cover image Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory

M. Evonne Dobson. Poisoned Pen/Poisoned Pencil, $10.95 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-92934-508-3

First in the Kami Files series, Dobson’s scattered mystery introduces an ambitious 17-year-old who is drawn into a mystery surrounding another girl’s death. Kami’s life currently revolves around working on her science project (a locker full of junk that is supposed to prove chaos theory), studying martial arts, and avoiding dwelling on her grandmother’s recent death. Then a student named Daniel shows up, under suspicion in the death of his younger half-sister, Julia, from a prescription drug overdose. Everyone assumes Daniel was dealing, but Kami learns that Daniel is actually a police informant. Kami gets hooked on the idea of helping Daniel, but worries about ruining her plans to attend MIT. Thrown into the mix are several of Kami’s friends, who have various sleuthing skills of their own, and her crushes on Daniel and another classmate. First-time novelist Dobson gives Kami an energetic voice that’s heavy on quirk (Kami has a propensity for cutesy nicknames like Gavin with Emerald Green Eyes and Vampy V). The story isn’t short on excitement, but the frenetic narrative can be a struggle to absorb. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)