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Monsters of Men
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  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Ness, a forceful writer who chews through ideas at a blistering clip, takes on war, the heftiest of human follies, in the conclusion to his Chaos Walking trilogy. The genocidal tyrant Mayor Prentiss leads an army on one side, the terrorist healer Mistress Coyle heads a band of revolutionaries on another, and a massive legion of native Spackle threatens from a third. All three sides see only the complete annihilation of the others as the sole option for victory and survival, and they might be right, no matter how Todd and Viola use their formidable wills to advance peace as an influx of new colonists nears. It's a thick book, approaching Russian-novel territory, but it rarely feels bloated; and readers invested in the story will likely concede that Ness has earned the space. His rapid-fire litany of impossible choices makes for captivating thought fodder, and what has already been a potent display of the power of voice to drive, amplify, and transform a story gets a third, unexpected soloist. And in so doing he shows just how deep and complex, as well as how versatile, a symbolic narrative device like Noise can be. For all the huge themes mauling at each other, though, it's the characters that ultimately stand out in this final act the connections that bind them and change them and ruin them and redeem them. This is science fiction at its best, and is a singular fusion of brutality and idealism that is, at last, perfectly human.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

The momentum of Ness's breakneck science-fiction trilogy slows noticeably in this voluminous conclusion that is told in three voices: Todd's, Viola's and native Spackle 1017's. At the end of Book Two, the two opposing human factions led by the Mayor and Mistress Coyle were at war with each other and the Spackle. Meanwhile, a new convoy of Viola's colony had arrived only to find themselves in the middle of a war zone. Book Three, replete with themes of war, colonialism, terrorism and redemption, laboriously details how the three groups negotiate an uneasy peace at great personal loss, including the deaths of more than a few major characters. Some 250 pages pass before the Mayor and the Mistress even meet. By then their story, along with Todd's and Viola's (who spend most of the book frustratingly apart), has become less compelling than that of the broken and beautifully characterized 1017, a Spackle who is fated to become the reluctant leader of his people. This is a case where half as long might have been twice as good. (map) (Science fiction. 14 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
<p> In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world. </p> <p>As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.</p>
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