Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: Num8ers: The Chaos by Rachel Ward

Title: NUM8ERS: THE CHAØS (Book, #2 in Num8ers Trilogy)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Hardcover, 339 pages
Date Published: March 1, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
The curse of the NUM8ERS continues in Rachel Ward's CHA0T1C, earth-shattering sequel!

Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death...he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?
Much like the first in the series, THE CHAØS opens with a bang and rarely lets up. This installment features nearly an entirely new cast of characters, but Adam holds tinges of his parents, along with his mother Jem’s gift. Adam’s version of the numbers holds a slightly more physical edge to it – he can, on occasion, get a vision (images, sounds, smells, feelings, etc.) of the deaths accompanying the dates he sees.. If he glances up and catches a stranger’s eye, he could witness how they go out. And he does, over and over again. One date keeps appearing in the eyes of the people of London: 01012027. But the one person who actually sees him, a girl named Sarah, appears to be terrified of him and he doesn’t know why. Because unlike the majority of London, her number doesn’t end in 27.

Adam’s vision of fires, floods, and darkness ring so true in the current time. His apocalyptic visions really got to me, more so than they probably would have, because of everything that happened/is happening in Japan. What he sees could happen. It is happening. And that is terrifying. Sarah’s terrified, but for entirely different reasons. Getting to know both of these characters, in alternating chapters, is like going from hot to cold. 

Adam’s volatile personality feels like a firecracker just waiting to burst. He’s rude and angry and more than a little jaded, but under all of that, he cares deeply for the people around him. Sarah is the opposite of Adam, with a quiet demeanor but the strongest will to survive. She’ll go through hell to protect her daughter Mia, even if that means she has to go through Adam. The draw between the two characters is instant and all-consuming. It isn’t lust or infatuation, but this deep connection that springs from the horror that both of them have witnessed. 

Rachel Ward has a knack for tackling difficult and even taboo subjects and presenting them with raw honesty.  That being said, both NUM8ERS and THE CHAØS are definitely for an older YA audience. There is plenty of swearing, sex, drug use, and scenes of death; and while none of it bothered me, it’s certainly not something that everyone will enjoy. The book is dark, but never morbid.  Even when it seems the worst will occur – and trust me, Rachel Ward is not afraid to kill of a few good people – hope still lingers.

THE CHAØS
is explosive and emotional with characters that stick with the reader and a twist that even the most mindful won’t see coming. Rachel Ward has once again captivated me with her take on fate, life, death, and just how much one person can do to save another.

Opening line: The knock on the door comes early in the morning, just as it’s getting light. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: And maybe he will. Because he may be quiet, and he may be geeky, but I reckon Nelson’s got more balls than a pool hall. ~ pg. 230
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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5 comments:

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

I can't wait to read this one, I liked the first one.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Marce said...

I have never looked at your About Me, I totally thought you were older but enjoyed YA, older meaning my age :-0 hahahaha

I took Numbers off my Wishlist but I think I want to know for myself now if I will enjoy it, still on the fence.

Glad to hear you enjoyed this one also.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Marce - Thanks for stopping by! It's always a pleasure to read your comments and this one certainly made me smile. I'm rapidly approaching the big 2-3 and while I think that's old (where did the time go?) I know I'm still a bit of a young'n.

I know you're not a big fan of YA, so I'm not sure if the series is for you. Your best bet is to probably read the first chapter of Num8ers and decide from there. You can find a link to the sneak peek at Scholastic's website.

Jessica (BookLover) said...

Nice quote, lol. This book sounds fantastic! I have to add this to my TBR now. I like how you called the book explosive and emotional - I'm definitely curious now.

Bere said...

Ahhh! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this one. I read Numbers a while ago and I really, really enjoyed it. I've been looking forward to this one for what seems like forever. I can't wait to read it. Fantastic review, Nikki! =]

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