This is the final chapter in the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, the story of a group of human settlers on New World. In New World, the native species known to the humans as the Spackle communicate telepathically, which has unknown repercussions to the male humans who arrive – as their thoughts and feelings begin to be broadcast to all around them.
At the end of the last book two unexpected things happened – the Spackle nation attacked the humans, and a scout ship arrived with more people to settle. Todd and Viola split up to deal with these two new events.
Although there were a lot of fraught calls of ‘Viola!’ and ‘Todd!’ throughout, if you can look past some of the teenage melodrama, there are some good moments here. We learn about the nature of war, and how different men respond to it. We learn about different kinds of leadership in times of war. We get a deeper insight into the Spackle, as Todd’s nemesis 1017 becomes one of the narrators, and is returned to the heart of the Spackle nation after living his life as a slave to the humans. His thirst for revenge against the humans – and especially Todd who he calls ‘the knife’ – and his journey towards peace is one of the more interesting aspects of the story, as is Todd’s relationship with President David Prentiss.
I had to persevere a little at times, but overall this was a worthy ending to a well-developed fantasy series.