Brilliance Audio formats their audio CDs. Very nice transition between disks and as usually, the added sound effects (like the ghost like 'noise') really made this a fantastic listening experience.

Final verdict:
The Chaos Walking series is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. If you can, get yourself a copy of the audio book.  The world Patrick Ness has created is chaotic and scary as hell. It's also a world of hope and for some people like Todd, hope is all they have.

And just as book 1 ended on a bit of a cliff hanger, book 2 left me shocked! Whether  listening to or reading this series,  I highly recommend having all 3 books with you before you start.

Overall Story Rating:
5 / 5 Stars
Overall Audio Book Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
The New World (prequel) - Goodreads
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Goodreads / My review
The Ask and The Answer - Goodreads
Monsters of Men - Goodreads

Linkage Love:
Candlewick Press
Brilliance Audio
Author's Website

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