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The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

The Chaos (edition 2012)

by Nalo Hopkinson

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1666126,818 (3.41)5
Toronto sixteen-year-old Scotch may have to acknowledge her own limitations and come to terms with her mixed Jamaican, white, and black heritage if she is to stop the Chaos that has claimed her brother and made much of the world crazy.
Title:The Chaos
Authors:Nalo Hopkinson
Info:Margaret K. McElderry Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
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The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson


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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A pretty quick read and bizarre. This wouldn't be a lot of people's cuppa but I enjoyed the weirdness. The world falls into chaos: a volcano rises from the bay, Sasquatch & floating horse heads are among us, people are changed physically, and Scotch is growing a layer of black sticky blemishes. The plot is all over the place. If you like weird, give this a try. ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 6, 2020 |
Magical realism for mature young adults. Many will probably miss the folklore references (I only caught the most obvious ones) but that doesn't harm the story. The main character is a rebellious black teenager, with a history, some of which she may deserve. Self-centered, but with a heart, and, eventually, more fortitude and courage than even she thought she had. The unreal part is small, until about halfway, when all logic and normalcy falls apart, at least for Toronto. There's never any explanation, even on fantasy term. This kind of story normally annoys me, but the writing and characterization won the day.

Recommended. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Dec 5, 2018 |
RGG: Yes very diverse, but the plot doesn't seem to hold together--really just a description of a science fiction event, rather than a story. Reading Interest: 12-YA.
  rgruberexcel | Jun 2, 2018 |
Scotch thinks her biggest problems are her over protective parents, facing her ex boyfriend, and pulling together her dance moves before the big competition. But then the Chaos, a worldwide cataclysmic event in which the rules of physics become patchy — a volcano appears in the middle of Toronto, Sasquatches and other strange creatures start appearing on the streets, and people are changing. Her brother goes missing, people are dying, and a black blemish is quickly spreading across Scotch's body.

The Chaos that plunges into the world is strange, unsettling, and sometimes terrifying, like if Salvidor Dali and Franz Kafka envisioned the apocalypse. This kind of story could have quickly gone off the rails, but Hopkinson handles it deftly with vivid descriptions and an array of compelling and interesting characters. And I really liked that those characters represented a diverse set of backgrounds with none of them coming off as token characters.

There was so much strangeness and so many horrible things that I wasn't sure how this story could possibly end, but I needn't have worried; the ending was perfect and left me clutching the book to my chest, not wanting to let it go. ( )
  andreablythe | Nov 1, 2014 |
Sojourner/Scotch is your typical teen in Toronto: on the dance team, fighting with one of her best friends, just broke up with her boyfriend... and has some weird blotches growing on her skin. In between living her life, one night the world explodes in weirdness, dubbed The Chaos. While dealing with her missing brother, those spots turn in to more than anyone could ever want. In the meantime she has to find her way through the streets, fend off a weird black monster and an ancient Russian lady in a walking house, and hope that weird volcano now in the middle of Lake Ontario does not take her life.

Hopkinson's first foray into young adult fiction is a keeper. A unique story and worthy addition to the author's corpus. ( )
  quantumbutterfly | Sep 18, 2013 |
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Toronto sixteen-year-old Scotch may have to acknowledge her own limitations and come to terms with her mixed Jamaican, white, and black heritage if she is to stop the Chaos that has claimed her brother and made much of the world crazy.

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An acclaimed fantasy author navigates the world between myth and chaos in this compelling exploration of identity, told with a Caribbean lilt.
Sixteen-year-old Scotch struggles to fit in—at home she’s the perfect daughter, at school she’s provocatively sassy, and thanks to her mixed heritage, she doesn’t feel she belongs with the Caribbeans, whites, or blacks. And even more troubling, lately her skin is becoming covered in a sticky black substance that can’t be removed. While trying to cope with this creepiness, she goes out with her brother—and he disappears. A mysterious bubble of light just swallows him up, and Scotch has no idea how to find him. Soon, the Chaos that has claimed her brother affects the city at large, until it seems like everyone is turning into crazy creatures. Scotch needs to get to the bottom of this supernatural situation ASAP before the Chaos consumes everything she’s ever known—and she knows that the black shadowy entity that’s begun trailing her every move is probably not going to help.

A blend of fantasy and Caribbean folklore, at its heart this tale is about identity and self acceptance—because only by acknowledging her imperfections can Scotch hope to save her brother.
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