Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Numbers - The Chaos

About 16 years after the events in Numbers, Jem's and Spider's son Adam is a teenager and he's living in a less than perfect world. People are microchipped at birth and are pretty much under constant surveillance. Floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are seen all over the world on a scale much higher than normal.
Adam has inherited his mother's talent of seeing the date of peoples' death in their eyes and when he moves to London, he sees the date 01012027 in the majority of people he meet. Clearly something catastrophic is going to happen, but can Adam do anything about it?

The first part explored the consequences of this supernatural talent on a more personal level, but now it's the responsibility of knowing that a great number of people will die. Other than being able to see the numbers, Adam has no special talents. What can he do and should he do anything at all?

The story has an added twist: Sarah, a girl at Adam's school has been dreaming about him for month. She also sees the disaster and she dreams that Adam will steal her baby from her. It takes a while for them to find each other and they find out that just because you know what will happen, you don't know what will happen.

What I liked about this book is that is doesn't take the easy way out. Adam isn't suddenly believed by people who have the power to evacuate London, he's no superhero. That makes it easy to identify with him and t think about what we would do in his situation. Would you try to change the future (can you at all?)? Would you try to get people to believe you? And if they believed you, would the panic that resulted from that be your fault? The story plays itself out until the bitter end, or actually it's more bittersweet, but a good ending would have spoiled the point of the story.

32. book for the Library Challenge

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