Mortal Chaos Paperback – 2 Feb 2012
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Some will live. Many will die. All are connected.
'. . . action-packed crackers kids will fly through.' (The Sun)
'Thrilling and thoughtful stuff for a 21st-century reader' (Telegraph)
'A pacy and thrilling read building to a dramatic finale. An imaginative page turner' (Booktrust)
'Slick as an oil-spill, and equally combustive, this yarn for mid-teens takes chaos theory as its basis . . . Gripping.' (The Telegraph)
'A fast-paced thriller with a generous drizzle of epicness. Utterly devourable.' (LoveReading4kids.co.uk, teen reader review)
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel starts with a butterfly hatching, which startles a race horse in its training. This means that our focus shifts from the butterfly to the trainers working with the race horses. The whole novel is told in really short sections (most were just over a page on my Kindle), shifting focus from person to person using tiny links between them. One of the pleasures of this book is figuring out how different characters and stories may be linked, as it isn't always immediately apparent. As per the title, many of these plot threads are high octane and concerned with life and death scenarios: a climber on Mount Everest, a man setting off to bomb his ex-wife, boys in the woods with Daddy's shotgun.
The novel's pace is another strong point of interest. Who would have thought that a novel including a dozen or so different plot strands, with only tiny links between them, could be pacy? And yet it is. The snapshot chapters/sections help with this of course, as we effectively only see a single scene from each interlinked story before shifting focus again. This also helps to ensure (I think) that we don't get so bogged down in one angle that we forget the others. Again, I might have expected to find it challenging to keep up with so many different characters/plot threads, but it really isn't.
Just in case you're not sure, I'm strongly recommending this one.Read more ›
Chapters speed by - all of them short, many with cliffhangers as everything spirals out of control. Admittedly the book's climax is a little too neatly contrived, the same wood involved. Prepare for loose ends. That is the whole point. The ripples caused by that maiden flight will ever continue. This is just the start.
Unusual, inventive, brisk and involving - several of the twists and turns a genuine surprise.
Mortal Chaos is written in short, snappy 1-2 page chapters that really build the tension as you follow multiple characters throughout their day. I was a bit worried that it would be hard to keep track of so many different people but I was surprised at how easy it was to keep each story line separate. The book starts with a butterfly but doesn't end with a hurricane - it does end in disaster though. Some of the links between characters are obvious but will have surprising consequences and other links are slowly revealed as the story progresses. The book will really make you think about how the smallest thing like leaving for work 5 minutes late can have a huge impact on the lives of people you may never even meet.
The author is skilled at making you think one thing will happen and then surprising you with something completely different. In a way it reminded me a bit of the Final Destination films where you know something terrible is coming, you have multiple moments where you think you know what that will be and then suddenly you're blindsided by something you never even guessed at.
Mortal Chaos is a fast and addictive read that it is easy to devour in one sitting.Read more ›
Interestingly the structure of this book is responsible for why I continued reading rather than the story itself. They are short and sharp chapters, sometimes only half a page and never more than two pages, which kept me hooked. But, and unfortunately it's a big but, the story itself was pretty dull. We are split between a number of different characters, including characters such as a japanese teenager climbing mount everest, her father on a flight, a pilot travelling to work, a camera crew looking for a hot story, a young boy and his brother in Malawi and so on. So many of these characters actually have pretty good back stories but because we're given so many different characters and only tiny snapshots of each one it's really hard to connect with any of them - and that means it's pretty hard to care what happens to them!
So, although the concept is clever I just didn't feel like Dickinson did very much with it - or at least not in enough depth. It was great that so many seemingly tiny events should have such effect on each of the characters and this tied them all together, I just couldn't get stuck in enough or connect enough with any of the characters. Overall, a good book but probably better suited to younger readers rather than readers who are used to something a bit more gripping and a bit chewier. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel unfortunately.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely loved this book it is so interesting and i could not put it downPublished 11 months ago by Matthew B.
I had this book recommended as a potential shared class read for my Year 6's, so thought I'd give it the once over during the holidays. I wasn't disappointed. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is fantastic and every chapter is amazing and breath taking .I love the way that they are all connected .Matt Dickinson is an amazing author climber and producerPublished 14 months ago by Sue
This book is a fast-paced read, and makes you want to read on to the end!highly recommended!! buy not be disappointed!Published 18 months ago by William lomas
This book has completely changed my life forever(I am only twelve years old!)! I was on the edge of my seat from start to end! RECOMMENDED!Published 22 months ago by MartynJ
I found this book quite dull as this is something I would not normally choose.i would recommend this book to children/young adults who like a bit of animal booksPublished on 27 Jun. 2014 by Kindle Customer
I liked the choice of words but it wasn't my type.I'm all about possible adventures that can happen in real life.I think this is suitable for late teens.Published on 27 Jun. 2014 by AnwR