Mortal Chaos 2 Deep Oblivion
Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 299p
Another thrilling, roller-coaster ride of a story from Matt Dickinson. Like it's predecessor, Deep Oblivion is fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping stuff.
Dickinson's work draws upon chaos theory, arguing that variations in events could lead to incredibly different consequences. Even the fluttering of a butterfly's wings could cause disaster.
This novel brings together many different events, all overlapping, many with serious consequences. There is a homeless teenager who steals a motorbike; a young man setting up the New Years fireworks display on Sydney harbour; and a large cruise ship docking at port. Set predominantly in Australia, with other characters in South America and South-East Asia, the events in themselves are interesting but not substantial enough for a good plot. But together, chaos reigns.
I love Dickinson's descriptive style - he brings the story to life; you can see it before your eyes. I have recommended it to young reluctant readers, mainly boys, and they thoroughly enjoy the drama and intensity. The chapters are short, most are about a page long, so the plot moves quickly, jumping between characters, locations and events. Sometimes, the use of many events can confuse a plot, causing the reader distress; but Dickinson has complete control over the plot, and guides the reader through the drama.
You start to think that anything could happen; anyone could die. Dickinson laces the plot with recurring themes and imagery - in this novel, I specifically noted his repeated use of fire and water, repeatedly threatening his characters. And, as the novel's tag line states, some will die. Expect to be thrilled.