Friday, August 16, 2013

Early Review: The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of StarsAuthor: Kiersten White
Release date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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.
Clearly the gods of beautiful covers feel very benevolent towards Kiersten White. Her Mind Games cover is simply gorgeous, but this one is even better because it’s actually connected to the story. I love the night sky and all those stunning stars…

Okay, moving on to more important matters now.

When I first learned what The Chaos of Stars was about, I was afraid the pitiful sum of my knowledge on Egyptian mythology would cause me to do this book injustice. But instead of making me feel uneducated and foolish, Kiersten White elegantly took care of that problem by including small mythology lessons with a humorous undertone at the beginning of each chapter. It is through them that I learned who is who and what is what, which helped me feel less lost and enjoy the story more. And what a story it was…

When your mother is a goddess and you an insecure teen, a healthy mother-daughter relationship is simply not in the cards. Isidora is the daughter of Isis and Osiris, but she is not a goddess herself. As a mere mortal, she knows her life will one day end, and she knows her parents could stop it, if only they cared enough to actually try. Feeling hurt and unloved, she decides to leave Egypt, convinced she'll never return.

While in San Diego with her favorite brother Sirus and his wife Deena, Isadora finds her first friend and meets a boy she really, really likes. Trouble is, Isadora has long ago sworn off love and she’s determined not to allow romance to enter her life. But Ry refuses to be dissuaded. If friendship is what Isadora wants, he’s ready to be her friend. If it’s a living, breathing restaurant guide she needs, he can become one in a heartbeat. Their friendship and romance were rather enjoyable because I always knew Isadora would come around eventually – that certainty made me smile even when she was being extremely difficult and frustrating. Besides, even though her logic was seriously thwarted, I understood where she was coming from, which is all that really counts.
"He's a show-off, that's what he is. I don't give a mummified cat whether or not he can speak Arabic. I add show-off to my list of reasons why I will never like Ry in a way that would be dangerous. And then I'm mad that I even feel like I need to have a list, which is another thing to put on the list I wish I didn't have to have."

Even with the strong paranormal (umm, mythological?) element, the first half of The Chaos of Stars reads very much like a contemporary. Isadora has to learn about the modern world and discover things she’d never had access to, which is especially fun. The second half is a bit more exciting, as Isadora finds herself in the middle of a power play as old as time itself.

The truly brilliant thing about Kiersten White is that she somehow changes her writing style for each new book and/or series. She truly is a writing chameleon, and each time her ideas are unusual and richly imaginative. The Chaos of Stars is by no means free of flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nevertheless. It’s been a long time since I’d felt compelled to finish a book in one sitting so that alone is enough to make me grateful for this reading experience.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced this review.


  1. I haven't necessarily been loving what Kiersyen white has been putting out lately, but I am glad to hear that this worked out for you!

    Welcome back, Maja! <33

  2. I have read a book with similar idea to this one and I really enjoyed it. My co-blogger has got an arc of this one and she wasn't that thrilled. I'm glad you enjoyed it more than her and I'll hopefully give it a try one day.

    PS. It's great to see you back. My copy of Stormdancer arrived yesterday ;)

  3. Welcome back from your vacation!

    I'm really glad to hear you liked this book! I've been really excited about it and another blogger/friend was really annoyed with Isadora and that pulled her off the book!

    I have it preordered, so I'll have to wait and see!

  4. Gosh, I agree completely - she has ALL the beautiful covers! Anyway, I'm torn about picking this up. With the Paranormalcy Trilogy I felt as if her writing style stopped working for me with each installment and was a little too juvenile for me to completely enjoy. I'll have to re-consider this, though. If you liked it so much, then perhaps I will too. :) Lovely review, Maja, and it's good to have you back!

  5. I hope you had a good time during your vacation, Maja! :)
    I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. I liked it but I didn't love it because I had a few issues with it.
    Isadora wasn't a character I connected with and some of the things she said bothered me.
    However, I adored Ry and her friendship with him. I also liked the other 2 secondary characters more than I liked Isadora.
    Anyways, lovely review, Maja! :)

  6. YOU'RE BACK!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I hope you had a spectacular trip!

    On to the review glad you loved this one. I have it on my list coming up and I of course instantly fell in love with that cover, but I think everyone's been burned by a pretty cover before. I'm a huge fan of all types of mythology, but I'm particularly interested in Egyptian because I know so little of it. Love that she includes small lessons to educate readers without making us feel completely clueless. Super excited to give this a try now!

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one more than I did. The writing wasn't poorly done but to me the MC was just horrible I had so much trouble reading about her since I disliked her so much. I really loved Ry though so there was that. I was very pleased that the cover had something to do with the story!

    My Friends Are Fiction

  8. I like the sound of the contemp reading beginning and then the paranormal coming more so later on.

  9. Well crap now I have to buy this one, thanks a lot! :P

    Seriously though, I have been wondering about this one. So glad it was a fantastic read for you. You know anything that has to do with mythology you can count me in!
    Fantastic review!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

  10. I can tell by the quote that the writing style is much different than Mind Games. Can't wait to read it!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  11. MAJA'S BACK!!!!!!!!! Hello, dear friend... I hope you had a lovely vacation! :)
    Okay, on to book talks. I have only read one Kiersten White book (the first in the Paranormalcy series) but I wasn't a huge fan of it. This one definitely interests me, I love the concept (and that beautiful cover doesn't dissuade me, naturally). Lovely review, I will have to keep an eye out for this one to snag some day. :)

  12. I'm glad you're back Maja!
    I agree, this cover is stunning!
    And I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I had read a so-so review so I wasn't sure if I would get it, but your review has me thinking I do definitely need to read it, and I look forward to it!

  13. OMG! I wanted this book before, but now I know I REALLY want this book!! You are right, the covers are beautiful! So glad the story seems to match it. I love mythology and love that this one is on Egypt mythology. So need to read!!

  14. I've only read Paranormalcy, which I thought was good-not-great, but I like the quote you posted, and the story sounds interesting. And that cover is amazing!

  15. I'm really glad that you enjoyed this Maja, I've not read a book by Kiersten before, but when I first read the premise to this, I really thought that it wouldn't be for me. But I think your review has certainly encouraged me to give this a try one day. Great review Maja and it's great to see you back! :)

  16. I've been really impressed by Kiersten's writing and I'm definitely looking forward to this one. It's had some meh reviews but I'm reinvigorated by yours -- moving it back up the list! I love that it incorporates Egyptian mythology, which I know very little about and I'm interested to see how she weaves it through the story. Thanks!! And hope you had a great vacation!!

  17. Upon reading reviews, my main question is how the daughter of two gods is not a goddess herself. Maybe this is answered in the book? Hopefully? Still, the premise is really interesting and I'm glad that someone decided to write about Egyptian mythology, which really is so fascinating. I love the cover, but I'm still not sure whether this book is for me. Time will tell! Lovely review, though, Maja! And I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Being compelled to finish a book in one sitting is a pretty great thing. :)

  18. I still need to read Mind Games! I agree, all the book covers of Kiersten are gorgeous. I'm fascinated in this book because of the Egyptian Mythology. Your review made more interested, Maja! Thanks.


  19. I actually don't know a lot about Egyptian mythology either, so I am happy to hear that the way that it is introduced here, the reader doesn't get lost. I am very much looking forward to that aspect. I always get intrigued by the whole myth/lore concepts. And having a goddess for a mother would be freakin awesome, but that's sad that there is no mother-daughter bonding going on this one. Isadora sounds like a really fun and likeable character. I can't wait to meet her and her love interest. Surprisingly, I am looking forward to seeing how this book is a contemporary and then how it changes to something more exciting. Keirsten's writing sounds brilliant and even though I haven't read any of her previous works, I can't wait to start with this one! I'm glad to see you enjoyed this, Maja! :)

    Fab review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  20. I wasn't a fan of it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it! Maybe I should give it another shot? Great review!
    -Scott Reads It

  21. This sounds wonderful! I love that the author includes bits at the beginning of each chapter to explain the mythology or history so that the reader doesn't feel lost. That was really smart! I'm adding this to my to-read list right now.

  22. I agree, Maja, the cover is gorgeous! I'm glad to hear the insides match the outside and the story is equally impressive. Nice to hear you don't need to know much about the mythology in advance because I am no scholar when it comes to mythology. Wonderful review! :)

  23. I snagged a copy of this and I am so glad I did. I love Egyptian mythology because it isn't something we get often enough! Welcome back, I missed you!

  24. It is quite interesting how Kiersten White can seem to change her writing style so easily! I haven't really been overly keen on any of her books in the past, and after Sister Assassin, I decided that White and I would probably have to go our separate ways. I'm still a little tempted to pick this one up though, mostly because of that cover. I'm glad it worked for you, Maja, especially as you were worried about the egyptian mythology. Great review! :) And it really is nice to have you back!

  25. Yeaay! I really liked this book, especially the same lessons we get about the Mythology. It was so easy to follow and I was swept away by her writing-style. I agree about White changing her writing-style now and then. And the cover is just gorgeous <3

  26. Egyptian Mythology retelling is a rarity in my bookshelves so I'd like to give this one a try. I had a tough time with Paranormalcy but loved Mind Games. Just goes to show how versatile Ms. White is. Great review, Maja and so glad you're back! I hope you had a great holiday!

  27. Yay, I'm glad you liked this one, Maja, since I've been looking forward to it. It's also good to know that although you're not familiar with Egyptian mythology - neither am I - this didn't make you feel stupid but made you learn stuff. The first half of this one seems a bit like Paranormalcy, which I enjoyed.

  28. I haven't read anything by KW but I'd be interested in this. It's great when a book can educate you, in this case about mythology, without info-dumping.

  29. So glad you gave this one a thumbs up! I picked it for my WoW meme a while ago and was lucky enough to snag an ARC at ALA this summer. Can't wait to read it.


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