Thursday, 29 August 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Title: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Release date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Mythology
Format: eARC
Pages: 195
Source: Edelweiss

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.

I've always loved Kiersten White's writing, and The Chaos of Stars is no exception. This book pulled me into the world of Egyptian mythology - a world I'd never been introduced to before. It was amazing to learn about all the Egyptian culture and stories. I got confused at times, but then I'm used to it since Greek mythology (which I do know quite a bit about) is equally confusing. This book is unlike anything I've read before, not only because of the Egyptian focus, but also because of the family focus. Romance takes a little bit of a backseat in The Chaos of Stars, and Isadora's relationship with her family is brought to the foreground.

Isadora isn't your average Egyptian girl. Her parents are none other than Isis and Osiris, the great Egyptian gods. They have kids every twenty years, to make sure there's always someone to remember the gods. As a result, Isadora feels unloved and unimportant. But she sees her chance at escape when her parents allow her to move to San Diego to live with her brother. However, living in San Diego, far away from her parents, makes Isadora realize that she cares about her family more than she'd ever imagined.

I couldn't bring myself to like Isadora initially - she's pessimistic and whiny in the beginning. But she does get a lot better later on, with the influence of Tyler and Ry. Tyler's a girl, by the way. Just a clarification. Isadora's really into interior design, and it was cool to see how passionate she is about it. She's also really passionate about the stars, the Orion constellation in particular. There's a nice little surprise about that which comes later, and which I found really awesome.

Ry is portrayed as this antisocial but incredibly beautiful (yes, beautiful) guy, who spends all his time writing poetry in a notebook. He's definitely enigmatic, but I liked him. And I really don't think he's that antisocial! Anyway, Ry becomes a good friend of Isadora's, and he's the reason Isadora starts to believe in love. Okay, that sounded cheesy but it's true. And trust me, it's not that cheesy in the book. But yeah, I really like Ry. There's a different side to him that we get to see, instead of the air of mystery he has around him. Ry also has a few secrets of his own, but I won't mention that even though I really really want to. No spoilers in this review, I promise.

What I thought was pretty great is that at the beginning of each chapter, Kiersten tells us a little bit of Egyptian mythology, the stories surrounding Isis, Osiris, Anubis, etc. I have to say, after reading this book, I'm very intrigued by this mythology, and I have no doubt I'll find myself looking up some of these stories pretty soon.

I don't think I've read a book with this much of a family focus before, and I didn't think I would like it this much! But seeing Isadora's relationship with her mom change and grow, it's fascinating. Also, Egyptian isn't the only mythology in this book! No, there's another, too. I won't say anything more than that. But I loved it. Mythology fans should really give this book a try, and if you're a fan of Kiersten White, this is a must-read! The Chaos of Stars is nothing like her other books, but equally awesome.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing an eGalley for review*

Rating: 4/5

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