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Chaos Code

Chaos Code

4.5 2
by Justin Richards

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Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. When Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he's not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and strange footprints quickly persuade Matt that all is not right. With the help of some unusual family friends, Matt


Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. When Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he's not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and strange 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, 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 activated-and dooming the modern world to a catastrophe not seen since the days of Atlantis.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Let's Find Treasure," the catchphrase from Richards's (The Death Collector) mystery/thriller, seems emblematic of this novel's excited tone. Like Grimpow(reviewed above), this story, too, utilizes numerous conventions à la Dan Brown's TheDa Vinci Code-cryptic messages, coded clues, historical arcane societies, etc.-but here these feel somewhat derivative. The storyline revolves around 15-year-old Matt Stribling who, in search of his missing archeologist father, becomes entangled in a globe-hopping quest. The goal: to find an ancient treasure that, if unearthed by the wrong people, could potentially destroy the world. Initially, Stribling and two allies-millionaire Julius Venture and his precocious daughter Robin-set out to find the lost treasure of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, a legendary cache of scrolls and relics that supposedly holds the "knowledge held secret by the ancients." But as the search takes the group from the jungles of Brazil to a remote Scandinavian island, the scope of the mysterious "knowledge" expands to include the lost continent of Atlantis, elemental magic and quantum entanglement. The action never stops, but the glut of two-dimensional characters and more than a few highly implausible exploits (Matt figures out a computer's complex password after just a few tries) weaken the suspense. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
When Matt Stribling's mother, a highly sought-after computer programmer, dumps him on his archeologist father for the duration of his school vacation, Matt expects to have a boring time. But Matt's father has disappeared, and Matt starts what will be a strange and eventful journey as he works with his aunt, her boss, and the boss's daughter Robin to decode the clues left behind. But Dr. Stribling's boss, Harper, may be the reason that the archeologist has disappeared, and Matt and Robin have to use their combined intelligence to figure out where Matt's father is being held. Along the way, Matt begins to unravel the mystery of Robin and her father, two people who seem to know more about the ancient world than anyone he knows. Will this combination of knowledge, experience, and sheer luck help Matt and Robin to solve the "chaos code?" The story has solid action throughout, and though I had an idea about Robin's secret, the author still managed to surprise me. This is sure to be a hit with middle school students. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Kim Carter
All set to spend his relaxing school holidays at his Mum's flat in London, fifteen-year-old Matt Stripling is disgruntled to learn that he is being shunted to his archaeologist father's house in the country. Further surprises await, however, as he not only discovers that his father is missing but also uncovers a cryptic message directing him to his Aunt Jane and her employer, Julius Venture. At the Venture estate, Matt meets Venture's daughter Robin, who appears to be around his age but has surprising skills and knowledge. Mysteries and clues abound through the estate as Matt discovers an old photo of his father and Aunt Jane together with Julius and a young woman whom Matt assumes is Robin's mother. The sudden helicopter arrival of billionaire Atticus Harper connects Dr. Stribling's disappearance to the search for the elusive and powerful Treasure of St. John, a treasure that would upset the balance of the world. Matt joins the Ventures as they embark on a high-tech global quest to find Dr. Stribling, protect the treasure, and prevent a modern recurrence of the Atlantis cataclysm. From the creative director of the BBC's Doctor Who books, this novel combines intrigue, adventure, and cryptography with masterful pacing and age-old mysteries to provide a riveting, modern-day Indiana Jones that will appeal to young and old alike.
VOYA - Tristan Benedict
A really fun book to read, The Chaos Code kept my interest throughout the entire story. Although it is easy to read, the plot line has several twists that kept me wanting to read on. The varying roles of the characters are well developed and add a lot to the story line. Someone who likes unpredictable adventure books will enjoy this one.
Kirkus Reviews
Matt Stribling is used to his divorced parents shuttling him back and forth on school vacations. But he'd rather be surfing the Internet at home than spending a dull holiday with his absent-minded archaeologist father, who didn't even remember to pick him up at the train station. Things don't stay dull for long, however, when he receives a coded message and realizes that he's being watched. Part of the message translates into "LTF"-a clue from his dad that means "Let's Find Treasure!" The pace picks up speed as the puzzle unravels, with clues that take Matt and his new friend Robin globe-hopping from England to Denmark to the rain forest of Brazil. But they're not the only ones looking for the treasure; this isn't a game, and the treasure isn't mere gold or jewels. Mixing the supernatural with an action-adventure theme, this is a race that will capture the reader's attention and keep them turning pages long after lights out. (Fiction. 12-15)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 8.02(h) x 1.36(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JUSTIN RICHARDS is the author of The Death Collector, among other novels, and has also written audio and television scripts. He is a creative consultant to the BBC Worldwide's range of Doctor Who novels and the author of the middle-grade Invisible Detective series. Justin lives in Warwick, England, with his family.

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The Chaos Code 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Matt Stribling is being sent to live with his brilliant father during summer vacation. Upon arrival, Matt finds a message from his father, which leads him to his aunt's home. Aunt Jane, Mr. Venture, and Atticus Harper explain to Matt that his father has been looking for a code and suddenly went missing.

Possibly kidnapped.

Mr. Harper tells Matt of the treasure, and the power along with it, that caused the fabled "Great Flood" -- and maybe even destroyed Atlantis.

Matt soon learns that the code is in the hands of a wealthy adventurer who plans on using the power to further his own plans to become an almighty being. It is up to Matt and his unusual friend, Robin, to stop the code from being reactivated. They must either hide the code away or protect it with their lives. . .

THE CHAOS CODE is a book that could easily be turned into a movie. It is like Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider meets The Mummy. This book is fast-paced and doesn't let you stop reading.