Sunday, 5 July 2020

Chaos Walking Trilogy! (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! As you know, I had made a 2020 Reading Challenge. A part of it was to read a trilogy. I had narrowed down a few options including Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, Amish Tripathi’s Ram Chandra trilogy, Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy & a couple more which I knew would never stand a chance. Finally, I put my mind to read Chaos Walking & it was a brilliant decision! I picked this fantasy novel in a dystopian world, the kind which I hadn’t read in years. I read the three books one after the other finishing the set in a week.

I wasn’t very keen on doing three different reviews. So, below is a somewhat brief introduction & basic plot line for each book, followed by my detailed thoughts for the series as a whole. It was too big of a post, so check out the Character Analysis here!




Chaos Walking is a young adult science fiction series written by American-British novelist Patrick Ness. It's set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other's thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. The series is named after a line in the first book: "The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking." The series consists of a trilogy of novels and three short stories.


In ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’, we see our two main heroes – Todd Hewitt & Viola Eade. The book is entirely how they escape Prentisstown & go on a journey to a city called Haven. Mayor Prentiss is after Todd which is why he has to escape. This book is quite a mellow start to the series. There is adventure, but it is more of how these two people go from point A to point B. It is an incredible journey, but that’s that. This is why, I rated the first book at 3.5/5!


The Ask and The Answer was my favourite book in the series. It is unputdownable with some epic adventure happening in every chapter. At the end of Book 1, we see Viola & Todd enter Haven & Mayor Prentiss unfortunately welcoming them. For the entirety of this book, the Mayor keeps Todd & Viola separate. Todd works for Mayor while Viola starts her training as a healer with Mistress Coyle. President Prentiss shows that all he wants is peace in New Prentisstown. But then an organization is formed headed by Mistress Coyle & a majority of women who name themselves The Answer. In response to this, the Mayor forms a sort of committee named The Ask where he captures suspects and Asks them or in normal words, interrogates them. They plant bombs in various places in the city & call for war. The ending of this book is next level shit! I have rated this book at 4/5!


“War makes monsters of men.” This quote is back from Book 1, which obviously hints that Book 3 is all about war. It is not just The Ask vs The Answer anymore. It is also a War against the Spackle, with everything happening at once. Plus, we have more people coming from the space shuttle. Book 2 onward, the chapters were separated as Viola & Todd, because they both were separated. In this book, there are chapters named The Return, who is a member of the Spackle. I loved the entire setting that lead to Book 3 & also enjoyed reading the battles & war in Book 3. Yet, Book 2 remains my favourite! I have rated this book at 4/5 as well!



Usually the first books of trilogies are spent on making a foundation of the fantasy world they are based in, which is why there are more facts & less story. In ‘The Hunger Games’ & ‘Divergent’, that is evident. But, in this first book of Chaos Walking, the author has put down the facts in the first 20 pages or less & begun with the story. I really liked that. I know it is important to make readers understand what the fantasy world is like, but in this case, the author has showed us that world in just a few sentences.

Old World destroyed so everyone came to this New World with 2 moons where everyone can hear men’s Noise, animal’s thoughts but no one can hear women’s thoughts or Noise & there is an alien species called Spackle.

That’s it. That’s the foundation he put forth & began with the adventure because, clearly we all can’t wait to get on with it.



Book 2 has everything in it. We have a tyrant ruling New World. There’s Todd working under him so that he doesn’t harm Viola. There’s Viola working with Mistress Coyle in the opposition. There is a dictatorship disguised in peace. There are rebellions disguised as terrorist attacks. We have one human group fighting another human group until they all are fighting an Alien Group. We have a battle between the Mayor & Todd; a battle of Noise! Both of them fighting mentally by throwing words at each other! We have Todd & Viola growing up without the company of the other, but only for each other. There is no rock unturned in The Ask and The Answer. It really brings about the fantasy to a whole new level while keeping some normalcy intact.



When there are two protagonists, sometimes the author writes alternate chapter from each one’s point of view. (This is usually also a hint that if one dies, other can still write & the show goes on, like in The Fault in Our Stars.) So, when there was a third element introduced in Book 3, I was obviously thrilled. Now, there was equal representation from all sides, Mayor’s, Mistress Coyle’s & Spackle’s. I loved reading Spackle’s perception on everything. The language was a bit difficult to follow because The Return (1017) talks in a different way. In his language, Land means Spackle, Clearing means enemy team, Knife means Todd, The Sky is their leader & so on. Once you get the hang of it, you can actually enjoy the writing. This newly introduced aspect is something I found perfect for Book 3!



I have to admit that some parts were clear cut predictable, but then there were also a few parts where I would never had guessed what could happen. Ivan helping out Todd was obvious. The Spackle genocide done by Mayor and not The Answer was also obvious. Ships landing in the middle of a war was a little bit expected as well. But, Mistress Coyle turning into a tyrant & engaging in murder & destruction is something I did not see coming. The Spackle attack at the end of Book 2 was also a surprise turning everything even more chaotic. The role of 1017 becoming so important was also unforeseen. Manchee’s death in Book 1 seems a lot less shocking when there was so much more that was to happen. Ben being alive was also unexpected. First time, in a long time, many things were unpredictable in a book I was reading & I was just so positively thrilled about it!



Initially, the language was a bit different & took some time to get used to. Todd cannot read or write, which is why some of the spellings are incorrect, such as tho for though, twixt for between & so on. There is also a lot of repetition of words which was annoying, such as go and go and go, fall and fall and fall etc. But these things were quite okay. The one thing that bothered me was how whenever there was an emotional scene where Todd was crying, he put a “(shut up)” next to it, as if it is wrong for boys or men to cry. And, that is at many places. That was too irritating for me.

Apart from these tiny things, the writing was way too good. Even from a fantasy standpoint, you can clearly figure out how much of a talented author Patrick Ness is.

The most important point in this is Character Arcs, which you can check out here!


Until next time,

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