If you’re a huge fan of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy like me I’m sure you didn’t want to leave New World behind at the end of Monsters of Men. Chaos Walking is one of those series that has really stuck with me and I often want to reread it right from the start. A few years ago Patrick gave his readers a gift when he released his free short story, The New World, about Viola coming to New World. I loved this story because it gave us a snapshot of Viola’s life before all hell broke loose in The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Walker Books have just re-issued the Chaos Walking Trilogy with very cool new jackets (and they look great beside the originals I have to say). Not only do they have new covers, they also each contain a new short story, set in New World. In the new edition of The Ask and the Answer you can read The Wide, Wide Sea, which takes place just before the first Spackle War and stars Mistress Coyle. It focuses on the relationship between a human and a Spackle in the sea-side settlement of Horizon. In the new edition of Monsters of Men you can read Snowscape (my favourite of the three), which takes place after the events of the trilogy.
I loved each of these stories! They’re like the special features on a DVD – you get extra insights into the world of the stories and you get to return to your favourite (or most hated) characters. Patrick says that he sees the stories as treats, ‘If you made it all the way through the trilogy, here’s some hopefully fun rewards.’ Well I certainly feel like Christmas has come early. If you’re a fan of the series you have to read them.
The really awesome thing is that you don’t even have to buy copies of the new editions to read the stories. You can read all of them for FREE at www.chaoswalkingstories.com.au, where you can also enter to win signed Chaos Walking goodies.
Don’t forget – enter my competition to win a signed copy of the new edition of The Knife of Never Letting Go or The Ask and the Answer.
I went up to Auckland for the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival on Saturday to hear Patrick Ness (you can read all about Patrick’s session here). I got the chance to interview him at the Somerset Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast in 2010 and he’s an incredibly nice guy, as well as an amazing writer. It was great to see him again and get my books signed.
Thanks to Walker Books Australia and Patrick Ness I have a signed copy of The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and The Answer to give away to 2 lucky readers. All you have to do to get in the draw is enter your name and email address in the form below. Competition closes Sunday 26 May (Australia and NZ only).
Thanks to everyone who entered. The winners are Emma and Mary.
It’s no secret that I think Patrick Ness is a brilliant author (I’ve written many blog posts about it). His Chaos Walking Trilogy is one of those stories that really struck a chord with me and and the characters and their world will stay with me for a long time. The books in the trilogy have won various awards in the world of children’s literature, including the BookTrust Teenage Prize, the Guardian Award, the Costa Book Award, most recently the final book, Monsters of Men won the prestigious Carnegie Medal. When the Chaos Walking Trilogy came to an end last year, I was looking forward to reading whatever Patrick Nesswrote next and thankfully I didn’t have to wait very long.
Patrick’s next project was to write a story based on the ideas of another brilliant author, Siobhan Dowd, who had passed away from breast cancer in 2007. Siobhan had the characters, premise and beginning and it was up to Patrick to turn it into a story. Being both a fan of Patrick’s and Siobhan’s writing I eagerly anticipated their story, called A Monster Calls. And boy, what a story it is! Night after night, Connor is woken by the same nightmare, “the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. The one with the hands slipping from his grasp, no matter who hard he tried to hold on.” It is one night, after waking from this nightmare, that the monster arrives, twisting to life from the yew tree in the graveyard. The monster comes to offer Connor a deal; it will tell Connor three stories, but then he must tell the monster a fourth story, and it must be the truth. However, Connor’s mum is very sick and the truth is the thing that he fears the worst.
I really can’t explain how amazing A Monster Calls is. Before you even start reading the book, you just need a few minutes to marvel at how beautiful it is. Walker Books have put so much love into the design, from the dust-jacket and the cover, to the stunning illustrations spread throughout the book by the very talented Jim Kay. The story itself is breathtaking and you’ll go on a roller-coaster of emotion as the monster guides Connor towards the truth. I especially liked the three stories that the monster tells and I hope that Patrick Ness writes more short stories like these. Grab a copy of A Monster Calls from the library now. Trust me, you won’t regret it.