A brief and enjoyable enough narrative that blends a dash of sci-fi, a touch of detective novel, some probability theory and the odd existential crisis. Lem writes well, although there is a sense here that he has been made needlessly formal and dense by the translation.
Chain of Chance also suffers from being a bit too worthy, using its occasionally dense prose to show off some basic ideas of probability theory, some philosophy of mathematics, and the like. As with some other novels from the 1970s there is a somewhat out-of-place (and caricaturish) swipe at feminism. But the main thing that lets this down is the lengthy detailing of victims of the mysterious Substance X. The backgrounds are filled in at such arduous length principally to provide the ammunition for the probability theory climax. The effect, however, is of sorting through lengthy biographies in a medical library or in a pile of card indexes. So: pleasant enough, but not really anywhere near as good as Solaris.