The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer

By Patrick Ness

Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763644901, 519pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2009

Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard and secrets are never safe.
Reaching the end of their tense and desperate flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical government. Todd, meanwhile, faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor's oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives Todd's gritty and volatile; Viola's calmer but equally stubborn the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?

About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of eight novels and a short story collection. He's best known for his books for young adults, including the Chaos Walking trilogy and More Than This. He won the Carnegie Medal the highest award for children's books in the UK twice in a row, for Monsters of Men and A Monster Calls. A Monster Calls was also the first book ever to simultaneously win the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration and the Carnegie Medal. Patrick has taught creative writing at Oxford University and is a literary critic for the Guardian. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.