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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

A Dark Parable About The Manipulation Of Power

The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness

This is an enormously powerful sequel to the award-winning The Knife Of Never Letting Go. Like its predecessor it is set in the future on a world colonised by human beings but also inhabited by the alien Spackle, a world where bthrough some bio-chemical freak of the planet men's thoughts are clearly audible though women's are not. It's a very dark parable that explores the way politicians use their power to manipulate people.

Although this is technically a book for young people, I found it extremely disturbing. It contains scenes of violence and torture. I was simultaneously reading an Ian Rankin novel about a serial killer who bites his victims and I found the Ian Rankin book much easier to read.

Despite this, I would have to say this in excellent piece of writing which does not flinch from dealing with profound and difficult subjects. I would just be very careful about whom I recommended it to.