The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)

The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness What I loved about this book:The amazing world that is created. It is completely unique. Space travelers, nonhuman beings, new world order. Good intriguing stuff.The pacing and intenseness of this book. I listened to the audio version and the manner in which the story is delivered left me breathless. I never wanted the book to end.The strong affection and love the characters have for each other. Their tie is almost tangible. Todd and Viola never lose sight that the survival and happiness of the other person is their goal. The questioning of people in authority. Showing their intentions behind their action. I love this. The questioning of whether desiring a certain right outcome justifies doing wrong things to make the right thing come about. If a righteous rebel group wants to overthrow a fascist dictator, is it okay to use brutal force on the civilians to do so? Is it okay to sacrifice innocents? Where is the line of morality if an innocent was never intended to die, but does? The drawing of characters and situations that show how easy it is for people to be co-opted and encouraged to do hurtful evil things to other living creatures in order to save themselves or others they love. Or perhaps the motive of the co-opted is just to get a long. But isn’t this still wrong?Beautifully writing the slippery slope of morality and submission. Tiny steps taken in following orders and swallowing discomfort lead to grander choices down the road.The heroine. Viola is an amazing heroine. She is brave, self-sacrificing and she never loses sight of what is right. Ness wrote Viola in such a way that she is truly inspiring, I loved having her point of view in this book.I loved the mysteries and the slow reveals. I loved not knowing who I could believe or should believe. The violence served a purpose; it was not all just for entertainment. Instead, Ness was leading the readers down a path of questioning people’s choices and questioning those in power. Problems with this book: The morality represented in the book. I do not accept that feeling bad or guilty about one’s bad acts redeems the actor. A future (moral and good) leader would never submit to immoral acts as easily as Todd did. People who love each other are not so easily misled about each other.The ending is frustrating. Very frustrating. Todd still keeps making the same stupid choices.Poor Davey. In a way Davey was this book’s Manchee. I feel bad for how, as I assume, that Davey was emotionally neglected and abused by his father. He still did some really bad stuff. Asking for forgiveness and feeling bad, again I don't think it makes it all okay.Viola and Todd’s belief that love conquers all. It doesn’t. And I guess, the ending of this book demonstrates that. Love is great and solves a lot of problems, but it doesn’t conquer all.Manchee was missed.