Goodreads needs an option for .5 stars. (If I had the choice, I would give 4.5. Maybe a 4.75.)
For the most part, I loved it. Viola and Todd are wonderful characters among a large cast of believable, interesting characters; the book is generally well-written; and it will stay with me. Please remember this as I point out the issues I had with Monsters of Men
I practically soared through the first 375 pages. I rarely put the book down... until I reached the last third of the book. I just had so much trouble finishing this thing. The main conflict had ended, at this point, and I knew that something had to happen to take up the rest of the book, but I just couldn't motivate myself to keep reading. I think this has a lot to do with my depressive and anxious tendencies, though. Long story short, I'd had a bit of a panic attack a while before I started to read this, and the way the third perspective in the story was written just... triggered me. I didn't have the courage to pick it up again for a few weeks. What I'm saying is, Patrick Ness isn't really to blame. Maybe, if my mind was whole while I was reading this series, I could have appreciated it as much as it probably deserved.
I did have a few other teensy problems. And if you haven't read the book, do not click the spoilers. I do not want to be the one to ruin the conclusion for you!
The ending made me think of West-Side story, honestly, what with Todd dying, and Viola holding the acid rifle, trying to decide if she should shoot The Sky. I know, you're probably thinking, "But Maxy, this is much higher quality than West Side Story!". And it is. Ness executed this more tastefully than that. I just still had a problem with it.
Then you have the very very end. The main character is dead
, first of all, then the last sentence implies that he's coming back to life. The ending makes sense for the series, but I feel like no one else could get away with it without it being dismissed as some sort of lazy or melodramatic soap opera ending. It walks such
a thin line. I guess that's what bothers me. It's so... I don't know how to describe it. Different, but I can't quite tell if it's good different or bad different. Am I making sense?
Anyway, don't let me discourage you from reading it. This is an amazingly well-done series.
[Monsters of Men
is basically the same deal content-wise as the first two books. You can look at my other reviews if you're curious.]