Infinity, by Rachel Ward, concludes the series that began with Numbers and peaked in The Chaos. It’s a few years after the apocalypse that devastated England in that second book. Adam and Sarah are living a nomadic lifestyle with Sarah’s two younger brothers and her daughter Mia. Adam isn’t comfortable around people because of his special ability and easily recognizable face, but Sarah is pregnant again and would really like to settle down.
As this conflict arises between the two, an external threat appears. Infinity takes a dystopian tone; men from the government want to use Adam’s power for the rebuilding effort, and they are not inclined to take no for an answer.
Infinity is a slim novel with only one major conflict, and feels kind of like a “bonus novella” rather than a full installment in the series, but it does give satisfactory closure to the story of this unusual, gifted family. We learn how Mia managed to survive her destined death date in book two, and along the way we see Sarah and Adam’s relationship deepen and mature. A few plot points seem a little too convenient, but the tension is high and the emotion authentic. Readers will be rooting for our heroes to survive and to thrive in a warm, normal life — at least as normal a life as one can live when one has paranormal abilities and the world has just gone boom.
In my review of The Chaos, I mentioned Ward’s technique of limiting the reader’s knowledge to what the characters themselves experience. That continues here, and it both works and doesn’t. It works in that the tension is heightened as we wonder, along with Sarah and Adam, if these goons are really the government, and how powerful are they really, and what their true agenda is. It’s also a little disappointing, though, because I would have liked to see just a little bit of “birds’ eye view” and gotten a more concrete idea of what this post-apocalyptic world is like.
Infinity is definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the first two books in the NUMBERS series. It answers any lingering questions you may have had about the “numbers” and is emotionally moving. While it’s not as strong as The Chaos, it works as a conclusion to what has gone before.
Numbers — (2009-2012) Young adult. Publisher: Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!