by Patrick Ness
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009.
**Spoiler warning for The Knife of Never Letting Go.**
Haven was supposed to be their hope, but when Todd and Viola reached it at the end of The Knife of Never Letting Go, Mayor Prentiss of Prentisstown was the only one who showed up to greet them. Taking up the story where it left off, Todd and Viola describe what happens to them after reaching Haven, which agreed to a peaceful take over rather than fight. Now separated for the Mayor's (or President, as he now wishes to be called) manipulative purposes, Todd and Viola have to decide whose side they're on in a coming war in which neither side seems to have a pure motive.
Is there any pure motive in war? What would you do to be "free," or would you compromise to minimize loss of life? What choices would you make, and what kind of person would they make you? These are the questions at the center of The Ask and the Answer, and they're tough ones to come to grips with. Todd and Viola, Mistress Coyle, the former Mayor of Haven, and a healer named Corinne are just some of the characters making these decisions and whether you agree with them or not, you can see the kind of people they are as a result of past and present decisions in a book just as intense as the first. I'm waiting on tenterhooks until the third book comes in from interlibrary loan.