This second book in the Chaos Walking series is absolutely riveting. There is just no other way to say it. The first book was great and original. This one is brilliant. So awesome that I had to order the third book in the series before I finished this one. I just had to.
There are some series where it doesn't matter if you've read the first before you read the second. I don't think that this is one of them. I would definitely recommend that you read before reading The Knife of Never Letting Go before reading The Ask and The Answer. This second book will just make much more sense if you do.
And, onto the plot of this second book. It picks up right where the first book left off: Viola has been shot and Todd is helpless to save her. The Mayor of Prentisstown and his army have invaded Haven and are planning to dominate the entire planet.
Because Todd is held in captivity, he does not know what the mayor is doing to or with Viola. He does not know the extent of the cruelty that he has unleashed on the survivors of Haven. He has no idea. Until he starts to play along with the Mayor's (now President) plan. Convinced that Viola is no longer on his side, Todd actually works to aid the President in his evil plan. He even starts to believe that the President is actually on his side. And that Viola has abandoned him. But, when a mysterious rebel group called The Answer starts an uprising, who will Todd choose?
There are so many valuable lessons to be learned/ thought about/ discussed in this dystopian novel. There are obvious connections to the treatment of Native peoples everywhere, the Holocaust, and revolution. This series is very teachable. I've had several students read (and love) the first book in this series. I can't wait to go back to school (eeks. I said the "s" word!) and show them that I have the second book.
Now, if the third would only show up in my mailbox sometime soon...Finishing Mockingjay has made me a very impatient reader!