Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3)

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking Series #3)

by Patrick Ness

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Overview

In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world.

As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763652111
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 10/18/2010
Series: Chaos Walking Series , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 145,738
Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, is the author of the acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy. He has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia. But I only stayed there for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America. Since then, I’ve lived in Hawaii, Washington, California, and England.

I’ve only ever really wanted to be a writer. I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and when I graduated, I got a job as a corporate writer at a cable company in Los Angeles, writing manuals and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California, Garlic Festival. I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel when I moved to London in 1999. I’ve lived here ever since. I taught Creative Writing at Oxford University for three years, usually to students older than I was. I write for one of the U.K. national papers, and I’ve also been writer in residence for Booktrust. Anything and everything to do with writing, that’s how I want to make my life.


I made up stories all the time when I was young, though I was usually too embarrassed to show them to anybody. That’s okay if you do that; when you’re ready, you’re ready. The important thing is to keep writing.

For young adults, I’ve written A Monster Calls, More Than This, and the Chaos Walking trilogy: The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and The Answer, and Monsters of Men. I’ve also written two books for adults, a novel called The Crash of Hennington and a short story collection called Topics About Which I Know Nothing, a title that seemed funny at the time but less so 10,000 mentions later.

Here’s a helpful hint if you want to be a writer: When I’m working on a first draft, all I write is 1,000 words a day, which isn’t that much (I started out with 300, then moved up to 500, now I can do 1,000 easy). And if I write my 1,000 words, I’m done for the day, even if it only took an hour (it usually takes more, of course, but not always). Novels are anywhere from 60,000 words on up, so it’s possible that just sixty days later you might have a whole first draft. The Knife of Never Letting Go is 112,900 words and took about seven months to get a good first draft. Lots of rewrites followed. That’s the fun part, where the book really starts to come together just exactly how you see it, the part where you feel like a real writer.

Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1. I have a tattoo of a rhinoceros.

2. I’ve run three marathons.

3. Under no circumstances will I eat onions.

Read an Excerpt

Two Battles

[TODD]

" WE HIT TH E SPACKLE HEAD ON !" the Mayor shouts at the men, aiming his Noise right in the middle of everyone's heads.

Even mine.

"They'll be gathering at the bottom of the road," he says, "but that's as far as they're going to go!"

I put a hand on Angharrad's flank beneath me. In under two minutes, the Mayor had us up on horseback, Morpeth and Angharrad coming running from round the back of the ruins of the cathedral, and by the time we'd hopped up, stepping over the still unconshus bodies of the men who tried to help me overthrow the Mayor, there was the army taking messy shape in front of us.

Not all of it, tho, maybe less than half, the rest still stretched up along the southern road to the hill with the notch on it, the road to where the battle was sposed to be.

Angharrad's thinking and I can feel spikes of nerves all thru her body. She's scared nearly half to death.

So am I.

"BATTALIONS READY!" the Mayor shouts and immediately Mr. Hammar and the later-arriving Mr. Tate and Mr. O'Hare and Mr. Morgan snap salutes and the soldiers start lining up in the right formayshuns, twisting thru each other in coils and getting into order so quickly it almost hurts my eyes to watch it.

"I know," the Mayor says. "It's a thing of beauty, isn't it?" I point my rifle at him, the rifle I took from Davy.

"You just remember our agreement," I say. "Yer gonna keep Viola safe and you ain't gonna control me with yer Noise. You do that and you stay alive. That's the only reason I let you go."

His eyes flash. "You realize that means you can't let me out of your sight," he says, "even if you have to follow me into battle. Are you ready for that, Todd?"

"I'm ready," I say, even tho I ain't but I'm trying not to think about it.

"I have a feeling you'll do well," he says.

"Shut up," I say. "I beat you once, I'll beat you again." He grins. "Of that I have no doubt."

"THE MEN ARE READY, SIR!" Mr. Hammar shouts from his horse, saluting fiercely.

The Mayor keeps his eyes on me. "The men are ready, Todd," he says, his voice teasing. "Are you?"

"Just get on with it."

And his smile gets even wider. He turns to the men. "Two divisions down the western road for the first attack!" His voice snakes thru everyone's head again, like a sound you can't ignore. "Captain Hammar's division at the front, Captain Morgan taking the rear! Captains Tate and O'Hare will round up the rest of the men and armaments yet to arrive and join the fray with the greatest dispatch."

Armaments? I think.

"If the fight isn't already over by the time they join us-" The men laugh at this, a loud, nervous, aggressive kind of laugh.

"Then as a united army, we will drive the Spackle back up that hill and make them regret the day they were EVER BORN!"

And the men give a roaring cheer.

"Sir!" Captain Hammar shouts. "What about the army of the Answer, sir?"

"First we beat the Spackle," says the Mayor, "then the Answer will be child's play."
He looks across his army of men and back up the hill to the Spackle army, still marching down. Then he raises his fist and gives the loudest Noise shout of all, a shout that bores right down into the very center of every man hearing it.

"TO BATTLE!"

"TO BATTLE!" the army cries back at him and sets off at a fierce pace outta the square, racing toward the zigzag hill. The Mayor looks at me one last time, like he can barely keep from laughing at how much fun he's having. And with- out another word, he spurs Morpeth hard in the sides and they gallop into the square after the departing army.

The army heading off to war.

Follow? Angharrad asks, fear coming off her like sweat.

"He's right," I say. "We can't let him out of our sight. He's got to keep his word. He's got to win his war. He's got to save her."

For her, Angharrad thinks.

For her, I think back, all my feeling about her behind it. And I think her name-

Viola.

And Angharrad leaps forward into battle.


Customer Reviews

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Monsters of Men 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is like getting punched in the stomach. In a good way. And if I learned anything from Monsters of Men, it is that there is, in fact, a good way. It's basically when you're keeping someone else from getting decked, or when you're getting pummelled to protect the one you love. Monsters of Men was the most satisfying end to a series or trilogy that I've read in a long time. A really long time. Like the previous books, the plot runs at a breakneck pace that left me breathless, and it covers a lot of ground. Coming into the book I couldn't have even imagined things that happened in the middle, let alone how it would end. There are a lot of loose ends that are tied up over the course of the book, but ending is not finite. I don't think Ness will be writing another book in this world or with these characters anytime soon (ever), but the ending is open to possibility and to the imagination of the reader. This book is full of passion, action, and general umph. I know I'm being really vague, but I think the best way to read these books is to go in blind. And, word to the wise, it can reduce just about anyone to a sobbing mess. There were a few moments in the beginning that had me looking out the train window and blinking a lot during my commute, but the real stuff is saved for the end. I wouldn't advise that anyone read beyond page 400 or so outside of the comfort of their own home. We're talking hug the book, can't see through the tears crying for the last 100 pages. But oh-so-good! Book source: Philly Free Library
PlumPudding More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just . . . . wow. This wasn't just a novel, a story; it was an experience. This trilogy was absolutely something new. I've never, ever, read anything like Chaos Walking--somehow Patrick Ness can convey emotions so clearly and powerfully. I am so glad I was not reading the last third in public, because my face was all twisted and alternating between gross sobbing and wide-mouthed shock and then more gross sobbing. What used to annoy me, especially the fonts and the arrangement of the words on the pages, is something I regard now as art. He was making a picture out of the page, much like a composer painting a picture through the score and the instrument voices. It's so beautiful. Characterization is as stellar as in the first two books. Each character was a person, a real person, realized with faults and everything. But they were all there for a reason; faults because of the actual character, not because it was a conscious decision: "oh gee I need to add faults to this character of mine, here let's reach into the grab bag," these characters breathed and their words were believable and it's all the most perfect characterization I've ever experienced coming off a page. Patrick Ness has quickly became my biggest inspiration. Oh, goodness, and the STORY. And the arcs and the twists! I can't remember reading any other book that's made me cry so much as this trilogy has. I'll probably be traumatized by Chaos Walking my whole life, but it's not necessarily a bad thing, either . . . Boy I can't wait to see what Ness creates next . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book i have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me wanting to read more. Very unpredictable haracters never knew what they were Going to do. Viola and Todd make a great team! Loved this series and loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down.i cried and cried. I habe lost way to much sleep trying get to the end, and it wasn't even a great end for a read. For an artist i was well done, but im just a reader. You don't read book so you can make up your own "what happens next" you read to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just cant stop reading it and i believe this author should write more in this series
RavynKatt More than 1 year ago
Monsters of Men brings the rollercoaster ride of Todd and Viola's story to dramatic, stunning, thrilling, and emotional end. With their world poised on the brink of war, Todd and Viola face more tough decisions, including on whether or not to trust the Mayor. Lines are drawn, crossed, and blurred as the struggle for domination and peace reaches a climax and thunders past it to whole new heights. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story.
misterEdSC More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent capstone for a very well done series. The characters are all well developed, including the animals and the bad guys. I was leaking like a sieve well before the end and it just got more and more.
Rachel Tracy More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was by far the best book in te series and I also loved how he put 1017's perspective on what is going on as well as Todd and Viola's.
Shellme More than 1 year ago
I as caught up in the Chaos walking series and the final book did not disappoint. However, I defiantly see room for a third book or perhaps I just don't want to be finished with these characters. This story picks up right after The Ask and The Answers ends. We watch as Todd becomes closer to the Mayor and Viola suffers the consequences of putting on the band. I love the addition of the third voice, but I still prefer Todd's voice to all the others. It made up for the issues I had with the second book... I found the story to be fast paced an engaging. I love Todd and Viola. I have only one issue.. The Avatar like ending
Molly John More than 1 year ago
As a devoted fan to these books I am very sad for them to end! This book was heart wrenching and I could not put it dosn, along with the other books! The ending had me in tears and torn. Where do I go from here? I highly recommend this book(the others first of course). You must have time to just sit and read or you'll die with anticipation! READ!!!
Elizabeth Clinch More than 1 year ago
This whole series is amazing! The characters seem so real,so complex, and without Ness coming out and saying it, you learn how the world works. The by far best book, ever. There is so much passion and love and betrayal, and the end is so completely perfect. I am still crying
Batman88 More than 1 year ago
I started reading the Chaos Walking Trilogy last year. It was a roller coaster ride that I will never forget. Thrilling, suspenseful, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-for-every-page, amazing, emotional, fast paced, horrifying, and beautiful. Todd narrates the story in a way that brings you write into his world. When I finished The Ask and the Answer, I couldn't wait to read Monsters of Men. Come May, I ordered it straight from England, that's how anxious I was to get my hands on it! The book was worth every ounce of anticipation and every cent I spent on it. It was better than the first and second (which is really saying something!) books and I couldn't stop reading! Truly an adventure that no one should be left out on! The best book ever:)
JimRGill2012 9 months ago
Perhaps I’ve just maxed out on dystopian YA literature. Perhaps this is one of those YA novels that is much more popular among its target audience (i.e., adolescents) than it is among jaded adults like me. Whatever the case, persevering through this bloated 600+ page conclusion to the Chaos Walking trilogy was a slog. My antipathy for the series (and for this novel in particular) may have something to do with the narrative whiplash I experienced. While I generally have no issues dealing with multiple narrative perspectives in a novel, Ness overused the technique. Just three narrators (Todd, Viola, and an alien Spackle first called 1017 and then the Sky—don’t ask) tell this overwrought tale of non-stop battle for the New World on an unnamed planet, yet the narration switches perspectives every 3 or 4 pages—and perhaps the author or the editors supposed it would be helpful to use a unique font for each narrative voice, but that choice—along with the use of a giant font for explosions (BOOM!) and other loud exclamations—simply creates fatigue. I had to exert so much energy trying to keep track of the ever-shifting narration that I soon grew weary of the endless fighting, explosions, betrayals, and fabricated cliffhangers at the end of seemingly every episode. Beneath this narrative clutter lies an earnest metaphor about love, war, communication, empathy, colonialism, cooperation, power, fatherhood, and a host of other “important” themes, but for me it just never came together.
AshRyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness created an intriguing sci-fi/fantasy world, full of interesting ideas and promising characters. The Ask and the Answer was a truly great follow-up: the violence was even more brutal, but less gratuitously over-the-top; it was more about thoughtful thematic and character development, as the characters learned what it means to be adults.Unfortunately, it all kind of falls apart in this final installment. There are some ideas that could have gone somewhere---the Spackle character 1017 had a lot of potential, particularly the issue of whether his species' "groupthink" way of life is good or bad (or good for them but not for us, or what), and Ness examines the question of the role of personal values in physical conflict (whether it's right or wrong to "make war personal", as he puts it)---but in the end he not only doesn't answer these questions, but the final resolutions of the plot conflicts simply have nothing to do with them...plot and theme are not integrated in the end, and the whole exercise thus becomes somewhat pointless. Indeed, Ness ends up equivocating on or vaguely passing over most of the deeper issues he had raised throughout the series. In short, he made a lot of promises and failed to deliver.Still, though this last book in the series is a disappointment after the excellent middle installment, it's still better than a lot of young adult fiction out there, and the series as a whole is definitely worth a read.
seekingflight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I seem to be having difficulties with the third books of trilogies lately ¿ I felt in the minority when Mockingjay left me unimpressed, and I was in some ways similarly disappointed with Monsters of Men, the third book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I think part of my problem was that (trying to avoid spoilers here) some of the actions of Todd and the Mayor in this book felt somewhat implausible to me, and I found it hard at times to suspend my disbelief. And then I felt that the book¿s `message¿ was being hammered home at every opportunity ¿ war makes monsters of men, making it personal is dangerous, but not caring enough about people is also dangerous (i.e., terrorism, atrocities). There was still a lot to enjoy in the book ¿ I particularly enjoyed finding out more about the Spackle perspective, and it packed a number of really powerful emotional punches, with a climax that brought out some of the thematic concerns in a poignant, dramatic and powerful way. I¿m still glad I read it, and I would still recommend the series, but with these small caveats about the third book.
jazzamatazz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm actually not done with this book yet, because it's so good I keep having to slow myself down while reading it. It's so exciting. This is the conclusion to the Chaos Walking trilogy, and it builds the drama and the tension even higher than in the previous books. It's a book which inspires strong opinions, I love the main characters and I loathe the baddies. I really care what might happen to the settlers and the native spakle. It feels like a realist type of book rather than a fantasy which is I suppose is what it is, which I found interesting. It has plenty of war, violence and all the things that come with war: human suffering; prisoners; war crimes; political posturing and ugly power plays. Caught in the middle is Viola and Todd trying to be the best people they can in an impossible situation. I highly recommend this trilogy.
Cfraser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful series in all. I couldn't put it down. Emotionally draining but makes you think and question your own decisions and how we deal with other people. The series and this book are quiete dark so beware for younger readers but well worth the read
AyleeArgh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*This review is for both The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men*In short: The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness are emotionally taxing reads, but the payoff is so worth it - beautifully written, tremendously complex in plot, and powerfully inspiring in message.I've decided to combine my reviews for the second and third book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy (The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men) because I realized there was so little I could tell you without revealing some major aspects of the plot. If that isn't a testament to how dynamic and surprising the plot of these final two books is, than I don't know what is.One of the most fascinating aspects of The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men is the introduction of some very complex politics and character dynamics. A Mockingjay-esque situation is introduced in which there are two power-hungry leaders on opposing sides, one of them acting under the guise of the "good guy". The character complexities are so well done that in the span of chapters, I would change my mind about the alleged goodness and badness of these characters and then back again. Who is the relative good guy in this situation? Who is really telling the truth? Who should Todd trust?The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men take a decidedly darker turn in the story (and anyone who's read The Knife of Never Letting Go knows that it wasn't exactly a light read either). War, genocide, and torture are major themes in these last two books making for a heavy, emotional read. It took me quite a long to make it through them - not only because of the mammoth page numbers - but also because of the depth of the subject matter.Ultimately though, despite the seemingly helpless situation, there is one thing that is always present in The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men that keeps you reading - hope. It would've been difficult to make it through these books without the promise of a happy ending. There was hope that peace would win out in the end. There was hope in one of the most inspiring and powerful romances I have ever read. And there was hope that Todd would never completely compromise his morality in situations when almost every other character did. He is, after all, The Boy Who Can't Kill.Read this series.
littleton_pace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A thrilling conclusion to an action-packed series. I had absolutely on idea how it was going to end and I enjoyed that, however I don't think the ending really fit the rest of the story. I was excited to see the convoy arrive since that's what Viola's been waiting for since we met her, but it was fantastic nonetheless and I highly recommend the whole series.
tiecolli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Chaos Walking series is one of those series that gets better with each book. Monsters of Men is the culmination of the series, and does not fail to delight. As Todd more and more so seems to become President Prentiss' new "son," Viola battles with the rights and wrongs of Mistress Coyle. All the while, the Spackle are gathering to bring destruction to the humans. Ness brings up so many questions that humanity has asked for years, but portrayed them from the views of children. Is war necessary? Is peace possible? And I view this book as a comparison to what is happening on Earth today. Are we, as humans, destroying the planet? This book shows what the thought of war can do to humans, making them monsters. The relationship between Prentiss and Todd is extremely complicated, and at times I felt Prentiss was doing what he really believed best. This series from start to finish never lets the reader down.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third book in Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series is a harrowing, moving (and at times quite shockingly violent) novel. It some ways, it reminds me of the Hunger Games trilogy, but it's also quite different. In the third book of the series, there are three main characters -- Todd and Viola, but the third is a surprise (which I will leave out here). I think this is the best of the three books, if only because Todd and Viola must learn how to grow up and adapt, it is also the hardest of the three to read. While the two previous novels ended on cliffhangers, the events of Monsters of Men truly live up to the title. I have no plans to read this book again, but readers looking for something to fill the void left when Hungers Games finished will find this series quite satisfying.
dgoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful conclusion (? I'm hoping for a fourth, and I think the author left it open to that) to the Chaos Walking series. The character development, plot, pacing, voice, dialogue, choice of tense was all excellent and worked so well together and for the story. The use of the present tense, first person puts you right there in the action, and though it could have been limiting, the author Ness put it to masterful use. I think this is a fine novel, with beautiful (that word again) and gripping inner monologue and dialogue. Ness's knack for repeating words or phrases as part of the characters' thoughts deftly conveyed the urgency and passion of the character and/or situation instead of coming off as just repetitive.There are some big ideas here too. Do you choose your fellow or yourself? Your kind or another or does it even have to be a choice? Is it fair or desirable to know everything about someone else and they you, even if you have no choice? And is it fair if it is one sided but it doesn't have to be? How far is far enough to protect an ideal? Do you kill to save someone even if you know it will destroy your ability to live with yourself?Do you kill for that person if you know they can't but it has to be done to survive? Do you do things you find abhorrent and morally corrupt if it will keep a promise, keep you alive to save someone? Do you trust a person who has done great wrongs, horrible things, if you see them change? Trust, redemption, love, loss, perseverance, war, peace, control, privacy, freedom, betrayal, fear, temptation, power, loyalty are all themes heavily present in the book, in all three, with no neat answers to most. And that is satisfying, because do any of us really have them?
2chances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think Patrick Ness's trilogy took about three pounds off me - I feel like I've run an (emotional) marathon."Monsters of Men" (the title comes from the Todd's observation, "War makes monsters of men") picks up at exactly the moment the previous novel in the series leaves off: Todd has once again made a terrible choice, this time to save a man who is utterly evil, in order to try to save Viola. I thought things couldn't get grimmer than in "The Ask and the Answer," but, turns out, maybe they can. Now the settlers of New Prentisstown are being attacked by a massive army of Spackle (the indigenous people of the New World.) Todd himself is in particular danger, because the leader of the Spackle is heavily influenced by a Spackle named The Return, who has particular reasons for hating Todd. ("Monsters of Men" has an additional narrator, in addition to Todd and Viola - The Return, who helps us to understand the terrible history of this world.) But it is hard to assess whether Todd is in greater danger from the huge Spackle army, or from being the manipulative Mayor's new "son" - and from learning from the Mayor how to control the actions of others.What makes "Monsters of Men" really brilliant is Ness's skill at crafting characters who are mostly evil - but, perhaps (we are never sure), not WHOLLY evil; and also characters who cannot, despite their desperate efforts, be wholly good. The breathless pace of the novel sweeps the reader into the same frantic experiencing/feeling/reacting dilemma that the protagonists are living with - when you have only seconds to react, and the consequences of your action are going to mean death or survival for you, or worse, for someone you love, what will you do? And how will you live with the choices you make?Altogether, a brilliantly conceived and executed trilogy. There are some flaws - I wasn't keen on Todd's half-illiterate narration, for example - but overall, I was impressed by how Ness was able to maintain a rocket-fueled pace through three lengthy novels while never slighting complexity, nuance and emotional punch. Not for the faint of heart, though. And not for young kids, either: high school and up.
tbert204 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a difficult review to write. I'm not a professional reviewer, only giving my personal experience of a story. Sometimes I'm not sure why I like/dislike one. This book falls in that category.It's well-crafted. The variations in fonts added to the reading experience. And it was well-written. The story arc flows nice and smooth. The characters remained true to the first two books. However, with 50 pages left to read in this monster book of 600 pages, I didn't really care all that much how it ended. After plowing through the first two giant books, that's not the experience I expected.Here's why.I don't think the characters change all that much in the third book. The Mayor is still a cunning, seductive, unpredictable villain. Viola and Todd still pine for each other. We are introduced to a third character and get wonderful insight into a Spackle mind, and that's what kept me invested in the beginning. The characters do grow and evolve near the end, but in predictable fashion. However, I think my experience was flat because the pace felt sluggish. He kept me guessing at the end of several sections, but it was like a movie that needed to end an hour earlier. Todd's threats to whip the Mayor fanny get old, as do Viola's promises to protect Todd, and the Mistress's promise to destroy the Mayor. The story arc is interesting and Ness's imagined world where thoughts are exposed is fascinating. It was just too long. I blazed through the final 50 pages. It wasn't entirely predictable, but my interest had waned. I just wanted to finish. The ending concluded with a fizzle rather than a pop.