In this dramatic prequel to the award-winning Chaos Walking Trilogy, author Patrick Ness gives us the story of Viola’s journey to the New World. Whether you’re new to Chaos Walking or an established fan, this prequel serves as a fascinating introduction to the series that Publishers Weekly called “one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years.”
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When Aaron tweeted about this book novella, I squealed inside the office. No joke. I immediately called my friend Jana from her workstation, who squealed too, and once again with me, when we found out it was free. This book was one of the reasons we disrupted the peace and quiet at the office that Friday afternoon.
It’s no secret that I loved Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go, and I was really looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy, especially since Monsters of Men came out in paperback last week. Although I haven’t read the second and third books yet, my friends have told me so much about it that I know I would probably like it as well. When you like a book/series this much and you haven’t even read it all yet, any companion novel is bound to make you excited. At least, that’s how I see it.
The New World is a 23-page novella that tells us how Viola landed in the New World (aka Todd’s world) and glimpses of her life before she reached the planet. Here, we meet her parents, as well as some of her friends and we get to know about her, most especially her survival skills. The prose is sharp and the action flows smoothly through flashbacks and the present time. It’s not as raw or awkward as Todd’s point of view was, but I think Viola’s voice was very accurate to how I knew her from the first book.
This was a very quick read, and I was kind of hoping to read a bit of a crossover with the story in Knife in Viola’s POV, but there was none. However, I agree that this novella can be read even if you have read the three books already or if you are new to the trilogy — it really doesn’t matter. It may seem to be a bit spoilery for some events in Knife, but it’s not really a big deal, IMHO. If you’re kind of daunted by the title or the thickness or the story in the first book of the Chaos Walking series, then The New World is definitely a good place to start in this awesome series. :)
Cover & Blurb: Goodreads