In the previous book, Todd and Viola had finally gotten to Haven after days and days of running from the army of Prentisstown. But right away, their hopes are crushed. The Prentisstown army has gotten there before them, and they have taken over all of Haven and renamed it New Prentisstown. Then begins this book, The Ask and the Answer. The moment they get taken by now titled President Prentiss. Viola is taken to the Healers, the “doctors” in a sense. Todd is made to work with the President’s son, Davy Prentiss. And they are given the worst job possible, banding. The Spackle. The Spackle creatures that were found on the New World. And the ones they all thought were defeated and extinct. Banding is where a metal band is put in the Spackle’s arm and cuts off all bloodflow in thier arm. If it is removed, though, they would die. It’s kind of like those African neck things…nevermind.
But back on the topic, while Todd is doing that with Davy, Viola is learning things about New Prentisstown. Viola feels a war coming on. And she must choose a side. Mistress Coyle and the Ask? President Prentiss and the Answer? What will Todd do? But whatever side she does choose, something is happening that will change the New World forever.