On My Bookshelf: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

March 20, 2017

In Monsters of Men, the final book in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness the conflict between the men of Prentisstown and The Answer persists, but now they have a common enemy, the Spackle, and possibly a common ally, the settlers. Todd and Violet rise to new levels of leadership and must make tough choices about who to trust. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
In Monsters of Men, the final book in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness the conflict between the men of Prentisstown and The Answer persists, but now they have a common enemy, the Spackle, and possibly a common ally, the settlers. Todd and Violet rise to new levels of leadership and must make tough choices about who to trust. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Why I liked it: Monsters of Men is the third and final book in the Chaos Walking series. There was much less of a time gap between when I read this book and the second one than when I read the second and first one, so I didn't struggle as much getting back into the story. I would recommend reading all three books in the series in close succession so that you can remember all of the details and understand everything that is going on. These are definitely not stand alone books. I also had to carefully reread the ending of the book. As first I thought the final chapter was a related short story, rather than a part of the book.

This book picks up right where the second book left off. Prentisstown's army of men and the Answer's army of women now face an enemy other than each other: the Spackle, the indigenous race that they've oppressed. An added complication is that the settlers, for whom Violet and her now deceased parents were scouts, have arrived. The settlers have weapons that could halt the war, but don't want to begin their time on Earth that way.

The issue of who can be trusted still plagues Todd and Violet. The mayor, the leader of Prentisstown's army, is behaving unusually well and Mistress Coyle, leader of the Answer, seems more agreeable than normal, but in the end they each have their own agenda. A new development is that Todd and Violet finally acknowledge and act on their feelings for each other.

Classroom application: The series would new appropriate for middle school or high school students. This third installment in the series would connect well with nonfiction texts about the treatment of indigenous people worldwide.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Monsters of Men for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:



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