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The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Narrated by Nick Podehl and Angela Dawe

Published by Candlewick Press

Audiobook by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio

Pages: 528

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: Reaching the end of their flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive? Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard — and secrets are never safe.

Two forces and who to trust? The Ask and The Answer. Captured by the enemy they fled from in The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd and Viola begin the next chapter in their journey individually. Almost any hope they had of escaping the cunning’s of Mayor Prentiss seem all but lost when Viola awakens after having nearly died, far away from Todd. As Mayor Prentiss pushes his agenda a rival force steps forward to thwart his plans. Torn to opposites sides with only their concern for the other, Todd and Viola struggle to overcome varying degrees of evil. In this, the second book of The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, Todd and Viola’s hope hangs by a thread leaving only their trust in the other as the single chance of survival.

Whoa. This is without a doubt, the most intense trilogy I’ve ever read/listened to. Every bit of it gets more intense with each chapter and you are never quite sure how things are going to end. It’s also the series with the most bad guys that just won’t give up. In the first book we had Aaron the Preacher, now the Mayor has triumphed forward and I’m positive there will be more emerge in the following book. Not only will the bad guys not give up, but they are without a doubt the scariest and truly evil characters I’ve ever seen. Patrick Ness has an uncanny ability for creating frightening characters without making them gory. He’s an incredible author and I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy the next book just as much as I did this one.

Now, before I talk anymore about the actual plot and storyline I have to talk about the audio recording. Incredible. Again, as with The Knife of Never Letting Go we have the absolutely brilliant Nick Podehl narrating, but what’s different in The Ask and the Answer is they’ve added the convincing narration of Angela Dawe as well. I’ve never before heard anything like this audiobook. Both the narrators add so much with their individual acting skills and interpretation of each of the characters that I can hardly imagine reading the series without hearing their voices. It makes every chapter so much more intense and thrilling than I believe it would be by only reading the pages by sight. This series of audiobooks has absolutely changed my opinion of audiobooks in general and I’m now encouraging everyone I know to listen to this series at the very least. I’m convinced you’d be hooked within minutes!

As for this chapter of the Chaos Walking Trilogy, wow! Patrick Ness has created a second book that blends so seamlessly with the other two in the series, but yet could stand on it’s own easily.  Todd’s character is so unbelievably real. What I love about his conflict is that because of the “noise” it’s no longer an internal conflict. What if everything question you had, ever doubt that crossed your consciousness was exposed for the world to see and how would it change the outcome of your choices? Then add the fact that the world’s greatest tyrant plays on your darkest fears and controls the fate of those you care most about. Mayor Prentiss is truly a formidable adversary, and he may not be the only one. With the addition of the “Answer” in this story Todd’s ability to correctly choose is pushed to it’s limits.

One of the things I had to continually remind myself of was the fact that Todd and Viola would be considered children in our society today, only 13/14 years of age. Both of their decisions are so mature, but yet they aren’t. They are both single minded in their greatest concern and love for the other which governs much of their decisions.

The Ask and the Answer is another brilliant novel by Patrick Ness. The only way imaginable to add to what Ness created on New World is by making it into an audiobook, which has also been done better than I could have ever believed possible. Nick Podehl and Angela Dawe narrate the characters of Todd and Viola with heart and feeling, making their story come to life in an intense way. As the threat of the Answer and the evil intentions of Mayor Prentiss are carefully revealed this story becomes one that will long be remembered and loved by all who read/listen to it. This is a trilogy that begs to be read, but demands to be listened to.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 15 and up. A battle for a way of life and the story of a boy becoming a man. The perfect read for reluctant teenage boy readers!
Be aware some violence is present and as such may be cause for concern if listening with small children present.

If you happened to miss it, make sure you take a look at my interview with non-other than Nick Podehl, one of the narrators for The Chaos Walking Trilogy, and recent recipient of two Odyssey Honor Awards!

Today’s post is part of our month long celebration of Candlewick Press for our monthly feature “Book Publishers 101“. Make sure to stop by the Candlewick Press Site for more information about this title and more. For more information about our Book Publishers 101 feature take a look at this month’s opening post.

Also make sure to take a look at our Giveaways Page for the four giveaways being sponsored by Candlewick press throughout this month!

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Thank you so much to Candlewick Press on Brilliance Audio for providing an audiobook version of this novel for review!
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19 Responses to Audio Book Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

  1. My love of this series is hardly a secret 😉 But I just have to add even saying that, this installment is one of my favourite books ever. Such an emotional ride to read, and one that ask such deep questions, and not just about one thing either.


    (And I’m really going to have to get hold of these audiobook versions as soon as I can!)

  2. I’m currently reading The Knife of Never Letting Go – and completely loving it!

  3. Gina says:

    Wow…sounds like this series is making quite an impression on you! I’ve a friend that’s recommended it as well which much the same experience. Sounds promising…though if I do end up reading it, it’ll be the hardcopy version. What can I say? The narrators in my mind do not like to be silenced. Thanks for sharing…and happy reading (or listening)! ^_^

    • You definitely should give the series a try! It’s so so good! For me though, I’m also really excited to have a series that is one from a guys POV, because it’s hard to come by. So good!

  4. Belle Wong says:

    I’ve had The Knife of Never Letting Go on my list for a while now. Will definitely have to get to it soon, and the audio sounds really good.

  5. Wow. This does sound amazing. I must check it out some day. Thanks for another brilliant review darling.

  6. I’m just finishing this one on audiobook, and am looking forward to the third. Some parts have been so intense I have exclaimed out loud to myself as I’m walking the dog and listening! Other people must find me very odd…. (LOL!)

  7. […] (Just click on the title to see the Review!): The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Audiobook Review) My must read review for the week! Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith Ruby Valentine Saves the […]

  8. Alita says:

    I loved reading these books so much, my only regret is that I borrowed them and did not buy them. I do plan on reading them again some day, but now I’m thinking I should try the audio versions!

    And yes – I agree, this is probably the most intense series I have ever read. After finishing Monsters of Men, I had to sit for a few minutes and catch my breath.

    • I know. That’s mine as well. Well, just that I don’t have actual copies of the books, because I listened to them. Although that doesn’t mean I won’t be getting them in the future! 🙂

      You absolutely should listen to them! You’d love it!

  9. MarthaE says:

    Sounds very interesting – even if geared to younger readers. It must be good to keep you captivated too. I love good audio books! Thanks for sharing your review.

  10. Aths says:

    I’ve heard so much about this author! I haven’t had a chance to try him yet, but I need to change that!

  11. […] listened to the first one you will be compelled to listen to the remaining books in the series, The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men. If you still aren’t convinced to try the audiobook after my review and […]

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