Review: The Chaos of Stars

September 13, 2013 book review 12

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Released: September 10, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 288

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.

First of all, the cover for THE CHAOS OF STARS is just as beautiful in person as it is online. The designers did a wonderful job and I can’t stop staring at it. The theme continues inside the book and is present at the beginning of each chapter. I loved that!

I’ve heard a lot people say that they were disappointed by this book for one reason or another. I went into it with an open mind and didn’t even refresh myself on what the back cover said. THE CHAOS OF STARS is about the daughter of two powerful Egyptian gods, Isadora. Her mother thinks she is in grave danger and she just can’t stand the sight of her family anymore. She packs up to go live with her older brother, Sirus, and his wife in San Diego. She expects a normal American lifestyle and tries to adapt quickly. When she gets a job at the local museum, she makes it her mission to make the best Egyptian exhibit possible. Unfortunately, the danger her mother worried about is still lurking around.

I thought this novel had a very neat premise, mixing mythology with modern day life. You start off by being in Isadora’s Egyptian home and get to experience what it would be like to live in that sort of atmosphere. Her father is Osiris, god of the underworld. He looks like a mummy and spends most of his day sitting on a throne staring off into what looks like space. Her mother, Isis, makes her pray to the gods and make protective amulets. It was really cool getting to see this life. I’m obsessed with ancient Egyptian culture so I ate this part up. Unfortunately, by Chapter 3, Isadora is in San Diego. From here on out, it became more of a character story of Isadora figuring out this new modernized life, making friends, and trying so very hard not to fall in love with the mysterious Ry.

I will say that one awesome part about this book is that at the beginning of every chapter, we got a couple of paragraphs of mythology. The first snippet on Chapter 1 starts off by introducing the most prominent gods and how they were born. Each chapter the story continues. They go on to mention how some gods hate others, the brutal fights that took place, why some are evil and others are not, etc. If you took each snippet and put them together, you’d have the history of the Egyptian gods. I loved getting to each new chapter so I could continue learning about them. I absolutely loved that White did this. It made the story so much more interesting and also helped enlighten us on Isadora’s family history. But alas, a couple of paragraphs was all we got at a given time. I wish they had been longer and more detailed. I’m sure most readers, though, aren’t as fascinated with ancient Egypt as I am, so the length of these narrations was probably just right.

Isadora is your typical teenager. She’s a bit irrational, hard headed, thinks she can take on the world by herself. She is absolutely convinced that her parents hate her because they don’t want to give her eternal life. She’s rude and closed off from them because of it. She’s also got this insane idea that love is a waste of time. She thinks if she doesn’t fall in love, there will be no heartbreak and it’ll be easier since she will die anyway. I could completely relate to her on this front. Love IS scary. She tried so hard not to let herself have feelings for Ry. She didn’t know whether they would last, she didn’t know if/when they would break up. It was easier just to be friends. I’m the same way, but not to that extreme. It’s terrifying to know that you’re putting yourself out there and may just have your heart broken later on. The one great thing about Isadora is that she did see things in a different light as the story went on. She had more appreciation for her family. She realized that they weren’t out to get her as so many teenagers think. She became more humble, more proud for where she came from, and let her guard down a little. Character growth, people!

As I said, this novel was more of a character story about Isadora. Towards the end, though, the plot does thicken. There’s evil lurking about, determined to take down Isadora and her family. After she discovers who it is and what they want, Isadora fights for her life to protect her loved ones. This plot twist did make the novel more interesting and will definitely capture your attention, although it was played out too short and was a bit anticlimactic. This is where you’ll see just how different Isadora is from the beginning of the book.

Overall, THE CHAOS OF STARS was a good, enjoyable read. I read it in less than 12 hours and had a hard time setting it down. The characters were all interesting–although, I wish we could have gotten to learn more about the secondary characters, specifically Isadora’s new best friend, Tyler–and offered something different to the page. I really liked the budding romance between Isadora and Ry. I thought Ry was the perfect match for her and challenged her to think differently about everything she was so adamant about. If you’re looking for an interesting contemporary with some fun ancient Egyptian mythology mixed in, this is definitely something you should try!

I received an ARC through a trade with Jess @ Reading Nook Reviews. Thanks girl!

Christine

12 Responses to “Review: The Chaos of Stars”

    • Christine P

      Yeah, you should read it then! It was so interesting the way this was woven into the story. Definitely something like I’ve never read before. Give it a shot!

  1. Cait

    I’ve read a lot of unimpressed reviews on this book (I didn’t want to say “bad”…but really. Bad reviews). A lot of people found Isadora whiny? I really love the cover, too! And the concept totally turns me on (mythology is really interesting and when it’s modernised it’s really neat), so I’ll definitely try this book. I just don’t think it’ll be top of my to-read pile for a while. 😉 Nicely balanced review! 😀

    • Christine P

      I KNOW. Girl, I was so nervous going into this book. I usually try not to pay much attention to reviews if I plan on reading a book anyway, but oh my. It seemed like this was such a hit or miss. Thank my lucky stars (hehe, see what I did there?) that I ended up really liking this. It seemed like most people that hated this just don’t like White’s style of writing no matter what book. I actually enjoyed her style!

      Yeah, I agree. Don’t necessarily rush to get it now but definitely give it a shot at some point 🙂

  2. Disquietus

    YAY. SOMEONE I TRUST LIKES THIS BOOK. I’ve been hearing so many negative things from other people on my feed and I’m like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. HOW CAN THIS BE? KIERSTEN WHITE WROTE THIS BOOK!!!” Because I seriously have loved everything she’s written before. Your review made me even more excited to pick it up.

    • Christine P

      This comment just made my night! I was so freaking worried about this. I haven’t read any of White’s other novels so I had no idea what to expect. It just seems like there’s a good amount of people who just absolutely hate her writing style for some reason. I wanted this book to be good because it had an awesome premise. I’m so glad it actually was a super good book!! If you love everything else she has written, go read this! When you get a chance, of course. I’m not forcing you to do so right this minute. But you’ll love it!

  3. yaescapefromreality

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the book. I requested it from the library and hopefully will get it in a few weeks. I love Kiersten White, she usually writes such interesting and fun books, and this one sounds so good. I’m glad you enjoyed the relationship between Isadora and Ry, that’s important for me. And I like the idea of it being a contemporary novel with mythology mixed in. Sounds different. Great review! ~Pam

    • Christine P

      If you love her other books and writing style, you definitely won’t be disappointed! This was my first book from her and I loved her creativity. It was such a neat concept and I couldn’t put it down on overnight plane flight. I was the lone person on a packed flight across the United States that still had the reading light on. Ry was such a good match for Isadora, they seem like they would be polar opposites but they have more in common than they think. He challenged her and broke her down. Plus, he was such a sweetheart. I hated when Isadora would talk about how anti-love she was to him. It was so sad!

    • Christine P

      You should! This would be something right up your alley. Based on other contemporaries and mythology books you’ve read, I’d recommend this. It’ll satisfy your contemp cravings you have sometimes 🙂

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