The Ask and the Answer

By Patrick Ness

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men.

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode... The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406322477
  • Published: 07 Sep 2009
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 528

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Customer reviews


'Ness is both accessible and sophisticated, handling big subjects — terrorism, feminism, genocide, love — in prose that is simple and heart-stopping.' Sunday Times (UK)

'No one who read Patrick Ness's brilliant The Knife of Never Letting Go, with its thrilling imagination and maddening cliff-hanger ending, will need any prompting to devour its sequel... it is every bit as ambitious as the first book but the ambition is easily matched by the execution, with powerful prose and tight plotting that pull the reader on at a terrifying speed.' Independent on Sunday

'You only have to read the first sentence to see how fantastic it promises to lives up to the thrill of that first sentence.' The Guardian

'Furiously paced, terrifying, exhilarating and heartbreaking, it's a book that haunts your imagination.' Sunday Telegraph

'Patrick Ness interviewed about the Chaos Walking series (Knife and Ask) on' YA

'An amalgamation of society’s most brutal facets—fascism, terrorism, torture, ethnic cleansing—with all kinds of relevance to our world… a relentless flurry of heavy-hitting issues, hinging on appeasement, complicity, and maintaining one’s morality in the face of impossible choices.' Booklist (starred review)

'Ness takes his characters to new, dark places…the series continues to develop a fascinating world, and its fully formed characters and conflicts draw attention to difficult issues with a rare, unblinking candor.' The Horn Book

'Every bit as suspenseful as the first. At a hefty 519 pages, it still reads fast, partly because the pace is utterly break-neck and partly because once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down! The GPC rating (gasps per chapter) is as high in this book as it was in the first.' Bookends (Booklist blog)

'The complexity of this novel is awe inspiring. Yet the story manages to remain unencumbered and move forward at a brisk pace. The tension of the novel will have readers either unable to put it down or forced to put it down with shaking hands. It is truly a gripping piece of writing.' Kids Lit blog

'Patrick Ness has done it again. THE ASK AND THE ANSWER contains the same heart-pounding excitement as THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. The reader will experience Todd’s internal struggle with every decision he is forced to make in order to survive.'

'Award-winning must-read for this year..' The Sunday Express

'I would press (this series) urgently on anyone, anyone at all.. It is extraordinary'' The Guardian

'Original, powerful and steeped in literary richness' The Times

'Both accessible and sophisticated... in prose that is simple and heart-stopping. A fat book likely to be devoured in one sitting.' Sunday Times

'This book kept me up all night; I couldn't bear to stop reading it.' Irish Independent

'(A) must-read for this year.' Sunday Express

'A faster-paced, more action-packed novel would be harder to find' Financial Times

'Intelligent science fiction aimed at teenagers but a must-read for adults too. And even more mesmerising, terrifying and tense than the first one.' Independent on Sunday

'Brilliantly evocative, tough, unsentimental and creates its own, convincing argot that hurls the reader right into its world... Amazing' Literary Review

'Powerful and provocative.. A major new talent' Daily Mail

'Dazzlingly imagined, morally complex, compulsively plotted tale' Yorkshire Post

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