Rating: 5/5 stars.
Monsters of Men is the third and final book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. It continues the story of Todd and Viola, two brave souls living in a war-torn world where the thoughts of men are heard by everyone. The battle turns into a fight between three – the power-hungry Mayor, the rebellious and crafty Mistress Coyle, and the native Spackle. As Todd turns his own thoughts inward and Viola fights violently against her sickness, all sides attack one another in an attempt to finally bring peace to the planet.
This book’s plot moved a little more slowly and had more of a philosophical pull to it than its predecessors. Before, readers only had access to Todd and Viola’s perspectives, but in Monsters of Men they can see through the Spackles’ eyes as well. The environment of the characters’ comes to life and forces readers to feel for more than our two original protagonists.
Of course there was still a decent amount of action. The adrenaline-pumping quality of the first two books remained in this one, mixed in with betrayal and subterfuge and all of the necessary devices to create a cunning war. I read it on my Kindle and it definitely did not feel like 608 pages, even when it took me a week to finish because of school.
Overall, two things make this series a winner. The emotional investment one cannot help but put into Todd, Viola, and the other characters shows how great writing and masterful development can foster feelings beyond that of average sympathy. Also, Ness’s incorporation and extension of several themes throughout the series – psychological relationships, what it takes to kill, the effects of war, etc. – was wonderful and made the books fit for both thinkers and feelers.
Highly recommended for fans of solid young-adult writing, dystopia, and reluctant male readers. Or for anyone looking for an unusual story with well-written characters. Basically, everyone.