At the end of Book One, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Todd and Viola have made it to Haven, though it is definitely NOT a haven. Evil Mayor Prentiss has beaten them there, his idiot son Davy has shot Viola, Todd's adoptive father Ben has been murdered, and Todd is half-dead himself from having made the trip. The Ask and The Answer picks right up from where TKoNLG left off.
Todd wakes up with Mayor Prentiss, who now calls himself President Prentiss. Prentiss has tended to Todd's wounds and then proceeds to explain himself and his plan for the town formerly called Haven, now called New Prentisstown. The former mayor had surrendered the town without a fight and all the townspeople were to submit to Prentiss' army. The women have been separated from the men and the town is under strict martial law. And Viola is nowhere to be found. Todd finds himself being given a position in the army and under the supervision of Davy Prentiss, his most hated enemy. All Todd wants to do is find Viola and escape this nightmare.
Meanwhile Viola finds herself in the care of healers, separated from the men of the town, and recovering from her gun-shot wound. She has asked about Todd but gets no answers until the Mayor shows up and questions her. Viola knows how evil he is and wants nothing from him but to find Todd.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Todd and then from Viola. It was a fast read and the ending, well, I can't go get the next book fast enough! I just checked my library and it there!!! Yea!