Thursday 8 May 2014


The Chaos Code by Justin Richards
Narrated by Russell Boulter
Series: (standalone)
Genre: YA
Format: hardback & unabridged CD audiobook

About The Chaos Code:
Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. His dad's house is often a mess, so when Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he's not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and some strange sandy footprints quickly persuade Matt that all is not right. With the help of some unusual family friends, Matt discovers that his father had been searching for an ancient code, one rumored to have brought down the Mayans, and maybe even the fabled civilization of Atlantis. Now in the hands of a madman using high tech computers to decipher it, the code is being readied for new and sinister uses. Matt and his friend, Robin, will traverse the globe, battling terrifying sand creatures and mercenaries alike in their efforts to stop the chaos code from being fully reactivated--and dooming the modern world to a catastrophe not seen since the days of Atlantis.
Source: Info in the About The Chaos Code was taken from GoodReads at on 18/06/2012.

Narrative Evaluation:
The story tells about the adventures of a 15-year-old boy trying to find his absent-minded archeologist father. Then ofcourse there has to be a girl, Robin Venture. Blue eyes, black hair, pretty. So there is an element of teen romance in the story, but not too obvious that it overuns the book, just enough to spice it up.
Throughout, the story is peppered with indications of paranormal elements mixed with known scientific facts. Titillating readers about hidden mysteries and possible plot twists. At the start, it made the story very interesting indeed! However, by the end of the book, all these paranormal elements felt flat. The book is trying to convince the reader that there is magic which enables control by association. A magic which controls bigger things by having a representation of it, i.e., voodoo dolls. However, the book explaining this magic away by technology of some other advanced civilization does not compute. It didn't tally. The book failed to convince me that there is a relationship between magic and this technology. The leap between magic and advanced technology somehow did not mesh. Did not gel. It wasn't explained satisfactorily enough to me. There is a huge gaping hole between the two which the book failed to gap. The "just because it's magic" explanation didn't cut it either.
But, I like the use of logical deductions in coming up with the answers from the clues. That made the book interesting to follow. However for some strange reason, these same brilliant characters who seems able to decode the German war code, could not comprehend the danger right in front of their noses. It seems to me like, this is the author's way of creating a situation so that the heroes could show off and save the world. Pretty weak plot. This book has a lot of promise but still needs a lot of work to make it a bit more consistent.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 2
World building = 2
Plot = 1.5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = (approximately 8.5hours listening time)
Narrator = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow this book!!

FTC Disclosure:
The audiobook and hardback copies were borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.

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