Reader Reviewed Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson

Mortal Chaos

Written by Matt Dickinson

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

'The Butterfly Effect' - otherwise known as the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever - is the central premise of this stunning debut. This heart-stopping adventure by writer, film maker and climber Matt Dickinson will leave readers breathless. Heart-stopping and adrenalin fuelled, Mortal Chaos flashes between four locations and a number characters around the world including the North Face if Everest, Washington DC, Wiltshire and Malawi. It's the book Jack Bauer would have read as a teenager!

Shortlisted for the Key Stage 3 category of Brilliant Books, Oldham Schools’ Book Award


In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Mortal Chaos a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title.

Here’s a taster from one of the reviews. “I can honestly say that anybody who has not read this book is truly missing out on one of the best fictional adventures of their lifetime." Scroll down to read the rest of this review and all the reader reviews.


Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson

In the woods of Wiltshire two young boys are deer hunting, on the perilous North Face of Mount Everest an 18-year-old Japanese climber is approaching the summit, in a dusty field in Malawi, six-year-old Bakili is desperately guarding what’s left of his starving family’s crops from vicious baboons and in Washington DC there's an unhinged father, hooked on revenge, who is building a bomb…

One beat of a butterfly’s wings sets in motion a global chain of events that links all of these individual lives, and many more besides, for one day. And as each of their lives connect, they hurtle towards a nerve-jangling climax of mayhem and destruction where chaos knows no bounds. Some will live. Some will die. All are connected.

There are three books in the Mortal Chaos Series

Mortal Chaos - Published January 2012

Mortal Chaos: Deep Oblivion - Published Autumn 2012

Mortal Chaos: Speed Freaks - out January 2013

For more information visit


Jack Wilkinson, age 10 This is the most gripping book I’ve ever read and I couldn’t put it down. When my teacher said it was the end of reading time I was disappointed as I just wanted to keep on reading. Click here to read the full review

Ellen McTeague age 11 a MUST READ. Awesome!!! Click here to read the full review

Jack Graham the storytelling is genius. Matt Dickinson describes the remote places extremely well... Click here to read the full review

Jackie Ash I got to a point in the book where I just got completely hooked and just had to keep reading to see how the story unfolded ... Click here to read the full review

Kalilah K it's a fast-paced thriller with a generous drizzle of epicness. Utterly devourable... Click here to read the full review

Josh Travers I can honestly say that anybody who has not read this book is truly missing out on one of the best fictional adventures of their lifetime... Click here to read the full review

Emer O'Brien It is filled with high octane adventure, and your heart will be pumping all the way ... Click here to read the full review

Delilah Acworth I would recommend this book to teenagers and young adults who don't mind desperation and some gory chapters ... Click here to read the full review

Ellen McTeague This book is so clever and a very exciting read with short chapters and I really enjoyed reading it... Click here to read the full review

Caitlin Kerlin This was a really enjoyable book and I knew from the start that I was going to like it ... Click here to read the full review

Courtney McCrory It was a pretty amazing story and I hope Matt Dickinson writes more ... Click here to read the full review

Alicia Lagan age 12 it is just filled with suspence and drama ... Click here to read the full review

Rachel Bourn It’s fast-paced, original, and very well written. It’s just brilliant. Click here to read the full review

Morgan Steigmann Aged 13 This book is probably the most action-packed novel I have ever read, crammed full with information and an excellent story line Click here to read the full review

Emily Setchell All in all a great book which I would recommend to anyone! Click here to read the full review

Robin Johansson Mortal chaos is an intense, gripping page-turner with endless twists and turns making it impossible to put down until the very last paragraph.Click here to read the full review


Praise for Matt Dickinson:

"A first novel of rare power and intensity" - The Irish Times

"Compelling and action-filled" - The Daily Mail

About the Author

Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure. During his filmmaking career he has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic television, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4. His film projects have taken him to Antarctica, Africa and the Himalaya, often in the company of the world’s leading climbers and expeditioners. His most notable film success was ‘Summit Fever’ in which Matt reached the summit of Everest via the treacherous North Face. His book The Death Zone tells the true story of that ascent and has become a bestseller in many different countries.

Matt is currently patron at Lady Manners School in Bakewell and continues to climb and explore. In January 2013 he summitted Mount Aconcagua, which, at 6,965 metres, is the highest peak in the world outside the Himalaya. In 2016 he was back on Everest as writer in residence with Jagged Globe’s South Col Expedition. Currently, he is planning an ascent of Mount Denali in Alaska, one of the ‘Seven Summits’.

Recently Matt has started writing fiction for teenage readers. His debut thriller series Mortal Chaos was well received by critics and readers alike. Matt has followed this up with The Everest Files, a dramatic and popular trilogy set on the world’s highest mountain. Lie Kill Walk Away is his latest teen thriller. When he’s not writing, Matt tours the UK, speaking at schools and colleges and inspiring a new generation of adventurers.

A Q&A with Matt about his new book Lie Kill Walk Away

Lie Kill Walk Away is very different to any of your other books. Two teenagers on the run, a government conspiracy and a life-threatening disease on the loose, make for some hard-hitting action. Have stories about secrets and twisted truths always captured your attention?

Ever since I began to read I have always loved thrillers. Fast pace and a twisty unpredictable plot make for exciting reading and I love that feeling when I find myself turning the pages at high speed, totally hooked on the story and wanting to find out more! Thrillers translate from book to film with a natural transition as well, so there’s often the extra dimension of seeing the story on the big screen later down the line and enjoying it all over again. Secrets are important in this genre so I wanted Lie Kill Walk Away to contain a powerful secret world. It was a great experience to fine-tune the plot of the book so that the secret powers of government hold all the cards, leaving my heroes Joe and Becca running for their lives.

Becca wants to be a natural scientist. Do you share her fascination with diseases?

I certainly am fascinated by the science of killer diseases, and have even made a documentary, which I filmed at one of the most lethal bio-weapon production labs in the world. To explore the abandoned base in Kazakhstan, where the Soviets had cooked up weaponised versions of some of the most horrifying pathogens ever invented, we had to make a clandestine journey deep into Voz Island in the middle of the Aral sea. That was where the Russians produced Anthrax, Ebola, and many other lethal pathogens that were designed for use in war. We had to wear bio-protection suits in forty-two degrees of heat. It was a very demanding shoot that could have ended in imprisonment if we had been discovered. The documentary I directed was broadcast by Channel 4 in the series Going to Extremes.

This book explores some difficult issues: a teen in a young offenders’ institution, young people groomed by a terrorist operation, mental illness. Do you think it’s important for young adult books to address these topics?

Teen and young adult writers have a duty to explore strong themes. The world is a challenging place and growing up is sometimes a difficult journey. As a father of five children (including two teenage kids at the moment!) I have experienced this first hand myself. That’s why thrillers such as Lie Kill Walk Away are important, because they tackle gritty issues head-on and don’t sugar coat the world. Books are a window into themes that are sometimes challenging but I don’t think authors should be apologising for that. It’s natural to explore the dark side of our inner world, and might even help in important ways.

Everybody knows you as the Everest climber – which is possibly the most extreme form of adventure there is – but did Lie Kill Walk Away allow you to explore a different kind of adventure?

Yes, probably I am best known for my Everest adventures, but I have plenty of other themes that I want to explore. In my previous series Mortal Chaos, I based the stories around chaos theory and the chain reactions that cause disasters. With Lie Kill Walk Away I wanted to create a very different form of adventure, a thriller environment in which two teenage protagonists are trying, quite literally, to save the world. It’s a big story but I have loved the challenge and I hope that readers will identify with my two heroes.

With fast-paced blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action, we think reluctant readers will love this book. Do you always have reluctant readers in mind when you are writing and how do you try to appeal to them?

I really like it when ‘reluctant readers’ identify with my books and enjoy reading them. It’s a special feeling because it might inspire a new reading hobby that will last a lifetime. ‘Reluctant readers' are often boys with short attention spans. That’s why my books have very short chapters and are generally fast paced. I am the same in my reading habits; I strongly dislike books that are overwritten or just way too slow.

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Book Info


304 pages


Matt Dickinson
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Oxford University Press

Publication date

2nd February 2012




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