Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness


Publisher: Walker Books
Release date: May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Pages: 643 (includes bonus short story)
Goodreads || Book Depository

Monsters of Men is the last book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, so this review will contain spoilers for the first two books. I have reviews of The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer. If you haven’t started the trilogy, you really should! It’s amazing!



Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. The New World is at war. Todd and viola are caught in the middle with no chance of escape.

As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await?

Then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge…

Profound and gripping, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival and the devastating realities of war.


5 stars

Monsters of Men was an explosive conclusion to the trilogy (literally). It was extremely fast-paced and full of action and conflict. I knew from the very first chapter that this was going to be my favourite instalment of the trilogy, and my enthusiasm and love for the book never wavered. Monsters of Men has everything I could possibly want in a book. It has action, fighting, romance, suspense, politics, power struggles, feels, feels, more feels, with an extra serving of FEELS.

Is this what war is?
Is this what men want so much?
Is this sposed to make them men?

This book picks up where The Ask and the Answer left off. The Ask and The Answer are about to go to war, but find themselves facing a Spackle army who have come to take back the New World from the oppressive settlers. This novel follows what happens as each army fights for control and domination, and the impact war has on individuals and societies. As with the previous two books in the trilogy, I appreciated how well Patrick Ness handled the important social themes explored in this book. It was a thought-provoking story that never felt too much or too heavy for a young adult audience. This book also continues exploring the themes of self-identity and individualism that were explored in the previous two books, but Ness takes it even further by also examining this in the Spackle population, as well as through our protagonists, Todd and Viola.

I thought the pace of this book was great. The Ask and the Answer, for me, was a little bit slow at the start, but Monsters of Men starts off with a bang. The beginning was incredibly fast-paced and I whizzed through the first 100 pages in no time. I was completely immersed in the book because the action and strategy in the book was so captivating. I had absolutely no idea where the story was going to go and there were surprises at every turn. It was a complete page-turner for me. I also loved that the plot was completely resolved. I was satisfied with how everything played out, even though there were tears due to certain events, and I’m so happy with the way that the trilogy ended.

The writing in this book is perfection. We get to read not only from Todd and Viola’s perspectives, but also from the perspective of a Spackle, which I thought added a lot to the story. I enjoyed learning more about the Spackle and their collectivist society. The Spackle’s voice took me a little bit of time to get used to. Initially, it was very hard to understand because of its abstractness but I quickly got used to it and really enjoyed the writing style. I appreciated the differences in style between the three perspectives and it was always obvious to me which perspective I was reading from, even though it switches back and forth very often. The different perspectives blended together seamlessly and it never felt repetitive or unnecessary. I continued to enjoy Todd’s distinctive voice and I found it to be even more endearing in this book and I also highly enjoyed Viola’s perspective too.

I continued to love Todd and Viola’s characters in this book. They were amazing together and this ship will never sink!! We’re also introduced to some new characters in this book, Viola’s settler friends who arrived on the scout ship at the end of The Ask and the Answer. I thought they were necessary additions but I didn’t always love them. Who I did love were our ‘villains’. Mayor President Prentiss and Mistress Coyle are such complex and morally ambiguous characters. I had a hard time understanding them because they weren’t black and white characters. I definitely don’t think that I can classify them as villains because, even though they do some evil and atrocious things, their motivation aren’t entirely evil. I also liked how their stories ended.

I have so much more that I could say about this but I’ll just encourage you all to read it! It was a wonderful last book to the trilogy and now I’m going to go and read all the short stories!


10 thoughts on “Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

  1. aimalfarooq says:

    oh my gosh. THIS BOOK THOUGH. T_T So much yes to everything in your review. I RARELY add books to my ‘favorites’ shelf on Goodreads, and when I do, I usually get remove them after a few weeks. But this one has stayed there because every time I think about this book, I want to punch something and then hug something at the same time.

    I’m with you on the villains front. I was never certain about who was good, who was bad. I still can’t understand who the right side was because I don’t think there WAS one. And Ness does such a great job by dividing our protagonists and putting them in one camp each so you share both sides’ concerns.

    I didn’t see that ending coming because I suck, so it left me shocked and obliterated. T_T This book put me in the WORST HANGOVER. I didn’t read for like four weeks, haha. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      OMG it was soooo good!!! It was everything I never knew I wanted from a book. I loved it so much and nothing was predictable at all! The ending was SHOCKING. Except I kinda knew that there would be a twist because there’s no way… you know. But it still shocked me and I was like WTF JUST HAPPENED?! I can see why you didn’t read for 4 weeks. I almost couldn’t pick up anything else afterwards.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s