The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson


10 Critic Reviews

It was midly entertaining minus the sub-par plot.
-Verve Girl


Navigate between myth and chaos in this “journey filled with peril, self-discovery, and terrifying moments” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

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.

About Nalo Hopkinson

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Nalo Hopkinson is the award-winning author of numerous novels and short stories for adults. Nalo grew up in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana before moving to Canada when she was sixteen. This is her first young adult novel. Visit her online at
Published April 17, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 256 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Chaos
All: 10 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 4

Publishers Weekly

Mar 05 2012

Hopkinson’s use of language and imagery is almost magical, and her characters add much-appreciated diversity to the genre.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Reviewed by Nnedi Okorafor on May 09 2012

Hopkinson places you on a great wave of magical mash-up. By the time she spills you back on land, you'll have grown fins.

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Locus Mag

Reviewed by Melanie on Apr 28 2012

And, we are given to understand, The Chaos isn’t simply a local Toronto phenomenon, but is world-wide – and it can lead to real-world fatalities.

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Verve Girl

Below average
Reviewed by VG-Giselle

It was midly entertaining minus the sub-par plot.

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The Book Smugglers

Reviewed by Ana on May 02 2012

The Chaos is an interesting book but one that I didn’t quite love.

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Book Nerd

Below average
Reviewed by Giselle on Apr 18 2012

I could not fathom what the heck was going on after The Chaos started. I really couldn’t believe what I was reading at some points and to think the ending made up for it?

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Reviewed by Reut on Apr 14 2012

This book can be summed up in one word–unique. Completely unlike anything you’ve ever read. Guaranteed. I think you should give it a shot.

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Fantasy Works

Reviewed by Casey on Apr 26 2012

This book delves into the questions of identity and perception really deeply and from dozens of angles, and that I loved.

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Below average
Reviewed by Starlady on May 07 2012

But…for all that I liked this book, and I appreciated it, I rarely felt any deep emotional connection to the characters.

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The Happy Nappy Bookseller

Below average
Reviewed by Doret on May 07 2012

Also it's uniqueness allows it stand out from other YA fantasy novels. However the author does not depend on the strangeness to carry the story.

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Lectus cn

Lectus cn 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list