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Numbers: The Chaos by Rachel Ward

The Chaos (Numbers)Adam is just like his mother Jem. He can see the numbers when he looks into a person’s eyes, signifying the day of their death. It’s a curse, something he’s never wanted, but something he has to live with nonetheless. When the rising tides flood the coast, Adam and his Nan are forced to go to London. Even before they reach the city, Adam makes a very eerie discovery: lots of people are going to die in January of 2027. Adam doesn’t know what to do about it; he’s never actively tried to go against the numbers before. There’s no doubt that there’s going to be a catastrophe. The real question is if anything can be done about it.

I was a huge fan of Ward’s debut Numbers, but I wasn’t actually aware that there was going to be a sequel until recently. I was very excited for this follow-up, and thankfully, Ward does a very good job. This story is really made up of two separate narratives that eventually intertwine, so it seems unfair that I didn’t include Sarah’s side of the story in my summary, but while Sarah is very vital to the overall plot, I felt that Adam’s story was a smidge more dominant. I quite enjoyed how the point of view alternated between Adam and Sarah, because it helped provide insight into each of their minds as well as help develop their relationship. As in Numbers, Ward deals with several difficult social issues in addition to delivering a both romantic and action-packed plot. The Chaos touches on problems from rape to intrusive governmental power, but I felt that this combined with the dismal futuristic world Ward has envisioned was more for mood and effect than to make a statement. I do not think that Adam and Sarah’s story is nearly as powerful as Jem’s was in Numbers, but I still believe that The Chaos is a worthwhile read that will make readers think.

Readers who liked Numbers by Rachel Ward will want to check out its sequel, as will fans of Sight by Adrienne Maria Vrettos.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

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