The New World – Patrick Ness

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This has to be the shortest book I have ever read, I suppose it qualifies as a novella. Despite it being short and sweet, I really enjoyed the plot and the introduction to the Chaos Walking trilogy which I have had my eyes on for some time. Unfortunately I don’t have it yet but that’s not to say I won’t have it soon. From my huge book haul in April I am sure you can understand why I can’t and shouldn’t buy any more books immediately. However if I am in the second hand bookstore and I come across even the first book in this trilogy I am definitely buying it, or any bookstore for that matter.

So onto the story, due to the size of the book, the plot was quick, exciting and set the scene perfectly for the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go. Ness did not hold back on the drama with this novella and introduced the reader to Viola who I am assuming is the main character or one of them in the trilogy. I haven’t read a lot about the collection, more heard that it is worth picking up so I am oblivious to the plot other than what I have learned from The New World.

The story is centred on a journey with Viola and her parents as they travel in a spaceship to a planet that could sustain life. As human beings, they have spent their entire lives on a spaceship as their ancestors were forced to leave their planet as it became unsustainable. Throughout the plot Viola’s worry and annoyance with the word ‘Hope’ wasn’t infuriating or annoying as a reader but relatable as she travels on a spaceship to a planet she doesn’t know. Usually characters that act similar to Viola in books would aggravate me but I found the point about hope thought-provoking. Why do we always ‘hope’ for the best or take risks on the ‘hope’ that they will work out? Do we ever truly consider the implications if things go wrong? Then again without hope, we would never take risks and without taking chances would we ever really enjoy life. Anyway I will stop with the mind-boggling and say that this very short book provoked a lot of thoughts for me.

The introduction to the new planet and what Viola and her parents will find there was interesting and almost a look into what human life could be dealing with in the future as Earth is continually destructed by humans’ actions. It was unusual to read about gravity machines and how strange it would be to breath in fresh air. Reading about Viola’s life of growing up on a spaceship made me grateful for the things we have on earth.

All I can say is I am seriously excited to see what she encounters on the planet, such as will there be natives, animals or monsters of some sort Please let me know what you thought of this series if you have read it. I am giving this novella a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads. It was short and sweet, a perfect scene setter and something you could read in one sitting. It definitely ended on a cliff-hanger and has me wanting more so be prepared.

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