Before I say too much about the book itself, I first want to write a quick note about ratings. For me, a five star rating means ""I want to own this book so I can read it again and again. I thought about it for days after I was finished reading it."" And it is completely true with this ""Monsters of Men.""
When I started reading the Chaos Walking Trilogy with ""The Knife of Never Letting Go,"" I didn't believe it was going to be anything more special than any regular book, but I have to say this Trilogy has to be the most well thought out, suspenseful, unpredictable, thought provoking, beautifully written series I have ever read! And, for the first time since I've picked up my first book, I can undoubtedly say that every installment in this trilogy is a fantastic improvement from the last. I could not put down ""Monsters of Men"" until I was completely done and I'd read the acknowledgements and publication info to be sure I got everything I could out of it that I could. The worst thing about this book is that it ended!
What can I say about ""Monsters of Men"" that will justify how I feel? The last words ring in my mind at random intervals throughout the day. I still get a sense of surprise when I think about the plot. I love the characters so much I wouldn't mind if Patrick Ness wrote a book about their nine-to-five jobs when they're done fixing the world. It's a perfection that has me giddy thinking about it, and I DEMAND to know why I'm not seeing this cover everywhere I go!
One of the most fantastic things about it was its believability. Yes, we all know Mayor Prentiss is a cruel, ruthless dictator, but when Todd believes that he can be good, so did I. Maybe it's because I'm a fool, but I'd like to think it's because Patrick Ness is a genius. I was so in sync with the characters, I loved who they loved and felt how they felt. I was annoyed with Viola for her worry for Todd, and I was mad at Todd for lying to Viola. I believed that the man who shot his son without a second thought could redeem himself; at the very beginning, I thought the Spackle were almost mindless animals.
Monsters of Men features a new viewpoint that I absolutely adore: Todd's Spackle. In ""The Ask and the Answer,"" I could never understand his hatred for Todd, but it is explained perfectly in his new view. Every chapter of this book had something that surprised me, hurt me, made me hope- if I could read any book again for the first time, it would be this one. (Especially if I could get the whole series.) I love everything about it from the characters to the fact that the Spackle's viewpoint will always be on a separate chapter, whereas Todd and Viola's viewpoints share a chapter. (Why? I don't know. I think it speaks for how divided the two races are, and how close Todd and Viola are, whether it was intended to be for this reason or not.)
Overall, this book will always be one of my favorites, and it is definitely a must read!