Numbers 2: Chaos

The second book in Rachel Ward’s fantastic trilogy doesn’t disappoint. It is just as exciting, if not more, than the first. I must say though, if you haven’t read the first book yet – then click off this page now until you have. As it may spoil some of the plot from the debut. ūüėČ

Half of this¬†book is from the perspective of Adam, the son of Jem and Spider. The other half is from Sarah’s point of view – one of Adam’s school colleagues, who first knows him from her nightmares. She can see the future, you see, in her nightmares. And Adam, you’ve guessed it, has his Mum’s gift and can see the numbers in people’s eyes. Yet, the gift seems to be developing with each generation and Adam can see and feel how the person is going to die too.

Spider and Jem aren’t in this book – you’ll see why at the end of the first book ūüėČ We are left with Adam, his great-nan¬†from the first book and Sarah to try and help save London from the looming disaster. Adam keeps seeing the same number: 1st Jan 2027.¬† He sees it in people everywhere he does and knows something terrible is going to happen. This is no London Eye incident from the first book, this is going to affect thousands of people.

Adam starts to record the numbers, the people he saw them in, the place he saw them and the kind of death they will have. He starts to notice a pattern: fire, water and tumbling rubble. If people aren’t going to die on New Year’s Day then a lot of them are predicted to die days after. So what is going to happen? And can Adam change the future by warning people? Is anyone actually going to believe him?

Sarah has the same nightmare every night and her days are filled with a nightmare too¬† – her Dad rapes her on a regular basis. Up to this point, I thought these books would be great for teenagers in schools to study, but it does has very adult themes like this. Something good comes out of her horrible ordeal though.¬†A child. Which to me, seems a bit odd. I mean, I get why it happened, as a result of incest. But she seems absolutely fine with bringing up her Dad’s baby and doesn’t seem emotionally torn in how to love the baby or now – I just thought that may have been more of an issue. And what will happen when the baby asks about her¬†Dad one day?¬†But Ward does do a great job with Sarah and her love/hatred/fear of her father. And the story running parallel to the first book¬†: means she also runs away. She is also partly running away from Adam, he may have met her at school, but she has known him for years from her nightmares! She is terrified of him but doesn’t know why and as much as she runs, she finds that she always runs into him.

Together, will they figure out a solution to the looming New Year’s Day? Will they all survive? And since the gift has now changed through the generations – can Adam now change the numbers?

My only issue with the book (apart from the baby issue¬†that I have already mentioned) is technology. I like how the book is set in the future and people get chipped and there are these palm computer¬†gadgets that every school pupil has. There are TV screens all over London giving safety info. That all seems quite believable. Yet, Adam doesn’t know how to use the internet. Whaaat? Ward claims, Jem always kept Adam away from the internet because it¬†is full of rubbish. But would we seriously believe that a teenage boy, even these days, would do as his Mum says and avoid the internet completely? Let alone in 14 years time! Teenagers can’t avoid the internet, yet Adam doesn’t even know how to warn people of 1.1.2027 through forums or blogs or anything. I find this to be unrealistic, as I imagine people will pretty much use the internet to survive in the future! Adam would have grown up with it.

This book is aptly named ‘Chaos’ as there is nothing but that from beginning to end. It isn’t a particularly happy book,¬† but as I say about things like that, it will always make you feel better about your own life ūüėČ I did get a bit freaked out though by the 1st Jan 2027 date – because could something happen on that day?¬† Could Ward be right? But I guess you always get that with books set in the future – and George Orwell wasn’t right with 1984 was he?! ūüėČ

Happy reading,

XSXS

Decluttering those January blues…..

January is always a month for decluttering. I would go as far as saying that we all declutter, in some way. I am a¬†huge fan of the declutter¬†and of the new year as a whole. It is like everything is wiped clean. A new start. A blank canvas. Even if you had a great year the previous year (as I did), it is still nice to reset the clock and see what can happen in the New Year. Bye bye to Christmas and hello to resolutions, cutting back on food and money and the thought of bad weather. Very depressing when you think of it like that. I like to put my whole positive spin it, though. It can be a chilled month if we choose.¬† No crazy Christmas meals and parties every weekend that we feel obliged to attend. Yes, we have to go back to work but I think that, in some form, we all need a routine too. I begin to crave the normality of a working day – because chilling in front of the TV with a cuppa just isn’t special when you’ve done it for a week is it? After a working day, you feel you have earned it. Also, you don’t need to scrap and save for Christmas presents and¬†you hopefully have enough food and drink to live off for¬†a while, so leave the pennies in your pocket. No rushing around the shops either¬†to get Christmas goodies – unless you are like me and actually like sale shopping!

But the best part about January¬†is, as my first point states, is¬†the decluttering. I said we all do it in some way – you may just physically put the Christmas rubbish out and load the empties into the recycling¬†bin¬†after New Year’s Eve ūüėČ but doesn’t it feel great when you get rid of something you don’t need? I am a huuuge¬†fan of the declutter. I have spent my day doing it today. Decluttering¬†the house at first. As much as I love having my Christmas trees and decs¬†up, (and I must admit I had a pang of disappointment just as I realised I couldn’t put my tree lights on in the looming darkness) I do love it when the house is, once again, de-christmased. Last night, after spending the day hungover, I suddenly had the urge to take everything santa related down. The cards, the tinsel, the trees. And I did. I figured, I may not get the ‘urge’ again until I am back at work so I did it all. Then today, I have had a clear out of clothes, underwear, toiletries, make-up and present packaging (what is with all the plastic?!). I also got onto enviro-phone.com and sold my old mobile phone – I got ¬£27 (which will now buy me a new mp3 player that I lost in: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/a-stupid-free-christmas-day/.¬†It felt good to remove unwanted things to make space for the new, wanted things.

At this time of year, I also declutter¬†my mind. I try and¬†let go of things that have bothered me and I try to¬†get a positive¬†mind about returning to work. I also make resolutions. I do this every year and make quite a few. I think we can always self-improve. I don’t mean this in a way that if we keep doing this then in a few years we will be perfect. No. I just think there is always something we can do to increase our quality of life. But there are two BUTs to this. My boyfriend’s brother just said one on his Facebook update: You have to know how you can achieve it. And secondly, you have to want to do it.

This year, mine are:

  • To continue with this blog (whoop, so far so good)
  • To finish my book ( this has now been one for two years¬† – so I must do this)
  • Write more poems/short stories
  • Read more and use Book Lover’s Diary (https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/a-book-lovers-post/)
  • Give alcohol up¬†for January
  • Give up chocolate for Lent ( I do this every year)
  • Walk/swim/gym three times a week
  • See friends I haven’t seen for a while (friend in France and University friends)
  • Remember all birthdays! (I’m normally pretty good but occasionally one sneaks up on me and I feel awful)
  • Not get so impatient and annoyed by trivial things (my boyfriend is very excited by this one!)

Yes, there are a lot but I think they all very achievable. And look at it¬†this way, by making a list of them then you have a higher hope of doing at least one ūüėČ

So yes, there are a couple of resolutions that will aid with the decluttering¬†process. Giving up alcohol is my main one. My uncle’s wife said she was doing a Dryathalon. I was intrigued and, at first, I must admit I thought it was something related to the recent floods we have had! But no, it is to not drink alcohol for January. (I will share more details in a future post.) I thought this would be a good way to give my body a break after all the indulgence. I can’t do food yet as there are still too many goodies in the house! Alcohol, I will do though and I even poured some open wine away earlier as a weird, cleansing ceremony! ūüėČ I have 7 birthdays this month, my anniversary and my sister’s graduation – so all the more challenging! It’s all in aid of Cancer research¬†and I am going to do it! All in aid of the delcuttering, too, of course ūüėČ

The regular readers with an eye for detail will also notice¬†I have decluttered¬†my blog slightly – I changed my tag line to ‘Life: the serious and the silly…’ I wanted something minimalistic, simple and that reflects all the random topics I talk about. Everything comes under silly and serious in some way I feel ūüėČ

So January is good because I have/or I am going to declutter:

  1. the house
  2. my mind
  3. my body
  4. my blog
  5. and my life!

I imagine by March things will all be cluttered again because even though I have these mad clear outs, deep down I am a secret hoarder¬†ūüėČ but shhhhh….

Happy decluttering!

XSXS