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The Chaos Code

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  523 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. When Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he's not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and strange footprints quickly persuade Matt that all is not right. With the help of some unusual family friends, Matt discovers that ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jan 26, 2011 Elena rated it liked it
The Chaos Code:
The World Unraveled
If you figured out a way to manipulate the world, how would you use the knowledge? In The Chaos Code, set in present day Europe, Matt arrives at his dad’s house to find it in disarray, and Arnold, his dad, missing. He then heads to his aunt’s house and meets Venture, an old family friend and researcher, and Robin, Venture’s daughter who becomes Matt’s friend. These three, plus Harper, a rich and famous man, head off to look for the treasure of St. John, where
Dec 03, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it
The old pulp novels of high adventure are brought to mind with this tale that would do Indiana Jones or Robert Langdon proud. It all begins when Matt Stribling, a 15 year old, goes home to spend some time with his father as his mother, who is divorced from dear old dad, is off to a mysterious work assignment out of country. When Matt arrives at his father's place, he finds his archaeologist father missing, things strewn about, and consciousness quickly fading under mysterious circumstances.

Jan 09, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it
Throughout reading the The Chaos Code, by Justin Richards, it is apparent that Matt must endure many tasks and challenges in order to find his father. This implies that mysteries and puzzles can dwell deep within everyday life. These types of books always held a certain spot in my heart since in mystery and puzzle books there are unpredictable parts, so you always feel like you are going on a new adventure every time you pick up the book. One strong example was during the beginning of the novel. ...more
Candy Jackson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
Just listened to this unabridged audiobook on a long car ride from Florida to Maryland.

It was a bit like listening to an Indiana Jones movie. It was fast paced and easy to follow and made a great selection as an audiobook. Peopled primarily by Brits, the language was different enough to keep this Yankee interested as well.

The story centers on a young man home for the Holds and who's foisted off on his divorced father when his divorced mother accepts a computer programming job that's going to t
Aug 07, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Order versus chaos. It’s a time honored conflict and the Chaos Code is certainly not the first book to deal with this conflict, and it won’t be the last. Order causes a society to stagnate, thus inhibiting progress. Order also causes society to be stable, thus encouraging progress. Chaos causes a society to fragment, thus inhibiting progress. Chaos also engenders the will to solve pressing challenges, thus encouraging progress. Richards firmly believes that chaos is the answer. But I myself beli ...more
Mitchell Appleton
Oct 03, 2012 Mitchell Appleton rated it it was amazing
The Chaos Code
Summary: Matt, a child of a divorce, is supposed to spend the weekend with his dad, but when he arrives at his father’s house he finds it empty and cluttered as though someone were looking for something. After looking around, Matt finds his dad was part of a group searching for a code to manipulate the elements, located in a far off country. He also discovers clues that his father left him to find his whereabouts, giving the appearance he was kidnapped. His search for his dad takes
Brit McCarthy
Dec 10, 2012 Brit McCarthy rated it it was ok
I think one of the reasons I wasn't really into this book was because I'd just read a couple of books in the Danger Zone series by David Gilman and found this book to be quite similar in a lot of aspects: both boys the same age, absentee parents they have to rescue, involving following clues left behind for them. While this book has an interesting premise, I found the writing to be a bit sloppy with the overuse of certain phrases and the story to be predicatable. For example, as soon as Matt saw ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy-magic
Chaos Code was ok. It's the story of Matt Stribling. His parents, Mom-computer geek, Dad-archaeologist, are divorced. Mom has no time for him; he's home from school; she sends him to Dad. Dad has been kidnapped. Matt finds a coded message telling him to go to his Aunt Jane. Aunt Jane works for Julius Venture who has a daughter Robin. The Venture family is very mysterious. So-they all end up either working for or against a madman, Atticus Harper. Harper is trying to find the "ancient knowledge" s ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
May 31, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Jeremey for

Matt Stribling is being sent to live with his brilliant father during summer vacation. Upon arrival, Matt finds a message from his father, which leads him to his aunt's home. Aunt Jane, Mr. Venture, and Atticus Harper explain to Matt that his father has been looking for a code and suddenly went missing.

Possibly kidnapped.

Mr. Harper tells Matt of the treasure, and the power along with it, that caused the fabled "Great Flood" -- and maybe even destroyed At
Aug 29, 2010 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quick-reads
A very good story. Most of it seemed like an introduction and as I got closer and closer to the ending, expected to be disappointed. However, the ending (which sort of snuck up on me to be honest) made me go "WHOA" rather than "Damn". Im not sure how I felt about the characters though. Aunt Jane seemed like the only real one. Trying not to put spoilers, but I had part of Robin and Venture's secret figured out from the minute we met Robin. I...I suppose I liked the characters, but c'mon, Matt jus ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Nicole rated it did not like it
I have officially decided to stop reading this book. I have a strict rule, if I am not interested by page 100 then I am done. I actually didn't listen to my rule this time and kept reading...until about page 187. I was still bored to tears and dreaded picking the book up. The ONLY reason I kept reading is that the book got so many good reviews. Some even said it was a fast read. I completely disagree. I kept waiting for the story to pull me in. If the book can't peak my interest halfway through ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: adventure fans
Shelves: ya
Listened to this on audiobook- Listening Library edition, read by John Lee.

Really a 3.6

15 year old Matt believes he will be stuck with his absent-minded archeologist father for the summer holidays, but when he arrives at his father's house, he discovers it has been ransacked and his Dad is missing. Eventually he finds out that a madman bent on ruling the world (aren't they all?) has kidnapped his father so that he can force Dad to decipher a code that will give the madman control of the elements
Jun 12, 2011 Johnp rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
We meet Matt, a teenager on holiday, who is forced to spend some vacation time with his archaeologist father. When he arrives at his dad's home, his dad is gone and the place looks like it was ransacked. Matt travels to his Aunt Jane's home, where things get interesting. Buried treasure, an ancient piece of magic and evil villians are in store. Sorry, it sounds interesting, but I just could not get into this one. It takes far too long to figure out what's going on and the secrets behind the secr ...more
Amanda Pigford
I finished this book like three weeks ago and didn't even bother to update. Does that say something about the "meh" rating?

I have it a three because it's not terrible, it's just not great. I liked the twist with the girl but I called it chapters early. I liked Matt. He related to the problems well and his puzzle loving mind worked through issues at a believable clip. I really liked the girl's dad and Matt's mom too.

The villain who was secretly evil was not that big of a secret, although I'm not
Jul 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-scifi, ya-action
Well, it was a stretch to suspend disbelief, here, but it wasn't a horrible read. Matt, on summer holiday, finds his archaeologist father missing and a series of clues to his work. He teams up with his Aunt's wealthy employer and the man's enigmatic daughter to try and find his father and the secret he was working on - a lost treasure that includes arcane knowledge that could destroy or enslave the world. They travel to the jungles of Brasil and the snows of Denmark. I think it was shooting for ...more
This reads like a first draft of a long, poorly researched high school essay by an able but lazy student. The premise of the book is interesting enough but completely lost in poorly constructed sentences, irrelevant trivial detail in many instances, and a complete lack detail on the other hand to provide a logical narrative progression. Characters are in Copenhagen in one paragraph and in Rio de Janeiro in the next. There is no character development. Potentially interesting ideas are raised in c ...more
Oct 05, 2009 Danyal rated it it was amazing
The Chaos Code by Justin Richards
This book was the first book I have read by this author.The genre of this book is mystery.I love the way the author is so descriptive and well organized with the story.The book is about a kid named Matt, who's father is sent on a dangerous treasure hunt. His dad is then kidnapped and leaves a cryptic message for Matt.This leaves Matt and few family friends to find and save him.Finding him may not be so easy and it will uncover the biggest mystery of all,the lost city of Atlantis.I'm very impres
Aug 09, 2007 Alex rated it it was amazing
This was an action packed read that I really enjoyed! This books reads like a lot of the cheesy actions movies I love- The Mummy, Tomb Raider, National Treasure. It flows from peak to peak, each scene somehow topping the one before it, all moving towards the final battle at break-neck speed. Loosely, the plot is about Matt who upon arriving at his father's house, finds the house in disarray and a few clues that help Matt start his journey. Matt is aided by a young girl and her father, who are mo ...more
Hannah Wislang
Apr 22, 2012 Hannah Wislang rated it liked it
I decided to read this book because we have to read a book about a male main character so this fits in to the boy main character box.I did not enjoy that much reading a book about a boy as they are harder to relate to and the books are usually more boyish.I learnt about how to figure out codes and that there is sometimes more to a message than you might first think. A setting I found interesting was the pryimid in the middle of the jungle where they spent nost of there time in the book. My favou ...more
Jasper Johnson
Apr 05, 2013 Jasper Johnson rated it really liked it
The Chaos Code was an O.K. book. It takes place in England in present time. It's kind of a realistic-fiction/fantasy book. I think the beginning is pretty unoriginal, since it starts out with Matt's (The main character) father mysteriously vanishing, with a few sandy footprints. The beginning was also a little slow, but it picks up later. Other than that, the book was pretty good. They imply throughout the book that the man they work for is actually a villain, and it turns out to be true. I thou ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes adventure and archeolgy
This book was just plain fun. It has a lot of action, mystery, and excitement. When Matt Stibling is sent to his father on his school break he doesn't expect to wind up in a mystery that ties to the hidden technologies of the fabled city of Atlantis. This book is fast paced and well written.

I would compare this book to Indiana Jones--fast paced and action packed.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Some violence, but not explicit and some horror like creatures (Golems). Other than that the book is fr
Jul 04, 2012 Tyler rated it liked it
The Chaos Code is about a Mat guy who goes to his dads, but when he gets there he can't see where he is and finds that his house has been broken into and some very important stuff has been stolen. So Mat looks around for some clues and finds a clue and it's a bizarre cryptic message which has some weird instructions, that send Matt on a dangerous mission to find his dad. He goes to so much effort that he is even crossing continents. Every day Mats on the lookout hoping no enemies are around whil ...more
Jan 28, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
Exciting, edge of your seat story, sort of a junior Da Vinci Code wannabe, about a boy whose archaeologist father is kidnapped--so he's got to follow clues left behind by dad in order to find him and stop the evil guys from hatching their nefarious plot. That plot involves computer codes, buried archaeological artifacts, ancient temples, and even monsters made from the soil and from fire! It's quite an exciting book (just suspend your disbelief and pretend all of this could really happen) and wo ...more
Adele Kong
Nov 01, 2013 Adele Kong rated it it was amazing
This book was really interesting. It was fast paced, but you could still keep up. There was the perfect amount of characters, and the characters had the perfect personalities. The "scare" level was really good too; I was afraid to turn the page at times, but I was so curious to know what was ahead. So I read on and I finished the book. To sum this all up, what I'm really trying to say is:
Mar 14, 2011 Paulo rated it liked it
I liked this book because it had a lot of parts where i could not say what was going to happen next.I rated this book a 3/5 because it was an ok book but a lot of the parts i did not know what was happening and because it ended so fast.i wish that this book was longer because i would want to know what happens to them now that they know how the magic works.The main character i like in this book is cool because he took some thing to find things out and then when he did he put it into motion.
Traci Haley
Jan 14, 2008 Traci Haley rated it really liked it
The Chaos Code was extremely hard to get into at first, but once you get past the first hundred pages, the story is quite good and sure to please sci-fi adventure fans. I will admit, however, that the "big secret" about a couple of the characters was so thinly disguised throughout the whole book that I was yelling in frustration every time they hinted around it... but never actually revealed. Despite that slight complaint, I highly recommend this book for young adults.
WCPL Teens
Mar 22, 2012 WCPL Teens rated it really liked it
Matt is used to his parents forgetting about him. During school break, his mom runs off to a top secret job and Matt is forced to spend his holiday with his scatterbrained archaeologist dad who of course is not at home when he arrives. When Matt decodes a cipher left on teh computer, he suspects his dad is in trouble and sets off to find him. In the process, he discovers secrets of the lost city of Atlantis.
Angela Clark
Dec 12, 2016 Angela Clark rated it really liked it
I like how the story interconnected with the plot. Also the author just didn't stay on the point of view of one character, but different characters. Also the author did detailed descriptions of each scene and the people and items in each scene. Also I like how it is somewhat like an Indian Jones movie.
Nov 08, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favorite books of all time. The characters are realistic and engaging, the dialogue is smooth and natural, and OH MY GOD the plot! This book is adventure, thriller, mystery, and all-out amazingness rolled into one. I truly believe that everyone should read this book. If you're not adding it to your to-red bookshelf right now, you are missing out.
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Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written many spin off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and he is Creative Director for the BBC Books range. He has also written for television, contributing to Five's soap opera Family Affairs. He is also the author of a series of crime novels for children about the Invisible Detective, and novels for older children. ...more
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