I have to admit up front that I'm not the biggest fan of novels where the characters walk and walk and walk and walk and walk. Yes, that means that I didn't really like The Hobbit
when I read it in high school and merely tolerated the movie. And now I've lost you, dear review reader, because you loved all that walking (or you pretended to because everyone else pretended to like all that walking). Anyway, I suppose that I should have known that this would be such a novel since the series is entitled "Chaos Walking
I was reeled in by the short prequel under the pretense that I'd be discovering a new world when Viola (who we meet in the prequel) finally lands on the new planet. However, the first novel of the series follows Viola and a teen named Todd who has grown up and lived on the planet his whole life as the child of a settler who came years earlier than Viola. Yes, it is a new world with its own share of strangeness: 2 moons, a planet-wide virus that causes males' thoughts to be heard (but not females), a planet-wide virus that causes animals to be able to talk (somehow all in English), and a native population whose only means of communication is through thought. But the early settlers have had quite a lot of division between them with wars and genocides to boot. Todd and Viola spend the entire first book of the series running from people who mean them harm and who would like to capture and subjugate everyone on the planet if possible.
While, in principle, I don't care much for "walking" books, this one did keep me turning the pages and breezing through it. It wasn't what I expected after reading the prequel, but I had to keep telling myself that I was enjoying it even though it wasn't what I thought I was getting when I began reading.