Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teen/YA Review: Num8ers - The Chaos

Our house is filled with stacks of brand-new books for kids, teens, and young adults, as there are always more review books than I can possibly get to, but I knew exactly which book I wanted to read next.  I had been waiting for the sequel to Rachel Ward’s unique teen/YA thriller, Num8ers, and The Chaos had finally been released.  I read the book in record time, devouring it as I had the first book in the trilogy.

I’m going to try to walk a thin line here, telling you enough about the book to intrigue you, without giving away any surprises because the suspense is one of its best qualities and I don’t want to ruin the first book for you.

Num8ers was about a teen girl named Jem who could see the date a person would die when she looked into his or her eyes.  The Chaos is about Jem’s son, Adam, now a teen himself, who has inherited his mother’s gift (or curse) but with an added twist: Adam also senses or feels how the person will die.  Adam and his grandmother (his “Nan”) move to London when the rising seas flood their seaside hometown.  Like Jem, Adam is a loner because it’s too painful to constantly see people’s demises.  After a short time in London, however, he starts to realize that a lot of people have the same death date: January 1, 2027, the upcoming New Year’s Day.

Alarmed by what appears to be some sort of looming disaster, Adam doesn’t know what to do.  Should he try to warn people?  Who would believe him?  All he knows for sure is that he wants to get himself and his Nan out of the city.

Meanwhile, at his new school, Adam meets a girl who has a unique talent of her own, though he doesn’t know about it yet, and she doesn’t understand it.  A misfit herself, her path and Adam’s keep crossing.  What catastrophe is coming with the new year and how can two struggling teens do anything about it?

Like its predecessor, The Chaos takes a unique concept and weaves a fast-paced, believable, and suspenseful story around it in a not-so-distant future.  You’ll find yourself rooting for the main characters and turning the pages way past bedtime.  I can’t wait for the third book, 1NF1N1TY, which follows the story into a third generation.

339 pages, Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic

NOTE:  This trilogy is definitely intended for older teens and young adults, with references to violence, incest, rape (not graphic), and drug use.

WHERE ARE YOU READING 2011:  I added a pin to London, England, where The Chaos takes place. 


Jan von Harz said...

I did not read the first book in this series, but you definitely have me intrigued about the second. I actaully have it on my TBR shelf, but haven't read it thinking I needed to read the first one, but it sounds as if this one could stand alone. Anyway I think I will try it. Thanks for the great review!

Sue Jackson said...

Jan -
Hmmm....I guess this book could stand on its own, but I'd still recommend reading the first book first. In fact, it's been a while since I read it, and I kept wanting to refer back to the first book to remind myself of certain events (my mom has my copy of Num8ers at the moment!).

They're both quick reads.


Anonymous said...

You did a good job with this review because I'm intrigued. It would be a terrible "gift" to have!

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I liked Num8ers but thought it didn't make enough of the Num8er feature and made more of the weird escape and capture. So I'm not sure if I will read this sequel...Hmmm.