The Chaos (Numbers #2) – Rachel Ward

“The knock on the door comes early in the morning, just as its getting light.
‘Open up! Open up! We’ve got an Evacuation Order on these flats. Moving out in five minutes. Five minutes everybody!’
You can hear them going down the corridor, knocking on doors, repeating the same instructions over and over. I haven’t been asleep, but Nan nodded off in her chair, and now she jerks awake and curses.”
When Adam and his Nan move back to London, he starts seeing the same number over and over and knowns that somethings up. Adam is just like his mum, they could both see the numbers – the dates of people’s deaths when they look into the eyes of individuals. In London Adam keeps seeing the same date: 1st January 2027.
Sarah has a nightmare, the same one thats been coming for a few months, theres a boy in her dream and a baby. There’s fire and screaming and crying. Then one the first day of school she sees Adam and as soon as she sees him, she knows its him, the boy from her nightmare. That night there’s a new addition to her dream: 1st January 2027. 
As the terrifying date gets closer both know somethings going to happen. Something big. But can either of them do anything about it? 

***
I loved the first book in this series, Numbers, and I really couldn’t wait to read the second after I finished the first. However, that was over a year ago and I’m only just getting to the second, and that’s really bad of me! 
Anyway. The Chaos was just as exceptional as the first book, and even better in places. I couldn’t remember much of Numbers but it didn’t matter as The Chaos could easily be read as a standalone, with the only real connection being that Adam, one of the main characters, is Jem and Spider’s son, from the first book. It doesn’t really make a huge difference if you don’t know that because the major things about the first book are mentioned early on. 
The story is very much Adams, its all about his way of coping with the numbers and what happens as he starts to realise something’s going to happen on January 1st. Its told in split persepctive from Adam and Sarah’s point of very – something which is done well in this book – and I’ll admit, at first I was a bit off with Sarah because I didn’t know why she needed to be there, but once the story grew I grew very attached to both characters. 
Sarah had her own more personal part within Adams story and I really liked the touch. It made for a very powerful conclusion to The Chaos but that’s all I’ll say about the end. During the book though it made me see more depth into the characters and how Adam has the weight of the world on his shoulders but can still be a caring human being. Sarah was just incredible and I couldn’t imagine what she was going through. You find out early on that the baby in her nightmare is hers but at the beginning of the book she’s pregnant with it. You also discover other things and the events that happen to her throughout the book are heartbreaking. I wanted to gather her and Adam up into a huge squeeze of a hug when I finished The Chaos!
other minor characters make a huge impact on the book too, Adams Nan, Val, is just as amazing as she was in the first book – the only thing annoying me about her is that I was convinced she was his great-nan because I’m certain she’s Spiders Nan but it wasn’t verified and I don;t have a copy of the first book. Val was all heart and she loved Adam so much, she was strong and brave and just amazing as a character. Then there’s Nelson who was spectacular, I really would love to know what actually happened to him though… He was a whiz kid and you could tell he wasn’t overly comfortable with Adam but he was awesome and always keen to help.
There are so many aspects of this book that I haven’t even talked about but I’m running out of time. The Chaos is a non too distant future based book which could quite probably be labelled as slightly dystopian. There are microchips inserted into children at birth so they can be tracked and there’s something going on under the surface thats not right. Other topics are so realistic and brutal though that you will not associate The Chaos with other dystopians at all and its an incredible book in its own right. 
The Chaos is the second in the Numbers series. It was published by ChickenHouse in June 2010. The third in the series, Infinity was released in June last year. The Chaos was recently treated to a cover redesign which you can see to the right. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. 
  • Oh I feel guilty now. I’ve had this book on my shelf for AGES and I still haven’t gotten around to it. Will you be reading the third book now?

  • I wasn’t even aware there was a second book! I’m gonna have to read it now since I LOVED the first!

    Great review, Raimy!

  • I wasn’t even aware there was a second book! I’m gonna have to read it now since I LOVED the first!

    Great review, Raimy!

  • I loved both Numbers and The Chaos, and I really must get started on the third book soon! Thanks for the great review, Raimy!

  • Great review! I loved the first book, but like you, read it a year ago and still haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel. I have GOT to read this one though!