I just want to give a warm and happy CONGRATS to the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness for its 10th anniversary of destroy hearts!
Sometimes bookworms joke around and say they want happy books, but NO. What they really want are trilogies like this one that are complex and emotional and full of heart-wrenching moments and characters you love and die with that will ultimately change your life. And make you cry a little. Ha ha. Or a lot! It’s flexible. So nice of it!
I’m teaming up with Walker Books Australia to giveaway a complete set of the 10th anniversary editions which have pages stained as black as our hearts probably. It’s SO gorgeous.
But before we get to that, I’m listing 7 reasons you absolutely need to start reading these books! I mean, obviously I should just say “READ IT” and you all will. But in case you need convincing…
1. I THINK IT’S WORTH NOTING IT HAS THE BEST TITLES EVER.
Look sometimes I just fall a little bit in love with titles. And I find it especially cool as, the more I read, the more the titles make sense until they’re absolutely freaking clever and I just have such admiration for them. And I really really love saying “CHAOS WALKING” which is basically how I announce myself in the mornings anyway.
So just trust me that (A) the titles mean something big for EACH BOOK, (B) they’re so so epic, and (C) they gradually get shorter as the trilogy goes on to be symbolic of how much of your heart there is left to break. *
2. IT’S A SCI-FI TRILOGY ABOUT SETTLERS OF A NEW WORLD AND HOW THAT ALL GOES SOUR SUPER FAST.
Which gives it this nearly Western vibe at times because everyone speaks slang and education is nobody’s priority and everything is about farms (!) survival (!) settling (!) destroying natives (!…) and doing all that other fun stuff that men do when they enter a new place.
I also think it critiques white men’s way of “conquering” because heck, they do a bad job. There’s some alien natives on this planet they’ve taken over and it’s war —> slavery basically. UGH PEOPLE.
3. IT HAS UNIQUE FORMATTING WHICH IS MY FAVOURITE THING RIGHT AFTER BREAD.
Bread is great. But UNIQUE FORMATTING!! I’m not going to lie, I absolutely adore when books think outside the box. And I feel this trilogy doesn’t so much think outside the box, as frikkin’ kicks the box over. It’s great.
The people in New World are affected by this alien-germ that makes all the men’s thoughts be heard. They call it Noise and the book often uses like this wild font to demonstrate how overwhelming and intense it can be.
4. OKAY BUT SPEAKING OF THE “NOISE” HOW HORRIBLE WOULD IT BE TO HAVE ALL YOUR THOUGHTS OUT IN THE OPEN????
I am so…not a fan. Ahem. But only the men are affected by this, and I kind of wonder if this is a subtle point at how men say “oh women are impossible to understand and read”…and in this book it’s exploded 100 x over. Plus Todd, when he meets his first girl and can’t read her Noise, acts like she’s dead and dumb inside because he doesn’t understand her. And I just feel like that’s a parallel of that to how we, in today’s society, treat people who communicate differently to us and then use it as an excuse to be horrible to them.
Or maybe I’m reading way too much into it ah hahaha, but I’m having fun, don’t stop me. I feel like this story has so so many deep layers.
5. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TODD, OUR NARRATOR, AND HIS VOICE IS SO STRONG AND EMOTIONAL.
It’s in 1st person and it’s so personal and close. You aren’t reading Todd, YOU ARE TODD. He narrates the first book solo, and then Viola co-narrates the second. But TODD. I really love him. The emotion and the panic are all splattered across the page as he and Viola take this cross-country run to get away from an army and warn a town that they’re about to be destroyed.
Also Todd is a Hufflepuff and you can fite me on this but I won’t back down.
Plus Todd + Viola’s relationship is so thick and complex and emotional…it just fills my heart and guts me all at the same time. I love love love how it’s written.
6. IT WILL KEEP YOU ABSOLUTELY GLUED TO THE PAGE AT ALL TIMES UNTIL YOU ARE ONE WITH THE PAGE.
Honestly, they’re just that addictive. The plots! The running! The terror! The questions! It is like MASTER of unanswered questions. Todd is basically thrown into his speedy journey at the beginning by his adopted-dads with 0% information because they couldn’t have people reading it out of his Noise. So the whole time: Todd is asking questions, WE are asking questions, tHE WORLD IS ASKING QUESTIONS.
And when you get some answers? You get more questions.
The book is master of half-stories and lies and twists. And when it comes clear, ohhhh it packs such a punch.
I’m also so impressed at the amount of psychological subplots?! There’s mind control and manipulation and the badies are SO BAD and the goodies are BAD too and, yes, everyone is morally grey. Everyone. Trust only Todd and Viola, I tell you.
War makes monsters out of men.
7. IT DOES NOT GO EASY ON YOUR FEELS. IT IS HERE TO DESTROY YOU AND YOU WILL BE GLAD.
Honestly this trilogy HURTS. And I think that’s really special and perfect?! Books that get an emotional response, that stick to your bones, that make you think and think??? Those are the kind of books I want in my life. This trilogy is one of my utter new favourites. Everything from the raw writing to the storyline to the heart winning characters, to the terrible terrible things it discusses?! It just hits me so much.
PAIN IS NOT SPARED HERE, OK, YOU MAY CRY. GOOD LUCK.