Free Prequel to Chaos Walking Trilogy on Amazon Kindle

We talk a lot about Harry Potter here, Twilight and The Hunger Games get their fair share of posts, and we’re always looking for new titles to discuss. Books in the queue for review here include James Owen’s Imaginarium Geographica (I’ve read the first five… and hope to write something before the sixth is published!), T. M. Doran’s Toward the Gleam, Gary Gregg’s two Sporran novels, Matched by Ally Condie, The Mortal Instruments saga(s), Stephenie Meyer’s Official Illustrated Guide, and Linda Buckley-Archer’s The Gideon Trilogy. Did I mention that Lev Grossman’s sequel to The MagiciansThe Magician Kingcomes out this summer?

We’ll be all over that. I’m also reading the seven Charles Williams novels and the Narniad for alchemical and Ring Composition notes (check out the aside in chapter 9 of Shadows of Ecstasy about Coleridge and Imagination and the multiple circle and center references in the two middle chapters; did the I mention the lead figure draws his power from imagination and the “transmutations of energy”?). Lots to say there. The photo above is of the Philips Exeter Academy Library whose interior has something of a ring composition ‘turtle back’ motif.

Today, though, just a quick note about a book series with all the Potter signatures — literary alchemy, ring composition, soul triptychs, annual sacrifice and resurrection, etc. — with a taste of Hunger Games dystopia, too: Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking. If you enjoyed these disturbing books as much as I did, you’ll want to know a free prequel to the series, ‘The New World,’ a short story Ness for the Book Trust to fill out Viola’s back story, can be downloaded to a Kindle or Kindle app (or free pdf — see comments below!). That’s almost enough to get me to purchase one of the doggone little things. If only I could fold over pages so the corner touches on an important phrase… (H/T to Justine!)


  1. Rochelle says

    I don’t own a Kindle and found a free version of the pdf here:

    It’s a good read! Not nearly as deep as the original three books, but as written to fill out Viola’s back story, it does just that.

  2. Thank you, Rochelle! I just read ‘The New World’ — and loved it.

    I’d disagree with the assessment that “it’s just back story,” though. The remarkable focus on ‘hope,’ its intersection with love, fear, and life, how Olivia understands it, and the gift of a “light shining in the darkness” is a remarkable expansion of what we know about Olivia and the origin of her transformation.

    If you are a ‘Chaos Walking’ reader and fan, this is a must.

    Thank you again, Rochelle!

  3. Rochelle says

    Good point, about hope. Although (as I think I noted when we first started discussing this book…) her name is still Viola.

    See, my problem is I’m a copywriter by nature. I have no troubles at all noting inconsistencies and grammar problems, but some difficultly stretching out to the metanarrative.

  4. Viola vs Olivia — wow. At least I got it right in the post! Thank you for the kindness of your correction; I’m confident I’ll make this gaffe again (the way I inevitably say “Dumbledore” when I mean “Voldemort” or vice versa in every talk I give) but the catch is much appreciated. God bless copywriters!

  5. Carrie-Ann Biondi says

    I’ve not (yet) read the Chaos Walking series, but after I just read the free pdf version (thank you for that!!) of “The New World,” I can hardly wait to start. The cadence felt just right beween flashbacks and impending events, and it captured nicely the somewhat-rueful-but-can’t-seem-to-help-being-ungrateful-and-a-bit-snotty typical teenage attitude. I also loved the moment when Viola’s father is at last able to convey to her in some way the importance of hope-mingled-with-fear.

  6. Carrie-Ann Biondi says

    D’oh! My apologies on the extra italics…. I left out the all-important end-stroke for ceasing to italicize, and I cannot go in to edit.

  7. Kathleen says

    I remember as a child reading and re-reading the Taran Wanderer series by Alexander Lloyd and marveling at the journey, the cauldrons, the scary stuff, and the food replenishing bag Gurgi wore around his neck. This was all before I knew I was reading good stuff! Now I have read the first Imaginarium Geographica book (Here there be Dragons) and was struck by the similarities with the cauldron(seems like there is one in every good series, usually for nefarious purposes). This book is similar to a couple of others I have read, in the inclusion of references to other books: The Anybodies series(by N. E. Bode) is for the younger crowd, and The Eyre Affair series (by Jasper Fforde) is for adults. I am in awe of the cleverness of these stories.

  8. Kathleen says

    I did not type this in italics- it must be something in the thread?

  9. Hi John,

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. The Kindle Deal of the Day (3-28-12) is the three Chaos Walking books for 99 cents a piece.

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