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The Chaos Function PDF, ePub eBook For readers of the best‑selling novels Sleeping Giants and Dark Matter, an intense, high‑stakes thriller with a science‑fiction twist that asks: If technology enabled you to save the life of someone you love, would you do so even if it might doom millions?   Olivia Nikitas, a hardened journalist whose specialty is war zones, has been reporting from the front lines of the c For readers of the best‑selling novels Sleeping Giants and Dark Matter, an intense, high‑stakes thriller with a science‑fiction twist that asks: If technology enabled you to save the life of someone you love, would you do so even if it might doom millions?   Olivia Nikitas, a hardened journalist whose specialty is war zones, has been reporting from the front lines of the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. When Brian, an aid worker she reluctantly fell in love with, dies while following her into danger, she’ll do anything to bring him back. In a makeshift death chamber beneath an ancient, sacred site, a strange technology is revealed to Olivia: the power to remake the future by changing the past.    Following her heart and not her head, Olivia brings Brian back, accidentally shifting the world to the brink of nuclear and biological disaster. Now she must stay steps ahead of the guardians of this technology, who will kill her to reclaim it, in order to save not just herself and her love, but the whole world.

30 review for The Chaos Function

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danny Tyran

    I won't summarize this novel, others have done it before me. I'll only give my impressions. This is not the first time travel or apocalyptic novel I read, far from it. We can say that I have some bases on which to build my expectations. This novel is more a road book (literary equivalent of a "road movie"), because the story takes place mainly on the road. I don't understand the usefulness of all this travelling, given that Olivia (or Liv for his friends), the main character, can use her power, i I won't summarize this novel, others have done it before me. I'll only give my impressions. This is not the first time travel or apocalyptic novel I read, far from it. We can say that I have some bases on which to build my expectations. This novel is more a road book (literary equivalent of a "road movie"), because the story takes place mainly on the road. I don't understand the usefulness of all this travelling, given that Olivia (or Liv for his friends), the main character, can use her power, inherited by accident from the previous shepherd (kind of leader of the machine's guardians), to change the history from afar, i.e. she doesn't need to be near the time machine. She could have found a good hiding place and caused all the damages described in this novel from there. Moreover, I found several descriptive parts of her travels a little too long. I didn't especially need to know that they had to go and buy something to eat in the chaotic world provoked by Liv's good intentions. All in all, it's still a entertaining novel that will please all lovers of mystery and apocalyptic stories. Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an electronic copy of this good novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book. 4 1/2 stars!! This was a fun book to read. Not a fun subject but exciting, a real edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. The funny thing is -- as a movie genre this is one my favorites but it certainly is not a genre I reg In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book. 4 1/2 stars!! This was a fun book to read. Not a fun subject but exciting, a real edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. The funny thing is -- as a movie genre this is one my favorites but it certainly is not a genre I regularly read. It was fun stepping out of my comfort zone. The book fell short of 5 stars only because a few times I had to roll my eyes too far in the back of my head to make it through a given scene. I truly hated the female lead character. She annoyed me to high heavens. She definitely was not written to be that way on purpose. I wish the author would write a male lead. It's something I'm sure he's more adept at doing. I'm afraid he's going to alienate female readers if he continues to write dumb, whiny, cold- shouldered female protagonists. That would be a shame because overall the book is fine. 4.5*(4*)/ 4.08*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aristotle

    Temporal Incursion: An act of altering the timeline. The Butterfly Effect: A minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Imagine if you had a machine that could do this. The problem is what will the alteration to the timeline after the incursion look like? Better or worse? You could set off a world wide epidemic. Well that's not good.. This was just ok. The plot at times moved too fast not giving it enough time to develop and at times moved too slow. The main cha Temporal Incursion: An act of altering the timeline. The Butterfly Effect: A minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Imagine if you had a machine that could do this. The problem is what will the alteration to the timeline after the incursion look like? Better or worse? You could set off a world wide epidemic. Well that's not good.. This was just ok. The plot at times moved too fast not giving it enough time to develop and at times moved too slow. The main character Olivia was annoying and not empowered. Not someone who could be trusted to police the time stream. The Society/Shephards were an unsophisticated group to be entrusted with such a powerful weapon. Add a disappointing ending makes this a book i would not recommend. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" -Spock Iactura paucorum serva multos (Sacrifice the few to save the many)- Some philosopher who spoke Latin."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kitten Kisser

    Entertaining & Forgettable While this book moved at a decent pace & was entertaining, it lacked enough depth for me to really care about it one way or the other once I was finished. First, it was totally unbelievable that the main character, Olivia was so in love with Brian that she would potentially risk the lives of millions just to keep him alive. The only way you really know Olivia loves Brian is because she says she let him "get his foot in the door". There is no passion whatsoever b Entertaining & Forgettable While this book moved at a decent pace & was entertaining, it lacked enough depth for me to really care about it one way or the other once I was finished. First, it was totally unbelievable that the main character, Olivia was so in love with Brian that she would potentially risk the lives of millions just to keep him alive. The only way you really know Olivia loves Brian is because she says she let him "get his foot in the door". There is no passion whatsoever between them. I'm talking a big fat zero. They come across as friends, friends who care for each other sure, but LOVE? No. It just isn't there. Here are the two main characters in a nutshell: Olivia is also your typical angsty young woman who lost her parents, is afraid to let love in, blah blah blah. She's a hard ass who puts herself first. Brian is just this really great guy. He's just you know, the kind of guy who would do great things for other people. A good person. Upbeat. Really. Such a good guy. Look at him go with his awesome great guy-ness. So yeah, none of the characters are fleshed out enough, including Olivia. The book is also lacking in details. Granted, an author can go overboard describing the landscape (Dean Koontz immediately comes to mind), but an author can also be too vague, leaving so little description that it is hard to truly imagine what the landscape is like that the character is in. War torn, rubble everywhere. Unsteady ruins. Sickness. Hungry kids & cats. Guns. Oh! Here's a good one for you: When you die, if you didn't know, your lips IMMEDIATELY are cold & rubbery. Last I checked, bodies are warm & pliable immediately after death & for a bit after. Cold & rubbery? Very very interesting. Perhaps this is a new type of GMO human who dies differently than the rest of us Non GMO folks? Three stars because, the main thing this book has going for it is, as the reader, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Olivia makes choices, which have major consequences. So, I turn the page to find out, you guessed it, what happens next. Finally, once it is revealed what Olivia's final decision is, the book moves along until she does or does not achieve said goal. This final run of the book wasn't as climatic as I'd expected it to be. Upon completion of the book, I felt rather ho hum about it. Bottom line, it simply doesn't have enough depth to make it a good book. Overall, this is a book worth borrowing from the library for some light unbelievable entertainment, but not one worthy of precious space on ones bookshelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anneke

    Book Review: The Chaos Function Author: Jack Skillingstead Publisher: John Joseph Adams/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication Date: March 19, 2019 Review Date: March 22, 2019 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: “...an intense, high‑stakes thriller with a science‑fiction twist that asks: If technology enabled you to save the life of someone you love, would you do so even if it might doom millions?” This was a whip smart, high intensity cr Book Review: The Chaos Function Author: Jack Skillingstead Publisher: John Joseph Adams/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication Date: March 19, 2019 Review Date: March 22, 2019 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: “...an intense, high‑stakes thriller with a science‑fiction twist that asks: If technology enabled you to save the life of someone you love, would you do so even if it might doom millions?” This was a whip smart, high intensity cracking sci if/thriller novel. I was riveted, gobbled the book up in one day. The author made writing look easy, without that self-absorbed sensation I often get from new or inexperienced novelists. The characters in this book were very filled out, unusual and interesting. The structure and plot were well done, tight and moved coherently. There was often beauty in the language and imagery, which is unusual in these types of books. If you like science fiction, thrillers and pondering technology and the future, you’ve got a winner here. I expect this book to be one of sci fi’s/thriller best sellers of 2019. I highly recommend this book if sci fi and/or thrillers are what you like. 5 stars! One of the best sci fi books I’ve read in awhile. Best of luck to the author. Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an early look at this fantastic book. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. #netgalley #houghtonmifflinharcourt #thechaosfunction

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

    This is a sci-fi novel with a strong suspense element. In a sense, it is a race against time so there is always an unrelenting sense of urgency. The premise is great, i.e., what if someone's actions changed the world in a terrible way? What if you could undo that one decision in order to achieve a different result? A secret society has the ability to just that, but through a fluke, the power passes to a journalist who is in the right place at the time to receive it. Ethical issues, a tiny bit of r This is a sci-fi novel with a strong suspense element. In a sense, it is a race against time so there is always an unrelenting sense of urgency. The premise is great, i.e., what if someone's actions changed the world in a terrible way? What if you could undo that one decision in order to achieve a different result? A secret society has the ability to just that, but through a fluke, the power passes to a journalist who is in the right place at the time to receive it. Ethical issues, a tiny bit of romance, and a lot of tension shape this story. Unfortunately, the scenarios are quite repetitive as the journalist keeps trying to understand the power she wields to change time, over and over. The boyfriend Brian is a weak character; she says she can't take it if he dies, but the reader does not come to care for him much. The suspense was really more a bunch of action scenes as they flee a plague, secret society members, and unrealistically travel long distances around the country and across the world as if it is nothing to do so. Good diversionary read, and a good example of blending the sci-fi and suspense genres. Another good example of this is James Rollins' Sandstorm.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Olivia is a hardened journalist in Aleppo, Syria when something earth shattering happens. She’s not exactly sure WHAT happened, but it literally changed reality. What follows is a gripping novel that is part thriller, part science fiction. Perfect for fans of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maudaevee

    This just may not of been my thing, it was a little hard for me to get into.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mike Stolfi

    Actually, I'm finished enough, completion unnecessary. Girl gets mystical powers, girl won't use them properly, reader gets about halfway through & bails.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    **I received this ARC from the publisher at NYCC** There were only two things that kept this from being a 4 star book for me. 1) sometimes I had a hard time liking Olivia and 2) it dragged a bit at the end - there's a big build up to what she needs to do and a sense of urgency that seems to get forgotten in the last 30 pages. Other than that I thought this was a really original and interesting story. It was also a good take on the philosophical debate about sacrificing some to save many.

  11. 4 out of 5

    astaliegurec

    The writing in Jack Skillingstead's 2019 novel "The Chaos Function" isn't bad (it's actually pretty good). I just couldn't stand the protagonist. I managed to get to the 35% point where people show the protagonist she has a certain important ability. But, she just flat out denies it and doesn't want to learn about it. I can't even relate to that. So, I stopped reading. I'm rating the book at a Not Very Good 2 stars out of 5. But, if you're more forgiving of protagonist stupidity than I am, you m The writing in Jack Skillingstead's 2019 novel "The Chaos Function" isn't bad (it's actually pretty good). I just couldn't stand the protagonist. I managed to get to the 35% point where people show the protagonist she has a certain important ability. But, she just flat out denies it and doesn't want to learn about it. I can't even relate to that. So, I stopped reading. I'm rating the book at a Not Very Good 2 stars out of 5. But, if you're more forgiving of protagonist stupidity than I am, you might give it a try from the library.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality There’s a quote from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that goes, “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” This is a story about what happens when someone has the power to lure that Moving Finger back to cancel more than half a line – but does not – as no human does – have the wisdom to determine whether that cancellation was, or was not, the ri Originally published at Reading Reality There’s a quote from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that goes, “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” This is a story about what happens when someone has the power to lure that Moving Finger back to cancel more than half a line – but does not – as no human does – have the wisdom to determine whether that cancellation was, or was not, the right thing to do. This book was simply a wow. Of course, it’s also just a bit more complicated than that. Also just saying it’s a wow isn’t really an informative review – although it certainly is succinct. At first, this seems like a near-future dystopian novel, until it isn’t. And then it is again. And then it isn’t. Still confused? I think it’s intentional – at least on the part of the story. Olivia is an investigative journalist chasing a story in Aleppo, Syria, just a little more than a decade from now. Her world doesn’t feel much different from ours in time, only in place. The seemingly permanent, perpetual civil war/uprising/revolution/counterinsurgency/whatever that she is covering is worlds away from the comfortable life that still very much exists back in the US. But Olivia makes her living covering what she calls the “Disaster”. A disaster that could be anywhere, and often is – just not back home. Also a disaster that seems to be a direct consequence of actions taken in our present, as the Syrian conflict that she is covering is the war to overthrow Assad, which has its roots in our now. She’s attempting to cover violations of the current, tentative peace agreement when she, her guide and her aid worker-lover get caught in the crossfire – and the world changes. And changes again. And again. And it’s all Olivia’s fault… Really, it is. Brian is killed in that crossfire, and Olivia finds herself in the basement of the building she was trying to investigate, his blood still on her hands, when she finds an old man who has been tortured taking his last breaths. Something jumps from his corpse to her living body, and burrows itself into her brain. When she makes a wish that Brian hadn’t died – he isn’t dead. But the world has changed, and not for the better. That’s the point where things get very, very hairy. And then they get worse. Since it’s all Olivia’s fault, it’s up to her to fix it if she can. Because the needs of the many really do outweigh the needs of the few or of the one – even if that one is someone she loves. Escape Rating A+: This is still a wow. I believe that the reason this is such a wow is that there are multiple ways to look at the story, all of them equally valid – as they should be. This is, after all, a story about the butterfly effect – for a butterfly with extremely large wings. From the very beginning, I saw multiple connections to this story. Something about the atmosphere in war-torn Aleppo recalled for me the atmosphere of The Children of Men by P.D. James. The stories aren’t actually alike, but the worlds felt similar. Once Olivia discovers her ability to change the future, the way that it worked was extremely similar to Ia’s ability in the military SF series Theirs Not to Reason Why. Like Ia, Olivia is trying to find the best of all possible outcomes, no matter how slim a chance it is, and make it happen. The difference is that Ia knows how to use her power, and Olivia most definitely does not. But it’s the different, and all equally awful, portraits of the way that the world goes mad that push the story forward at breakneck speed. Each of Olivia’s attempts to save Brian results in greater and greater disasters. A weaponized smallpox epidemic. Nuclear powers, blaming each other, fingers on too many triggers, wiping out each other’s major cities and food producing regions. And it gets worse from there. (I haven’t seen the world go so far past hell in a handbasket so fast since the early books in S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse) The source of Olivia’s new-found power throws in a cult of conspiracy theorists as well as a chase around the world. The ability to control the future is a power that has been closely guarded – and extremely contested – for centuries. And no one’s vision of “better” remotely resembles anyone else’s. But there’s a reason why I started with Omar Khayyam and ended with Spock. Because the story in The Chaos Function is also, writ large and with even more deadly consequences, the story of the classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever. And the ending is just as necessary, and just as heartbreaking.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry Martin Vass

    This is a hot blast of mind-bending science fiction based around the theory of alternate realities. Olivia Nikitas is a tough-minded journalist in Aleppo embedded with the Syrian rebels in 2029 when she hears the story of a torture chamber located under a school in the Old City. Making her way there with two friends to investigate, they are caught in a firefight and her friends die. But something happens, and Olivia suddenly finds that she has two memories of the same event, and in the second me This is a hot blast of mind-bending science fiction based around the theory of alternate realities. Olivia Nikitas is a tough-minded journalist in Aleppo embedded with the Syrian rebels in 2029 when she hears the story of a torture chamber located under a school in the Old City. Making her way there with two friends to investigate, they are caught in a firefight and her friends die. But something happens, and Olivia suddenly finds that she has two memories of the same event, and in the second memory she has chosen the reality in which her friends live. It turns out that she now has access to a "probability machine" and has the ability to change certain "crisis points". But by choosing the reality where her two friends live, she has irrevocably altered the future of the world. Author Jack Skillingstead jumps into The Chaos Function with both feet, imaging nightmare scenarios of weaponized smallpox, opportunistic North Korean nuclear weapons attacks, and a machine from the future sent to the distant past to function as a weapon by a shadowy society of manipulators. And as Olivia accesses the probability machine again and again to try and change the damage she has caused by her previous efforts, any reader of this is taken on quite a trip.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Good sci-fi, good story. Interesting concept, fun to read, likable characters. Initially I was rolling my eyes, because of the romance plot with our leading lady and her boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised as I kept reading, though. This book does a pretty good job of staying away from many of the female-in-sci-fi stereotypes, which I appreciated. Our leading lady is smart and talented, and she uses her skills to solve the problem in the story. There's no "waiting around for a man to save her". Good sci-fi, good story. Interesting concept, fun to read, likable characters. Initially I was rolling my eyes, because of the romance plot with our leading lady and her boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised as I kept reading, though. This book does a pretty good job of staying away from many of the female-in-sci-fi stereotypes, which I appreciated. Our leading lady is smart and talented, and she uses her skills to solve the problem in the story. There's no "waiting around for a man to save her". This book also avoided a lot of "male gaze" issues I see very often in sci fi (describing only the female characters appearance, or only their attractive features, or only describing men as "powerful, strong, tough" and women as "super duper hot but she doesn't know she's hot, isn't that hot?", or every single woman being super-model-gorgeous and never shutting up about it). My only "complaint" (if you can even call it that) is with the writing style. Some themes in the book became very repetitive.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Olivia Nikitas has finally let someone into her heart. It was not intentional, but somehow, Brian worked his way in. Ever since the death of her mother and then, not much later, of her father, she has made sure that she has a barrier in place. She could not afford to love, again. She could not endure that pain, again. And there had been no one, until Brian. As a reporter, Olivia covers the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. When Brian follows her into a ruined, ancient sacred site, he is killed. Someth Olivia Nikitas has finally let someone into her heart. It was not intentional, but somehow, Brian worked his way in. Ever since the death of her mother and then, not much later, of her father, she has made sure that she has a barrier in place. She could not afford to love, again. She could not endure that pain, again. And there had been no one, until Brian. As a reporter, Olivia covers the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. When Brian follows her into a ruined, ancient sacred site, he is killed. Something happens to her, there, too, something that is difficult to believe. She receives mysterious and ancient powers that could allow her to save Brian, but only by risking the entire human race! This is an interesting futuristic story. It has it all. It is filled with action, imagination, and love. The character development is good, making the story more intriguing. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, but I couldn’t put it down and finished it in just two days. The story moves along at a very quick pace with no “wasted scenes” — every scene propels the action forward. There were some choices that I couldn’t quite get behind, but nothing that was out of character or felt like the invisible hand of the author guiding the plot, so I chalk the illogical choices up to the characters making rash decisions in a high-stakes scenario. This book is high- I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, but I couldn’t put it down and finished it in just two days. The story moves along at a very quick pace with no “wasted scenes” — every scene propels the action forward. There were some choices that I couldn’t quite get behind, but nothing that was out of character or felt like the invisible hand of the author guiding the plot, so I chalk the illogical choices up to the characters making rash decisions in a high-stakes scenario. This book is high-concept science fiction that reads like a page-turning thriller, and could serve as a great introduction to sci-fi for those reluctant readers out there. Bonus points to the author, Jack Slillingstead, a man who also achieves the very tricky balance of creating and writing a believable female lead character.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Reviews & Robots

    The Chaos Function is an expertly crafted journey through the apocalypse, barreling down a winding road of terrifyingly real possibilities. What starts as a typical war reporter story becomes so much more, revealing a technology with a long and questionable history that defies understanding. Skillingstead presents us with a protagonist who is an expert at questioning the world, creating a sharp canvas for this compelling sci-fi tale. I was entranced from the start by the writing and by the brill The Chaos Function is an expertly crafted journey through the apocalypse, barreling down a winding road of terrifyingly real possibilities. What starts as a typical war reporter story becomes so much more, revealing a technology with a long and questionable history that defies understanding. Skillingstead presents us with a protagonist who is an expert at questioning the world, creating a sharp canvas for this compelling sci-fi tale. I was entranced from the start by the writing and by the brilliant plot twists that lead to a number of startling advances. It’s science fiction meets alternate history meets apocalypse, and you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve followed the explosive revelations to the end. NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trefethen

    This is a very good SF thriller that combines quantum mechanic strangeness with war zone action. A real page-turner. Syria, 2029. Still a war zone. A war reporter stumbles into a secret society that has the ability to affect probability and change the timeline. She accidentally acquires this power, and the secret society is after her while she figures out whether and how to change things. It's a story of love, loss, and the need to reconcile ourselves to wrenching loss that can't be avoided or den This is a very good SF thriller that combines quantum mechanic strangeness with war zone action. A real page-turner. Syria, 2029. Still a war zone. A war reporter stumbles into a secret society that has the ability to affect probability and change the timeline. She accidentally acquires this power, and the secret society is after her while she figures out whether and how to change things. It's a story of love, loss, and the need to reconcile ourselves to wrenching loss that can't be avoided or denied. Fundamentally, the plot is a neat exploration of the Trolley Problem and the Butterfly Effect, if the Trolley Problem included someone you love, and the Butterfly Effect was wildly unpredictable with catastrophic consequences. A neat thought experiment combined with thriller-style pacing. Very well done.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rashalia

    While the premise of this book is intriguing, I think the plot fails to deliver. There is an interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction here that, properly handled, could have been mind-blowing, but instead I was left feeling quite bored by the middle already. The repetitious nature of the writing and frustratingly child-like behaviour of the protagonist, who seems unable to grasp the consequences of her actions even after the first two or three times doing the exact same thing, kills the pa While the premise of this book is intriguing, I think the plot fails to deliver. There is an interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction here that, properly handled, could have been mind-blowing, but instead I was left feeling quite bored by the middle already. The repetitious nature of the writing and frustratingly child-like behaviour of the protagonist, who seems unable to grasp the consequences of her actions even after the first two or three times doing the exact same thing, kills the pace entirely. On top of that, the supposed romance between the two lead characters is unconvincing, and just adds to the increasing feeling of drudgery as the book progresses. That said, I am rating this two stars since I think the idea has merit. Not the worst science fiction I've read, but certainly not the best.

  20. 5 out of 5

    KevinS

    Nice exploration of alternate universes, with important constraints. If you could control critical decision points to aim for desirable futures, but every choice is unattractive and all but the most unattractive lead to disastrous futures, what would you do? I liked this book but I had a hard time with some of the actions of the characters. Most of it made sense but there were a few times I couldn't understand why a character made the choices or acted they way they did. It was clearly in service Nice exploration of alternate universes, with important constraints. If you could control critical decision points to aim for desirable futures, but every choice is unattractive and all but the most unattractive lead to disastrous futures, what would you do? I liked this book but I had a hard time with some of the actions of the characters. Most of it made sense but there were a few times I couldn't understand why a character made the choices or acted they way they did. It was clearly in service to advancing the action or the plot, and that sort of spoils the immersion in the world of the book. Don't let that scare you off, this is a decent read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tim Mcgregor

    I want to feel the comfort of being in a world without cracks or fissures when I read an adventure. I just finished the novel so I am still in that world with the characters that I grew to love. The realism and politics is relevant to our current time and the SF elements are well done. I am a big fan and I want JS to be successful, but here he has just hit it out of the park and totally thrilled me. This is a stand-alone novel without shared characters so it is a good way to get started with JS I want to feel the comfort of being in a world without cracks or fissures when I read an adventure. I just finished the novel so I am still in that world with the characters that I grew to love. The realism and politics is relevant to our current time and the SF elements are well done. I am a big fan and I want JS to be successful, but here he has just hit it out of the park and totally thrilled me. This is a stand-alone novel without shared characters so it is a good way to get started with JS and when you go back and read his previous work, you will be equally thrilled. I was. Thanks for your hard work JS!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edward Silverman

    This book sucked me in and was a quick read. It was really well done, probably deserving 4 stars for the technical execution of the story. However, I found myself more invested in the problems the protagonist was up against than the solutions. The depiction of the downside could have been more drawn out on one hand but conversely it was also nice to have the story wrapped up. I’ll keep an eye on this author’s work. Recommend if you like time paradoxes, end of the world and female protagonists.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Read Ng

    Oh what a delightful read. I just love watching the world slowly disintegrate around the hero. Every step to correct the situation, only makes things worse in the worse way. This was just my type of read. It started just a little slow for me, but very quickly came up to speed and was a thrill ride without brakes. I could feel the inter conflict in our hero as she desperately tries everything to believe what she is told, but then needs to still fix things for all of humanity. This was a great Good Oh what a delightful read. I just love watching the world slowly disintegrate around the hero. Every step to correct the situation, only makes things worse in the worse way. This was just my type of read. It started just a little slow for me, but very quickly came up to speed and was a thrill ride without brakes. I could feel the inter conflict in our hero as she desperately tries everything to believe what she is told, but then needs to still fix things for all of humanity. This was a great GoodReads. Go get your own copy and relish every page.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Rogers

    When I started this book i thought here we go again with another war novel. After getting into it I could not put it down. Is a most interesting read about a journalist in Syria and her new love. Is science fiction when a bug is transferred from one dying person to a live one. Thus the begin a journey that faces the end of the world and only one person can fix it. Will cost her everything. Loved this book. Thanks to Goodreads

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Cooper

    The Chaos Function is a scary-good mix of physics, politics, and fear. I took it with me for a weekend at the beach and it kept me up late at night by the fire, reading far longer than I intended to. Not only did the story feel plausible, the characters felt real, and I found myself rooting for the main character, Olivia, hoping she would find a way out of a diabolical dilemma. I got my copy as an ARC, which let me read give it an advance reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joe Crowe

    This one is a political thriller. It's also a relationship drama. It's also an old-school sci-fi story, the kind that asks, "If you could do (insert crazy sci-fi thing here) would you? And if you did (insert crazy sci-fi thing here) what would happen?" The author seamlessly combines all three things, deftly balancing each thing. The story alternates between gripping, heart-wrenching, and compellingly emotional. (review from an advance copy.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lanette Sweeney

    Fast-paced, action-packed sci fi thriller set in Aleppo as the Syrian war ends its 20th year. Our heroine, Olivia, is a disaster reporter who keeps her relationships shallow to avoid getting hurt and spends all her time reporting from the midst of a crisis. I can’t say much else without sharing spoilers so I’ll just encourage anyone who loves a good, complicated story about different possible futures (think Sliding Doors but in the year 2030) to give this one a read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David R. Scott III

    Interesting personal take on alternative realities Novel remained focused when it would have been easy to have it spin out of control. Characterizations were good, and their actions made sense. The central character was a bit too uncertain sometimes for my taste.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelley Honeycutt

    Fun story and very interesting. Fast moving.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lorentz

    If you're looking for something different check it out.

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