Review: The Chaos of Stars – Kiersten White

Release Date: September 10, 2013
Published By: Harper Teen
Pages: 352
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Review: I loved the fact that this book was set around Egyptian mythology. There has been no other books set around this concept in the YA genre (that I am aware of) – so the originality is something that really appealed to me. There is nothing wrong with YA folklore/mythical/paranormal aspects, but I find that I need a break from the regular suspects – and I have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt.

And that cover? It is gorgeous! I cannot wait for this book to be in print and sitting on my bookshelf! It is so pretty, with so much detail – even though it does look basic at first glance.

Isadora is the daughter of two Egyptian gods – her mother is Isis, goddess of motherhood and fertility, and her father is Osiris, god of the underworld. But being the daughter of two ancient gods does not mean that you are a goddess – in fact, even though her life is anything but normal, Isadora is completely mortal.

Isadora’s  parents have not chosen to give her immortality, as they some of their other children, and due to this she believes that they don’t love her at all – that she is just an object they produced to ensure they continue to be worshiped. And this belief is only strengthened when Isis announces that she is pregnant again – which is 4 years before schedule (she has a baby every 20 years)… so Isadora feels that she is being replaced before her time is due.

When the chance arises, Isadora jumps at the chance to leave Egypt, and her life, to go live with her brother Sirus in San Diego. She cannot wait to get away from the parents who do not care about her and live a normal life… but she finds that “normal” isn’t always possible when you are a child of Egyptian gods.

Upon her arrival in San Diego, Isadora is met by the fact that Sirus is not only married, but is about to become a father himself, leaving her dream of sibling understanding and bonding shattered. She also quickly finds out that her mother has arranged a “job” for her at the local museum – setting up her family’s “private collection” of Egyptian artifacts. Isadora feels that her parents are still controlling her life – a life that she wants to desperately escape.

Upon starting her new job, Isadora meets Tyler and her boyfriend Scott – and Ry, who is the books love interest. He is the definition of a hot Greek boy – olive skin, dark hair, piercing blue eyes and even a dimple, but there is more too him than his looks and his charisma. He is constantly writing  epic poems in his journal – to the point where he totally zones out from the rest of the world – but he seems instantly attracted to Isadora.

Ry’s views on love is very different to Isadora’s. He believes in complete and utter love, whilst Isadora decided from the time that she found out that her parents would not make her immortal that she would not let herself love anyone again – as love only leads to hurt and disappointment. And she refuses to be hurt by anyone ever again. Isadora’s view on relationships and love controls her interactions with everyone and her life, and she is very closed off to the idea of romance in any way, but Ry is patient and persistent and tries to help Isadora see that life with love is no life at all.

This really is a story about Isadora trying to find a way to deal with her beliefs, even though there seems to be cracks forming in her foundation. She grows throughout the book and learns a lot about herself, relationships and her family. I really liked that Isadora’s views on love was a part of the plot in this book, although I felt her beliefs about her parents were misconstrued. And the fact that there was no insta-love between Isadora and Ry (attraction yes, but not love) was a welcome surprise. I liked the fact that Isadora was torn by her growing feelings for him, rather than throwing herself into a relationship – she fights these new feelings rather than allowing them to take hold of her. And the chemistry between them is very cute (and humorous).

Isadora is a headstrong character – but this is her main flaw. The fact that she has to face the fact that things she has believed her whole life may not be true, is a part of what makes this an entertaining read. She has to relearn a lot of things, but mostly, she has to learn who she is.

But as dark dreams become more persistent, can she ignore the signs that these dreams are indicating that it might be the end of her immortal family – can she overcome her resentment before it’s too late? And can she open up enough to let Ry in her life and heart?

Kiersten White brings her unique style to this book; incorporating intrigue, humour, drama, fun and angst together, making this book is a really enjoyable read. There are laugh out loud moments, but that doesn’t distract from emotion of this book – in fact, it complements it nicely. The secondary characters in this book are good too. I loved the relationships that were built, and the interactions between the characters is natural and fun. The characters back in Egypt are interesting to say the least, and the connections (or disconnections) between them are intriguing. This book is a standalone, which I loved as well. Yes, I would like to see what happens to Isadora after the ending of this book (don’t worry, no cliff-hanger), but I don’t feel that it is needed. Kiersten White fans, you will not be disappointed – nor will those who have not experienced Kiersten’s other books :)

Quotes:

“Soap operas got nothing on my family history.”

“My entire childhood of warmth and love was a drawing in the sand “—impermanent and fragile and gone in a breath of wind. Just like me.”
“He waits to start talking until I’m in a rhythm. “So.” Thunk. “About the other night.” Thunk. “I got the feeling—and correct me if I’m wrong because I don’t speak Girl, though I’ve tried desperately to learn it—that you were”—thunk—“a little upset.” Thunkthunkthunkthunk.”
“I speak Greek, English, Arabic, and a little bit of Girl.”
“I will fill myself with the desert and the sky. I will be stone and stars, unchanging and strong and safe. The desert is complete; it is spare and alone, but perfect in its solitude. I will be the desert.”
“My heart is sand and Orion’s cruel tide has washed it away from me, scattered it, lost it.”

 

Big thank you goes to Harper Teen for this ARC copy of The Chaos of Stars!

What do you think?

  • I always enjoy Kiersten White’s novels, so I’m really excited for this one! I like the idea of it being centered around Egyptian mythology too! Definitely a nice change from the usual. Great review!

    • Kristy @ Book Nerd Reviews says:

      Hi Taylor
      Thank you :) I am sure you will enjoy The Chaos of Stars, Kiersten White is a fantastic author and she doesn’t disappoint in this one!

  • […] was fortunate enough to read an e-arc of this book a while ago (my review is here), but naturally I had to get a copy of this for my bookshelf. This arrived today, and it is so […]

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