The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, The Knife of Never Letting Go. You can read my review of this novel [here].

The Ask and the Answer was written by Patrick Ness and first published in 2009. The novel follows on from exactly where The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008) left off and so you really need to read the series in order to have any idea of what is going on. The Ask and the Answer was awarded the 2009 Costa Children’s Book Award and is followed by Monsters of Men (2010).

Todd came to Haven in search of a cure but has found only more suffering. Mayor Prentiss has managed to take control of the city in a bloodless coup and renamed it New Prentisstown, appointing himself as its sole ruler. Todd finds himself immediately separated from the critically wounded Viola and forced to work alongside his enemies. The only hope he has to cling to is the Mayor’s promise that she will be safe as long as Todd remains obedient.

Meanwhile, Viola wakes up in clinic staffed entirely by women and quickly learns that Haven was not the utopia that it seemed to be. Although the women did not meet the fate of those in Prentisstown, they were still always viewed as second class citizens. Things seem bleaker still as Mayor Prentiss’s men begins to round up the women, passing strict laws regarding when they can be seen in public.

Yet not everyone is eager to subscribe to the Mayor’s new world order. A resistance movement known as the Answer appear in the night, planting bombs in public places in order to disrupt the regime, and a lone Spackle slave begins to plot his violent revenge against those who have wronged him…


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