When it comes to movies, I'm extremely emotional. It all started with “E.T.,” the first movie I saw in a movie theater. I was four and sobbing into my popcorn when the evil government tried to take E.T. and then again when E.T. left. That movie wrecked me for a week and my emotions for movies have been just as strong ever since. But books are a different story.
I don't often show emotion when reading. It's rare to hear me laugh, gasp, or cry, but don't mistake my lack of outward emotion for lack of interest. I love escaping into the movies that play in my head while I read, but rarely do those movies elicit the same emotion as the E.T.s of the world.
But damn that Patrick Ness.
At the end of Monsters of Men, the third book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, a sore, choking lump started in my throat. I tried to suppress it, but it kept getting worse; I couldn't hold it back. Patrick Ness has joined the small group of authors who have made me cry.
In Monsters of Men we start right where The Ask and the Answer ended, with the tremendous Spackle army marching down the hill towards New Prentisstown. War takes an even larger precedence in this novel with the war between the Mayor's men and the women and the war between both of them and the Spackle.
This book is different than the previous two in that we hear another voice, the voice of a Spackle. By hearing the voice of a Spackle we hear how they harness Noise. Noise in the previous two novels has been a nuisance, something the men want to cure. Noise to the Spackle is a way to connect them all to each other and the planet.
We also find more about how Mayor Prentiss harnesses Noise to control people and how he's been teaching Todd to do the same thing. Todd and Viola struggle with Todd's new found power and it threatens to tear them apart.
But it's all a part of war. Spackle, Noise, the in-fighting, it's all a catalyst for the war between the people, and this book explores war even more than the previous two. The evils of war are front and center and if you could call any book anti-war, this would be it.
I really loved all three books in this series. I love the characters, the dissection of war, and I love how much excitement, anger, and resentment these books brought out of me. I went from hating Patrick Ness to liking him to hating him again for making me cry. But I suppose he'd think that was a good thing, and I do, too. I hope he takes me on another ride like this again.