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Mortal Chaos Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019275713X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192757135
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Some will live. Many will die. All are connected.

Review

'. . . 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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! It's really 'high concept' (chaos theory in novel form) and yet nobody could accuse it of being too 'commercial' (you know, that way people say it to mean poor quality or 'dumbed down'). Mortal Chaos is on the longlist for the Carnegie this year, which is what prompted me to shunt it up the TBR pile, after languishing on my Kindle.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This complex and compelling book is written in a way that links the tiniest movement in one part of the world to an avalanche on the other side of the world. How that tiny flap of a newly hatched butterfly's wings manages to work its way across the world is told through multiple viewpoints and makes for compelling reading. I think Matt Dickenson must have had to cover his office walls in post-it notes just to keep track of the plot for this book. This book made me reflect on how everything in the world is connected and every action will affect not just one but many others, from animals to humans to industry.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 May 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Literally "The Butterfly Effect". The first flutterings of a Purple Hairstreak in a Wiltshire wood will have repercussions all over the world. Destined to be affected are a horse race at Newmarket, a climber on Mount Everest, a plane bound for Moscow, a little boy striving to save a crop of maize from baboons in Africa. Much else besides. The reader must wonder how so many disparate strands can possibly be linked, but they are....

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.

Recommended.
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By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was intrigued about Mortal Chaos from the moment I read the blurb "Some will live. Some will die. All are connected". I already knew about the Butterfly Effect but I was really curious to see how Matt Dickinson would take that theory and spin it into a story. How do you manage to connect a jockey racing at Newbury, two boys bunking off of school, a female pilot, a Japanese girl climbing up Mount Everest and a young boy in Africa? If you're Matt Dickinson you do it in a story that is fast paced, action packed and full of twists that will have readers on the edge of their seats!

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The concept of "The butterfly effect" or "Chaos Theory" is an interesting one to say the least and I was so excited to see what Matt Dickinson would do with it. It's obvious from the very first chapter that something as seemingly insignificant as a butterfly or a startled rabbit has the potential to have such a massive effect on everyone and everything else in the world.

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.
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