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The Chaos Code

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Matt Stribling is stuck spending another vacation with his brilliant, yet scatterbrained archaeologist father. His dad's house is often a mess, so when Matt arrives to find the place turned upside down and his father missing, he's not immediately worried. But a cryptic message and some strange sandy footprints quickly persuade Matt that all is not right. With the help of s ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published January 1st 2007)
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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
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
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
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.

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
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
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
Mitchell Appleton
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
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
Jennifer Wardrip
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
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 20, 2008 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
Jun 17, 2011 Johnp rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
So, I randomly picked up this book because I didn't have one for my English lesson and once I started reading, I realised that it was really good! Glad I picked up this one although I would really like for there to be a sequel!
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
Suzanne Dix
Cool sci-fi mystery. I listened to this one and it was told with all the perfect tones of suspense and humor. It's a mix of an Alex Rider/Alychemist/Da Vinci Code style.
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
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
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
Do families still read aloud on road trips? This would be great! (Another reading for my YA class)
Jan 13, 2009 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Adele Kong
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:
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
Loved 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.
Some YA novels transcend beyond being just a book for youth. Not this one. It is still a fun read.
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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
More about Justin Richards...
Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who: New Series Adventure 1) Doctor Who: Apollo 23 The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery Doctor Who: The Deviant Strain

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