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The knock on the door comes early in the morning, just as it’s getting light.
‘Open up! Open up! We’ve got an Evacuation Order on these flats. Moving out in five minutes. Five minutes everybody!’
You can hear them going down the corridor, knocking on doors, repeating the same instructions over and over. I haven’t been asleep, but Nan nodded off in her chair, and now she jerks awake and curses.
‘Bloody hell, Adam. What time is it?’ Her face looks crumpled and old, too old to go with her purple hair.
‘Half-six, Nan. They’ve come.’
She looks at me, tired and wary.
‘This is it, then,’ she says. ‘Better find your things.’
I look back at her and I think, I’m not going anywhere. Not with you.
We’ve been expecting this.

About the book

Adam sees 'numbers'. When he looks in people's eyes he can see the dates of their deaths, just like his mum Jem used to.

When he sees that everyone around him has the same date in their eyes – 2025 – he becomes deeply afraid.

Desperate to find out what’s about to go wrong, Adam spends hours researching possibilities – war, nuclear accidents, killer viruses.

He knows something big is coming, but what? And what can he possibly do about it?

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Press reviews

“... a riveting and frightening story with nuanced and compelling characters.”


“Breakneck sequel to Numbers ... completely unputdownable.”


“Poignant characters balance the gritty and the tender ... without ever veering into caricature.”


Author notes

'With The Chaos I wanted to show that all the decisions we make, big or small, can change the course of our lives. Adam can see people’s deaths, but he can’t accept them. The Chaos is the story of his fight against fate, to save the people around him … to change the future.'

Numbers 2: The Chaos in the news

Happy birthday to NUMBERS!

Numbers author Rachel Ward stops by our blog on the tenth anniversary of her debut novel ... 

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