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.]