Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
This is the third in the Numbers series and yet this installment is as original and as enthralling as the other two! I have tried several times to right my own synopsis but I keep failing to sum it up so for once I'm going to use the synopsis on Goodreads to avoid any spoilers:
"Post-Chaos 2029. Adam, Sarah and Mia are living together, struggling with the fame of seeing numbers - the dates when people will die. But something is about to tear them apart. During The Chaos Mia swapped her number for another. Suddenly her powerful new ability makes her a terrifying target. Everyone wants to live for ever."
So that's the story in a nutshell but there is so much more to it than that and it's going to be difficult to review without spoiling anything. It almost makes me wish I could go back to the days when I did post spoilers and put a warning on the post, but I don't want to do that with this because I think everyone should be able to read this. So...what can I tell you?
Two years have passed since The Chaos and things in the UK still haven't picked up, most of the cities have emptied and civilians are living in tents in the country and some people are law unto themselves and I found this terrifying especially considering what then happens to Mia, Sarah and Adam and what they go through in this book.
As with the other books I was stunned the issues that Miss Ward manages to tackle in here while still being sensitive. In the last book we saw Child abuse and rape among other things. In this we see some truly horrifying and sensitive topics handled very carefully and yet in such a way that they are still able to shock and stun the reader without being overbearing.
For some people these issues may be too hard to handle, but for me it highlighted some seriously twisted aspects of human nature that are more common than most of us would care to admit or see even when faced with them. You may be reading this thinking: 'Why would I read this?' Simply because this is a fantastic story and in the end this is a story of Good Vs Evil and despite the horrifying and gut wrenching parts you will feel so warmed by the ending.
If I were to generalise this novel I would say it's a thriller set in a dystopian world, but in fairness there is much more to this than meets the eye. This isn't just a thriller, it's a story of desperation, human nature, survival but also love, hope and family something that becomes all the more important in the world in which this is set.
The characters are fantastic, especially Adam, Mia and Sarah and we see some new ones too (not all of which are good) including Saul, Daniel and a rather irritating and evil man named Newsome and they all play their parts in the events that occur.
All in all this is a powerful and emotive read which will have your heart racing at a ridiculous speed. It has an amazing ending, one death scene you will never forget and a heart wrenching twist that will shock you to the core. Amazing novel and full marks!