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. I was excited to find that this is the first book in a series and definitely have the next book Deep Oblivion at the top of my wish list. I would highly recommend the story to anyone who is looking for an action packed and surprising story and think the short chapters make this ideal for teenagers who don't do a lot of reading. That isn't to say that avid readers won't also love it though - the story is compelling enough to captivate readers of any age.