When I saw the movie Chaos Walking (2021) earlier this year, I loved it. Imagine my excitement when I found out it was based on a book series! The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness consists of The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men.
The plot of the movie and The Knife of Never Letting Go are very similar: a young man, Todd Hewitt, lives in Prentisstown on New World, where all the women are dead, and the men have “Noise”—an unexplainable phenomenon where all of their thoughts are on display for everyone to hear. When a young woman, Viola Eade, crash lands near Prentisstown and the men start to hunt her, Todd leaves behind his home to help her safely reach another settlement, Farbranch, and communicate with her ship. Along the way, secrets come to light about the history of New World—a history Todd has been lied to about his entire life.
From there, the book and the movie begin to split. Without giving anything away, the events in the book are more spread out and the main conflict is not resolved by the end—to be continued in the following two books. The movie, however, condenses the action and comes to a satisfying conclusion. While it doesn’t follow the ending of The Knife of Never Letting Go or have a logical continuation into The Ask and the Answer, I would not be surprised if the Hollywood “powers that be” find a way to revisit the world of Chaos Walking.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, I highly recommend both the movie and the book series. The two can’t really be compared to decide if one is better than the other since the stories diverge, but they are both thrilling tales set in this exciting world! The books never fail to keep me turning pages long into the night, and the movie toys with my emotions and draws me in until the very end.