Cover Image: Chaos, A Fable

Chaos, A Fable

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Member Reviews

I'm not sure I got this book. There's a lot of things going on in this book and they're all sort of about conflict and all of that but I personally don't really see how any of it really fits together so I can't really say that I really enjoyed it
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Very much a book of three parts.  The book starts off with a nice deliberate pace, then jumps into break neck speed. within in a blink of an eye.

Chaos, A Fable has a very international feel and perhaps should be enjoyed for the journey and not the destination.  

With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC
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ARC exchanged for an honest review.

	Rodrigo Rey Rosas’s Chaos, a Fable can be separated into three major sections. In the first part, an unnamed Mexican author listens to cassette tapes recounting the story of his friend’s son and the signs he received from Allah that hint at his future greatness. In the second part, with the aid of an SD card filled with letters also included with the cassettes, we hear from the perspective of the son himself as an American astrophysics major. Finally, the third part of the novel is in the perspective of Xeno, the boy’s friend, and contains most of the present-day action - and with it, the total and utter chaos they bring upon the world. This structure leads to interesting shifts in tone and pacing, some of which are more effective than others. 

	In a lot of ways, this is really three separate books in one, and I’m not sure that’s the most effective way of portraying which is rather an interesting story of fate, expectations, and how we justify the decisions we make for other people. There are also some really beautiful moments of uncertainty that allow for multiple interpretations: is it fable, magical realism, reality, or some mixture of the three? The first-person audio diary format of the first part allows for this to blossom. As the story went along, however, I felt that delicate balance grow more and more skewed. It became harder to relate to the issues at hand, and the third section felt soupy and paranoid. I had a feeling I was supposed to feel a sense of ramping energy, but I missed that all and instead was left wishing for the careful pacing of the first few chapters. I would recommend this for fans of Neil Gaiman and Sylvain Neuvel’s “The Themis Files” series.
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I understood this somewhat opaque novel in the sense that I followed the words and the action, but what it all amounted to left me rather bemused. It starts ok. A Mexican author reconnects with an old friend in Tangier and is entrusted with a memory card belonging to his son with a request to find out what’s on it. Then it all gets a bit thrillerish. Apparently this card is a pretty dangerous item and inserting it into a computer leads to all sorts of bad stuff. I guess that’s where the “fable” bit comes in. But by that time I’d kind of lost the plot, so to speak, and not only could I not really understand what it was all about, I didn’t really care. It all seemed a bit improbable and as I hadn’t connected to any of the characters I was quite happy to leave them to their own devices.
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