Chaos Walking Book Review


The three Chaos Walking books side by side. Labeled for Reuse by Creative Commons

Imagine every thought in your head is projected into the outside world. This means every hurtful comment or embarrassing statement can be heard.

In the far away future, on a distant planet colonized by humans this is the harsh reality. In the book, Chaos Walking the “Noise,” shows thoughts spilling out in a barrage of images and whispered half-thoughts, which take the form of colored swirls constantly revolving around someone’s head. The cause of the “Noise” are thought to be a virus that effected only men and killed off all of the women.

The effects that depict the “Noise” are perhaps the most striking thing to come out of the books. The swirls turn into images at the drop of a hat and those images take on a life on their own and become birds or rabbits bounding out from the heads of their creators, sometimes even taking solid effect if the thought is strong enough. 

The main character is Todd Hewitt, a boy living in the settlement of Prentisstown who has particular trouble controlling his “Noise,” which causes some trouble with the other residents. One day, while exploring outside of his village he discovers a patch of silence in the middle of a swamp. A place where his “Noise” is quiet. With much excitement, he tells his parents of the silent patch, but they immediately tell him he cannot tell anyone about this because it is a dangerous thing to know. 

He soon discovers the cause of the silence: a girl named Viola. At first, he panics at the sight of a girl after all no one has seen one in decades. His “Noise” spilling out all of his thoughts doesn’t make the situation any easier.

“When his “Noise” started talking about the girl I could not hold in my laughter. I couldn’t imagine the embarrassment Todd felt,” said sophomore Ariana Ramos.

Todd’s home village then discovers the girl. She is put into the sheriff’s station for her safety as other men gather outside demanding to see the girl. With no knowledge of the planet, the mayor demonstrates how the “Noise” works and puts up a wall that blocks out the yelling of the others using his own Noise which shocks her.

“Up until this point, we’ve only seen the Noise being used involuntarily. I never thought it could be used for your own purpose,” said junior Kaley Moyer.

After overhearing the Mayor talk about a full-blown conquest of the planet and using Viola to his advantage, Todd and Viola must hurry to warn other settlements of Prentisstown’s preparations for war and escape from the Mayor who wants to make Viola a weapon against the other settlements since she is able to lie and deceive without her thoughts giving her away.

Throughout the rest of the books, the pair must navigate through the dangerous world to make sure Viola is safe which means fighting several monsters that have unknown origins and other men who want to hurt Viola. All while fighting Todd’s “Noise”- which doesn’t help with trying to hide from the danger or to keep his blossoming feelings for Viola to himself. The series goes on to explain everything about this mysterious planet, where the “Noise” came from, and who are the monsters that inhabit this planet alongside the humans. The books are very attention grabbing and hold so much suspense as the pair try to protect themselves and stay alive all while the “Noises” of the men create their own chaos and hold their own demise.