Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

I figured I would continue to slog through my by now substantial backlog of book I have read but not reviewed. And what better place to start then the last book in a series … (book 1 review, book two review)

I enjoyed finishing up this series via audio book. I thought Ness really wrestled with some interesting aspects in Monsters of Men. The story explores ideas like the tension between the quest for peace and the requirements of leadership and self-defense; and issues of trust and betrayal (and the related issue of whether people can truly change).

There was also a nice mix of action and character building and interaction; something that can be a challenge in a series like this.  You could see where things were headed at times but Ness also pulled off some nice unexpected twists.  I thought Mayor/President Prentiss was a particularly engaging and fascinating character right up until the end.

 [WARNING: spoilers below]

I have to say, however, that I was disappointed with the ending. I really think it would have been a powerful conclusion if the story ends on the beach with the Return pondering his actions and the repercussions. The way the book actually ends diluted the power of those events somehow in some sort of attempt to add a happy ending of the possibility of one I guess. Didn’t work for me.

All in all, however, it was a really creative and engaging series with imaginative world building and some powerful characters.  Whether in audio, Kindle or old-fashioned book version,  I recommend the series.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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