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Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3)

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3)

4.6 126
by Patrick Ness

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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.

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


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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Chaos Walking trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion in this grueling but triumphant tale. Three armies stand poised for battle, one controlled by the murderous but charismatic Mayor; a second headed by the equally Machiavellian terrorist, Mistress Coyle; the third led by the Sky, leader of the indigenous telepathic race known as the Spackle. Meanwhile, a convoy of ships is approaching the planet, bringing still more human colonists, though it isn’t clear that there will be anything left to settle when they arrive. Todd and Viola, along with the Return, an embittered former Spackle slave, find themselves in positions of increasing power and are faced with a variety of complex and ambiguous moral decisions, any one of which may lead to wholesale destruction. Trying to overcome their anger, hatred, and fear, each must confront the reasons why “in a place of all this beauty and potential... we just repeat the same mistakes.” As in his preceding books, Ness offers incisive appraisals of violence, power, and human nature, and with the series complete, it’s clear that he has crafted one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The first word of this conclusion to the trilogy is "war," and war between various factions takes up much of this book. The action begins immediately and is told from two and then three viewpoints with no backstory that might bring readers new to the series up to speed. Todd and Viola attempt to persuade Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle, respectively, that peace is the better path to the future, peace with one another and with the vast army of Spackles that looms above the valley. Unfortunately, the Mayor and Mistress only want peace that comes with victory for their faction. A scout ship arrives from the approaching convoy of colonists, changing the balance of power. The Mayor uses his "Noise," the ability that male humans and all of the Spackle have to communicate mentally, to control his army and to influence Todd. Mistress Coyle and the other mistresses shelter under the protection of the scout ship and work to cure the infection of the bands that threaten the lives of many of the women, including Viola. Ness distinguishes his various narrators by the use of different fonts, further distinguishing Todd with a select few words misspelled. This is a complex and engrossing work that series fans will devour but which may be impenetrable to those who haven't read the earlier volumes.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Kirkus Reviews

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)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Chaos Walking Series , #3
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Two Battles


" WE HIT TH E SPACKLE HEAD ON !" the Mayor shouts at the men, aiming his Noise right in the middle of everyone's heads.

Even mine.

"They'll be gathering at the bottom of the road," he says, "but that's as far as they're going to go!"

I put a hand on Angharrad's flank beneath me. In under two minutes, the Mayor had us up on horseback, Morpeth and Angharrad coming running from round the back of the ruins of the cathedral, and by the time we'd hopped up, stepping over the still unconshus bodies of the men who tried to help me overthrow the Mayor, there was the army taking messy shape in front of us.

Not all of it, tho, maybe less than half, the rest still stretched up along the southern road to the hill with the notch on it, the road to where the battle was sposed to be.

Angharrad's thinking and I can feel spikes of nerves all thru her body. She's scared nearly half to death.

So am I.

"BATTALIONS READY!" the Mayor shouts and immediately Mr. Hammar and the later-arriving Mr. Tate and Mr. O'Hare and Mr. Morgan snap salutes and the soldiers start lining up in the right formayshuns, twisting thru each other in coils and getting into order so quickly it almost hurts my eyes to watch it.

"I know," the Mayor says. "It's a thing of beauty, isn't it?" I point my rifle at him, the rifle I took from Davy.

"You just remember our agreement," I say. "Yer gonna keep Viola safe and you ain't gonna control me with yer Noise. You do that and you stay alive. That's the only reason I let you go."

His eyes flash. "You realize that means you can't let me out of your sight," he says, "even if you have to follow me into battle. Are you ready for that, Todd?"

"I'm ready," I say, even tho I ain't but I'm trying not to think about it.

"I have a feeling you'll do well," he says.

"Shut up," I say. "I beat you once, I'll beat you again." He grins. "Of that I have no doubt."

"THE MEN ARE READY, SIR!" Mr. Hammar shouts from his horse, saluting fiercely.

The Mayor keeps his eyes on me. "The men are ready, Todd," he says, his voice teasing. "Are you?"

"Just get on with it."

And his smile gets even wider. He turns to the men. "Two divisions down the western road for the first attack!" His voice snakes thru everyone's head again, like a sound you can't ignore. "Captain Hammar's division at the front, Captain Morgan taking the rear! Captains Tate and O'Hare will round up the rest of the men and armaments yet to arrive and join the fray with the greatest dispatch."

Armaments? I think.

"If the fight isn't already over by the time they join us-" The men laugh at this, a loud, nervous, aggressive kind of laugh.

"Then as a united army, we will drive the Spackle back up that hill and make them regret the day they were EVER BORN!"

And the men give a roaring cheer.

"Sir!" Captain Hammar shouts. "What about the army of the Answer, sir?"

"First we beat the Spackle," says the Mayor, "then the Answer will be child's play."
He looks across his army of men and back up the hill to the Spackle army, still marching down. Then he raises his fist and gives the loudest Noise shout of all, a shout that bores right down into the very center of every man hearing it.


"TO BATTLE!" the army cries back at him and sets off at a fierce pace outta the square, racing toward the zigzag hill. The Mayor looks at me one last time, like he can barely keep from laughing at how much fun he's having. And with- out another word, he spurs Morpeth hard in the sides and they gallop into the square after the departing army.

The army heading off to war.

Follow? Angharrad asks, fear coming off her like sweat.

"He's right," I say. "We can't let him out of our sight. He's got to keep his word. He's got to win his war. He's got to save her."

For her, Angharrad thinks.

For her, I think back, all my feeling about her behind it. And I think her name-


And Angharrad leaps forward into battle.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, the prize-winning novel A Monster Calls, and More Than This. He has won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal (twice), the Galaxy National Book Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Costa Children’s Book Award, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, the Red House Children’s Book Award, and the UKLA Book Award. He lives in London.

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Monsters of Men 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is like getting punched in the stomach. In a good way. And if I learned anything from Monsters of Men, it is that there is, in fact, a good way. It's basically when you're keeping someone else from getting decked, or when you're getting pummelled to protect the one you love. Monsters of Men was the most satisfying end to a series or trilogy that I've read in a long time. A really long time. Like the previous books, the plot runs at a breakneck pace that left me breathless, and it covers a lot of ground. Coming into the book I couldn't have even imagined things that happened in the middle, let alone how it would end. There are a lot of loose ends that are tied up over the course of the book, but ending is not finite. I don't think Ness will be writing another book in this world or with these characters anytime soon (ever), but the ending is open to possibility and to the imagination of the reader. This book is full of passion, action, and general umph. I know I'm being really vague, but I think the best way to read these books is to go in blind. And, word to the wise, it can reduce just about anyone to a sobbing mess. There were a few moments in the beginning that had me looking out the train window and blinking a lot during my commute, but the real stuff is saved for the end. I wouldn't advise that anyone read beyond page 400 or so outside of the comfort of their own home. We're talking hug the book, can't see through the tears crying for the last 100 pages. But oh-so-good! Book source: Philly Free Library
PlumPudding More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just . . . . wow. This wasn't just a novel, a story; it was an experience. This trilogy was absolutely something new. I've never, ever, read anything like Chaos Walking--somehow Patrick Ness can convey emotions so clearly and powerfully. I am so glad I was not reading the last third in public, because my face was all twisted and alternating between gross sobbing and wide-mouthed shock and then more gross sobbing. What used to annoy me, especially the fonts and the arrangement of the words on the pages, is something I regard now as art. He was making a picture out of the page, much like a composer painting a picture through the score and the instrument voices. It's so beautiful. Characterization is as stellar as in the first two books. Each character was a person, a real person, realized with faults and everything. But they were all there for a reason; faults because of the actual character, not because it was a conscious decision: "oh gee I need to add faults to this character of mine, here let's reach into the grab bag," these characters breathed and their words were believable and it's all the most perfect characterization I've ever experienced coming off a page. Patrick Ness has quickly became my biggest inspiration. Oh, goodness, and the STORY. And the arcs and the twists! I can't remember reading any other book that's made me cry so much as this trilogy has. I'll probably be traumatized by Chaos Walking my whole life, but it's not necessarily a bad thing, either . . . Boy I can't wait to see what Ness creates next . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book i have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me wanting to read more. Very unpredictable haracters never knew what they were Going to do. Viola and Todd make a great team! Loved this series and loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down.i cried and cried. I habe lost way to much sleep trying get to the end, and it wasn't even a great end for a read. For an artist i was well done, but im just a reader. You don't read book so you can make up your own "what happens next" you read to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just cant stop reading it and i believe this author should write more in this series
RavynKatt More than 1 year ago
Monsters of Men brings the rollercoaster ride of Todd and Viola's story to dramatic, stunning, thrilling, and emotional end. With their world poised on the brink of war, Todd and Viola face more tough decisions, including on whether or not to trust the Mayor. Lines are drawn, crossed, and blurred as the struggle for domination and peace reaches a climax and thunders past it to whole new heights. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story.
misterEdSC More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent capstone for a very well done series. The characters are all well developed, including the animals and the bad guys. I was leaking like a sieve well before the end and it just got more and more.
Rachel Tracy More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was by far the best book in te series and I also loved how he put 1017's perspective on what is going on as well as Todd and Viola's.
Shellme More than 1 year ago
I as caught up in the Chaos walking series and the final book did not disappoint. However, I defiantly see room for a third book or perhaps I just don't want to be finished with these characters. This story picks up right after The Ask and The Answers ends. We watch as Todd becomes closer to the Mayor and Viola suffers the consequences of putting on the band. I love the addition of the third voice, but I still prefer Todd's voice to all the others. It made up for the issues I had with the second book... I found the story to be fast paced an engaging. I love Todd and Viola. I have only one issue.. The Avatar like ending
Molly John More than 1 year ago
As a devoted fan to these books I am very sad for them to end! This book was heart wrenching and I could not put it dosn, along with the other books! The ending had me in tears and torn. Where do I go from here? I highly recommend this book(the others first of course). You must have time to just sit and read or you'll die with anticipation! READ!!!
Elizabeth Clinch More than 1 year ago
This whole series is amazing! The characters seem so real,so complex, and without Ness coming out and saying it, you learn how the world works. The by far best book, ever. There is so much passion and love and betrayal, and the end is so completely perfect. I am still crying
Batman88 More than 1 year ago
I started reading the Chaos Walking Trilogy last year. It was a roller coaster ride that I will never forget. Thrilling, suspenseful, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-for-every-page, amazing, emotional, fast paced, horrifying, and beautiful. Todd narrates the story in a way that brings you write into his world. When I finished The Ask and the Answer, I couldn't wait to read Monsters of Men. Come May, I ordered it straight from England, that's how anxious I was to get my hands on it! The book was worth every ounce of anticipation and every cent I spent on it. It was better than the first and second (which is really saying something!) books and I couldn't stop reading! Truly an adventure that no one should be left out on! The best book ever:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best f-ing books ever!!!!! Buy them!!!
Chancie More than 1 year ago
I think I'm just very unimpressed with the series by this point. If you loved the first two books, however, I can guarantee you'll love this one!
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This book is effing incredible!!!! READ IT OR YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE COMPLETE!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book blew my mind and ended perfectly. Thank you, Patrick Ness!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NEED MORE!!!! This book is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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