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Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three - Patrick Ness It’s not how we fall. It’s how we get back up again. You know, I actually sit around in my spare time and try to think of ways Patrick Ness will just eff with my mind/emotions and yet he still continuously shocks me. I won't go into specific detail in this review as I wanted it to be safe as possible to read at any point in this series (avoid spoiler tags as always), just know this: the less you know beforehand, the better. I urge you just to try it out and experience the crazy beautifulness of it yourself. To put it in the most mundane way possible, I prepare for Patrick Ness books by making sure I'm stocked up on anguish and crying GIFS for my status updates. My laptop bit the big one before I could use any of them while I was reading, but just pick a page and these are probably an accurate representation of my emotional state. : Yup. BASK IN THE PAIN. LET IT ALLLLLL OUT.It might seem over the top but it is true. It's a catharsis, and will leave you feeling raw. But OH is it so worth it. Now to try and put it more seriously---Ness describes the indigenous species' method of communicating like this: “I find I am swimming in a river of voices reaching out and touching mine"“And I realize he ain’t telling me with words. [...] he’s surrounding me with it, letting me sit in the middle of it, knowing it to be true.”And honestly, that is what reading this series is like, complete emotional immersion. It surrounds you and takes you to places you didn't know you could reach. Ness continually challenges you with his exploration of the moral ambiguity and hypocrisy of human nature. He has you constantly questioning the characters, their motives, their decisions, asking yourself what you'd do in their place. He has you examining your own belief system. He asks the hard questions and you will give him truthful answers (whether you agree with him or not). It results in a level of emotional investment that in my personal opinion, is just about unparalleled. Each book in the series multiplies in complexity. The first is action-packed, the second is a grind of mind games and moral quandaries and the final is a combination of both---cranked to a million. Each book also adds an additional point of view and Ness' choice for the third addition is just genius. In Ness' world, seemingly impossible dilemmas aren't merely used for suspense value, they aren't just for show. What is so great about Ness is that when he puts his characters (and by proxy the readers) in horrific situations and forces them to make impossible decisions, those choices have specific and real consequences. The decisions have weight and cause actual, sometimes irreparable damage. The repercussions don't just disappear, they alter the world of the characters. Every character is a complex, detailed three-dimensional person. Everyone, both heroes and villains, are capable of good and evil. Everyone has shades of grey that you can understand. Indeed, I count the Mayor as one of my favorite characters ever. And even loving the hero and heroine as I do, and the absolute horror of the new Spackle weaponry, I felt a sick satisfying vindication seeing the Spackle eff everyone up. . The final installment wraps up the themes of the previous book in true to form devastatingly beautiful, honest ways while adding themes to complete the journey. Vengeance vs. forgiveness. The power of love to save and destroy. Trust, truth and openness vs. suppression, misdirection and lies ( I particularly enjoyed Todd's silencing his noise to forget vs. the Land's "because it's so important to remember" . Questioning yourself vs. blind certainty. The meaning of redemption.I thought this final installment of the Chaos Walking series was an amazing and satisfying end to one of my favorite series of all time. I'm so glad I discovered Patrick Ness and this series. The beauty and emotions he can convey in a phrase, scene and story is breath-taking. It will stay with me for a long time.For who am I, after all? Am I hero? Am I savior? Or am I broken? Am I a danger? Am I beginning or end? Am I truly of the Land?Chaos Walking: