Code Red Books In Order

Publication Order of Code Red Books

Flash Flood (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wildfire (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Outbreak (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vortex (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twister (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Battleground (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Code Red is an adventure novel series for young adults, by English author Chris Ryan. It started in 2006 with Flash Flood, followed by five more novels. The series is centred around a young boy named Ben, and his action-packed adventures.

The protagonist in all Code Red books, Ben Tracey’s an adventurous and courageous teen aged boy with a knack for coping with all manner of adversities. Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, his father is a scientist and mother, an environmental activist. Throughout the series, Ben is shown in a race against time. He’s faced with dire situations, making it necessary for him to evoke hidden resources of strength and ingenuity to survive and save the day. The heroic lad amazes you with his maturity and genius, making you believe he’s on par with any smart, full grown man.

The stories are largely written from Ben’s perspective. As a reader, you’d see what the boy sees and know only what he has managed to unveil. Through this clever technique, the author establishes a genuine bond between his character and the reader. You feel involved in the plot and that greatly adds to the book’s appeal.

Readers who relish thrillers will find all Code Red books to be deeply satisfying. Chris also makes it a point to incorporate serious issues in the stories and the reader will always end up with one lesson or another to deal with real world problems. Let’s have a look at a couple of the novels.

The first in the series, Flash Flood is a non-military story. Thirteen-year-old Ben is on a trip to London to visit his mother. The journey, however, takes an entirely different turn with an accident at the Thames Barrier, and a subsequent tidal surge and thunderstorm. Survival becomes difficult with submerged streets, absence of communication and the people in frenzy.

Ben tackles several life threatening problems during an unforgettable day, surviving by the skin of his teeth. The story is thoroughly convincing, full of action and unpredictable events along the way. The destruction and chaos along with associated criminal activity provide you with non-stop entertainment as Ben tries to reunite with his mother. Many supporting characters are introduced in the various chapters, and each character’s story fits in with that of the others. In the end, everything ties together to give you an utterly satisfying reading experience.

Although it is aimed at teens, adults too would find the book fairly compelling. The plot covers significant climate issues, their consequences, as well as the darker side of human behaviour. The writing style is engagingly simple in the short, exciting chapters that encourage the readers to carry on without stopping. Ryan keeps the main character’s age in mind, which adds to the narrative’s realism. He also excels with description and imagery, helping the reader clearly visualize a number of crucial parts. On the whole, this one’s a fast-paced and easy to read adventure, that manages to hit all the right spots.

Ben Tracey’s mother is not in favor of him accompanying his father to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he is to investigate a mining operation. The boy, nevertheless, is curious about the place and decides to go anyway. When he gets there, Ben comes to terms with the country’s instability. The father and son are sent to a village where the mine is situated. Their driver and guide, Abele, is an honest person who keeps a close eye on the two.
Ben delivers a package for someone he met in Kinshasa and befriends the package’s receiver, a girl called Halima. He learns that a large percentage of the people in the village are either ailing or dead. Ben’s father himself soon takes ill and believes the sickness to be a lethal virus, inflicting the whole village. He is sure that the mining company is aware of what is going on and urges Ben to call someone who can warn the authorities about the situation. Turns out, the mysterious killer virus is a consequence of the mine and it is up to Ben and his friend, Halima, to prevent disaster. But things get trickier when the only satellite phone available, happens to belong to the mine manager­– a man determined to hush up the disaster a secret. The kids have to fight the corrupt mine owners to get the word out about what is going on.

Outbreak is an intense and remarkable story about strong willed individuals. Set in the fantastically dangerous place that Africa is, the book is an absolute joy to read. Not only do you learn about the surviving the almost impossible, the plot also touches on a very serious topic. To top it off, it has incredible descriptions of the African jungles that will hook readers and enlighten them about the risks that similar expeditions might entail.

Wildfire is another action-packed thriller for young readers. The story sees Ben encounter a new adventure as his mother invites him to Australia, where she is to attend an important UN-sponsored conference on environment issues. It’s a hot, dry summer, with a drought to make things even worse. On his arrival, Ben is taken up in a microlight plane by Kelly– a young American girl. While Ben learns to fly the microlight with her, the city of Adelaide begins to burn as a minor flame takes hold. In no time, a devouring inferno tears through the streets, putting homes and lives at risk. In the smoke and pandemonium, an important general is abducted. Ben, with his newly acquired skills, desperately flies around the fire with Kelly to save their parents. Eventually he finds himself on the trail of a sinister plan which may threaten the safety of the entire planet.

This one’s yet another roller coaster with a gripping story, well developed characters and a touch of conspiracy. The book has quite a few points of view and Chris ultimately manages to mesh them all together. Readers will delight in our young hero’s bravery as he goes to greater lengths to get through terrifying ordeals and emerges out victorious in the end.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Code Red