Hrmmm, what to say about The Ask and the Answer that I didn’t already say about The Knife of Never Letting Go? ZOMG? No…said that. My poor, shattered heart? No, played that card too. I keep waiting for the talking-animals schtick to get old and it never does? I appear to be out of comments.
So, The Ask and the Answer does exactly what the second book in a trilogy is supposed to do, and it does it with tenterhooks and agony. It obviously resolves the HOLYSHITCLIFFHANGER of Book 1, but many finger-gnawing things are left for Book 3 to wrap up (please, Book 3, wrap them up. You are giving me an ulcer). There’s always a touch of that Book 2 bridginess, where the hobbits have left the Shire but not quite arrived in Mordor, but I really don’t see how there’s a way around that.
If you haven’t read TKONLG yet, you may want to skip this bit. So Todd and Viola have made it to Haven, only now it’s New Prentisstown and wha-BAM, they are separated once again. And then they spend ages separated, and each of them ends up doing UNSPEAKABLE THINGS in order to survive which they will have to account for when they finally end up in the same space. I promise, you will lose bits of the heart that you shattered in Book 1.
And even though there is way less animals talking, it is still an awesome thing, and the dialect continues to not bother me and the idea of Noise (men’s thoughts being outside their heads [the horror!]) is batted around and a good deal more is made of it, and characters you didn’t like you may start to like, and characters you start off liking you may later give the stink-eye, and if P.Ness dies before finishing Book 3 I am QUITTING LIFE, DO YOU HEAR ME UNIVERSE? So help me.