Author: Kiersten White
Release date: September 10th 2013
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.