Book title: Monsters of Men
Author: Patrick Ness
Page count: 603 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
WARNING: I`ve tried to make this review spoiler-free, but I can`t promise anything. Consider yourself warned.
It`s the final part of the trilogy! I`ve talked about these books before, and now that I`ve read the entire trilogy I can honestly say that I recommend reading these.
Taking the trilogy as a whole, it`s a brilliant show of growing up, especially in a new world that has a constant flow of information (kind of like, you know, ours). It shows how difficult it can be for other generations to get used to it, and how people who grow up in it view everything differently. There`s different ways of responding to this sudden flow, and you can choose to “go with the flow” or to go down because of it.
The books show what happens when mankind destroys nature, how nature might see it (shown through the Land). They show the effects of war, and how they can drive people insane, but also how some people crave it, a perspective not often used.
According to several other reviews, the books are also about the different roles men and women play in society, though to be honest I only picked up on that slightly, in that it did obviously meant to say that the two genders should really work together instead of seeing each other as separate. It does show how men have tried to subjugate women, and I`m very happy to see the women in Ness` books don`t just whimper and let themselves be diminished to mere objects, but instead fight back and earn their place as well. They`re shown as equally important, something we could all work on in our own society.
There is some vague mention of a potential love triangle in these books, and I might have groaned at the first hints of it (if there is one thing I hate, it`s all the love triangles in YA – seriously, what`s up with all of that anyway). But I have to be honest here: Patrick Ness made it very realistic. The war is the most important, and although the love between characters is shown as very important motivators for their decisions, they do show a constant doubt if what they`re doing is the right thing. The love triangle never takes the upper hand (unlike certain other books), which I am very grateful for.
Speaking of the characters: the character development is consistently good throughout all three books. You really do feel as if you grow up together with Todd and Viola.
Like I said in my review of the second book, it does often feel as if the story is going around in circles. This is the same in the third book. Sometimes, the story doesn`t move forward as much as it`s just repeating the same things until the characters finally figure out something and we all get to move on. It can get very frustrating, and it took me a while to get through some parts of the book because of it.
Still, all in all, it was a very good and interesting read. I definitely felt sad when I put the book down, and may or may not have gone to some of my friends complaining about how I don`t know how to continue my life now that I`ve finished this. It might drag on a bit too much at times, but in the end it is very much worth it. Let Ness take you on a thrilling ride, and come out of it with more insight in our own current society as well.
Life changing? Potentially (not that much for me, but I can see the potential). A good read? Definitely. Eye-opener about how people and society in general work? Yes.
A recommendation? Definitely.