Early Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
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.
As the mortal daughter of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris, to say that Isadora's life is complicated would be an understatement. While most of her family will live for eternity, she has been designing her TOMB since childhood. She's more than a little bitter, especially considering the strained relationship with her parents as it seems they only had her to have a built in worshiper to guarantee their own continued godhood. So when her mother gets pregnant with her "replacement" Isadora decides she's had enough and moves to the States to live with her other mortal brother. But life isn't any easier there as a dark cloud seems to have followed her, and being a mortal surrounded by gods has never been so dangerous.. or deadly.
I have to admit that I almost did not finish this book. Don't get me wrong, there were parts that I really enjoyed, but I had a really big issues with the narrator, Isadora which at times made it difficult to continue reading since everything was colored through her eyes. She was so selfish and grated on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard, at least for most of the book that is. She did slowly start to change her attitude some as time went on, but honestly that too little, too late for me by that point. She was just so convinced that her perception of things was the only possibility and refused to even think of seeing anything in a different light. This in turn led to really terrible relationships with her family and in my eyes made her little more than a self entitled selfish brat. You may be asking why I did decide to continue on with this book even after my very strong issues with Isadora, and honestly the answer to that was easy. The side characters and the mythology thankfully outshined her. I have to admit that the side characters were so strong considering this was a first person narrative, so we only get to see them through Isadora's eyes, but they were. I especially loved Tyler as she was the sweet and spunky best friend determined to set Isadora up with Ry. And Ry, well I could go on and on about him since he stole my heart pretty early, but since he is one of the best parts about the book, I'll leave it at that to avoid giving too much away.
Now, onto the mythology. I feel like I should start with a disclaimer that I have always been incredibly fascinated with Egyptian mythology, so of course this book really jumped out at me. That being said, I enjoyed how the mythology was played out. Granted there was one issue that I wished had of been explained a bit better, and that was the mortality of the god's children, like Isadora. The only mention made was that after some naughty behavior from some of the younger gods, that perhaps it was better to not create any more gods. But there still was no real explanation as to how two gods could possibly have mortal children, or why they would consistently have another every 20 years. But putting that aside, I especially enjoyed the balance between the new and the old explanations of the mythology. Each chapter would start with a short tale of the ancient past and how the gods came to be in their roles, and then it would continue into a short modern section where Isadora explained how that tale then related to the modern version of the gods and her parents. I just felt it was really interesting how the old and the new were tied together, and made it really right up my alley since I'm such a sucker for Egyptian mythology.
While this review was rather easy for me to write as I felt I had a lot to say about this story, and I probably could have continued on even longer, I am having a very hard time deciding how to rate. THE CHAOS OF STARS is one of those books that I both loved and really hated at the same time. Perhaps hate is a bit strong, but I definitely had strong feelings against her. And yet I was so captivated by the rest of the story. If I could rate it separately, I would give Isadora's character a one star, and the rest a 4.5-5 star rating. I guess the best thing to do would be to take an average of the two and go with a 3 even if it isn't quite the best representation. So I'll end by saying, THE CHAOS OF STARS was an enjoyable read with an excellent use of mythology and secondary characters, but readers should be warned of the grating narrator.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)