Chaos Company by Christopher Slayton is one of the most action-packed books I have ever read.
The story follows a company of five genetically enhanced soldiers (Lieutenant Tyler Young, Sergeant Cameron Wilson, Specialist Vincent Lockhart, Private First Class Anna Young, Tyler’s sister, and Private First Class Desmond Striker) who work together on special projects, protecting their country. Each soldier has a unique skill or skills because of his/her modification.
After a few years together, the team really gels and can overcome nearly any obstacle by working together. But things fall apart when a hired mercenary, Liam King, steps onto the scene.
Someone high up in the U.S. government hires King to take out the President, and Chaos Company is the only thing standing in his way. But King specializes in death and destruction, and he has his own genetically enhanced powers. He manages to take out Tyler, leaving the rest of Chaos Company angry and grieving.
The story is fast paced, however, sometimes it felt a little too overloaded with action. Long, drawn out, but very visual fighting scenes take up most of the book, with very little in between. This makes it hard to get to know the characters, or understand their emotions or motivations at a deep level. It also left the reader with a lot of questions: Anna and Desmond weren’t a real couple until the end of the book? Where did Anna really go after she learned her foster family no longer wanted her around? By the way, why was it never mentioned before the last chapter that she and Tyler weren’t blood related? Why did the President throw the team in jail after saving her life, especially since they were only in jail a short time, so it still shows leniency?
The ending, in how Chaos Company managed to finally beat Liam, who gets injected with so much serum he ends up being pretty much invincible, also seemed a little too convenient. There was one small mention in the very beginning that Desmond may have a second, unknown special skill (I had to go back and look this up, because otherwise it made no sense), and somehow in the end this means he has the ability to absorb all of Liam’s powers and defeat a man who could not be killed by drowning, motorcycles crashing into him, or even four rocket launchers. Also, there was no mention of the special collar they snap onto Liam’s neck to prevent him from using his powers, until after they’ve finally captured him. It all just seems too easy.
There’s also a lot of head hopping, which can sometimes make scenes confusing. And, though I don’t like to be nitpicky about typos, there were enough typos and formatting errors in this book to make it a harder to read and stay in the story.
That said, Christopher Slayton does a great job of showing the dynamics of the Chaos team. There’s a lot of playful dialogue, and of course the plot is very exciting.
Chaos Company is an origin story of how this team came together, their first big challenge, and a set up for potential future books. This is definitely not easy to do, and overall Slayton did a great job in keeping the reader entertained and interested in knowing more.