Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Title: The Chaos of Stars 
Author: Kiersten White
Publication: September 10th 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult ~ Mythology
Format: e-arc from Edelweiss
Cover Rating: 5/5 (Gorgeous!)
Overall Rating: 4/5

Copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  
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, I apologize for the extremely long review but I had so much to say! I hope it doesn't scare people off. *-*

I got this book really early from the lovely people at Edelweiss and HarperTeen. So thank you!
I couldn't believe it at first actually because I hadn't known about this book for very long. I saw it on Goodreads only the week before and my eyes almost fell out of their sockets because of the gorgeous cover (I might even buy the print book once it comes out because I love the cover so much) and the amazing description. "the human daughter of Egyptian gods" Yeah. I just knew I had to have it. I've been intrigued by ancient Egypt and their mythology for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a kid, I started reading informative books about it. Very nerdy, but what can I say? I'm such a historu and mythology fan. Ancient Egypt (after reading books) was my first love. But surprisingly, I had never really read a fictional book about ancient Egypt until now. So far I've always read more about Greek mythology but I'm so glad my first one about ancient Egyptian mythology was The Chaos of Stars because I enjoyed it so much and Kiersten White did such an amazing job on it.

Initially, I was rather anxious to read this book because I didn't want anything to mess with my love for ancient Egypt. I didn't want a book to mess it up, if that makes any sense. And also because this is my very first Kiersten White book. I know her from her Paranormalcy books although I haven't read them yet and of course also her more recent Mind Games book, which I also haven't read yet, unfortunately, but I heard great things about all her books. So I did look forward to finally reading a book of hers.
Also another reason why I was a little scared to start The Chaos of Stars is that I saw a lot of mixed reviews of it on Goodreads. It was repeatedly 4 and 5 stars OR 1 star or even did not finish ratings. Personally, I don't get how someone can't finish a book this great but everyone has their taste.

The Chaos of Stars is about sixteen-year-old Isadora who's the child of gods. She feels that because, her parents didn't grant her immortality, that they don't love her and barely notice her. More importantly she doesn't believe in love in any shape anymore. When the opportunity presents itself to move from Egypt to San Diego, to live with her brother for a while, naturally she jumps on the chance to do so. Once in San Diego things seem more complicated than ever. She finds new friends and even a cute boy steps into her life but when dark dreams take hold of Isadora, it might mean the end of her family all together. Can she embrace her heritage before it's all too late?

I really enjoyed this book. I actually read it in 24 hours. Yes, that's right, one day! That never happens! I was sucked right into it because of all the egyptian gods and the mythology of it all. Although, I have to say that the mythology was more on the background and it was really about Isadora coming to terms with who she is, finding her place and how she fits into the chaos of her family. I loved reading about how Isadora fit into this family. We got quite a lot of information about the history of these gods. Everything that happened to them in the past and how it all came to be. 

“Soap operas got nothing on my family history.” 

This would've been too much if it wasn't for the brilliant way Kiersten White wrote it. She always gave us a little bit more information at the beginning of each chapter. We also stepped into Isadora's very dark and frightening dreams, that was also nicely done. Really, all of that, the information about the mythology in Isadora's voice which always turned a little funny at the and and the mysterious dreams I loved so much. 

The characters were all very interesting from the gods themselves to even Isadora's friends and even the bad guys were amusing. Some I liked more than others but I especially loved the dynamic of Isadora's friends; Tyler, Scott and Ry. Tyler was hilarious. It makes me wish I could be her friend too. Her boyfriend, Scott was also so much fun. And, Ry, well, what can I say about him? He's just too cute. Definitely book boyfriend material! I fell for him because of how he writes epic poems, they way his eyes are so blue that Isadora sometimes asks not to look at her (*chuckle chuckle*) and of course to top it all of he had to have a dimple. Dimples are a big weakness for me! So, yeah, I love Ry. And there's more to him that meets to eye. ;)
Besides Isadora's friends I also really liked her brother, Sirus where she comes to stay with. He's really nice and I also like his pregnant wife a lot. I think they are just what Isadora needs. To see how much they love each other and how much they already love their unborn child. I feel they really had an impact on Isadora, even when she didn't see it herself. 
My favorite god in this book was Thoth, he was awesome. He talked with bird puppets (or whatever you wanna call it) and seems a little bit looney but in the end he really got through for Isadora and protected her. 
Another favorite aspect was, and this might be a minor spoiler but I just have to say it, there weren't only egyptian gods, oh no, there were also... wait for it... GREEK GODS! Greek mythology has been also kind of an obsession with me lately with all the awesome books about it. But yay, Greek gods. Since it's mainly about the egyptian ones, they were more on the background and don't find out about him until way later in the book. But it's perfect! Althought a little, little bit predictable. You'll know what I'm talking about when you read the book.

Outside of this book by favorite god is Set, don't ask me why because I don't even know it, he just is. But unfortunately he wasn't in this book at all except for the information about the mythology we got. So that was kinda a bummer because I was sure he was one of the bad guys with everything bad he did in the past. But oh well, that's just a minor thing to me.
I must say, however, that I wasn't too fond of Isadora herself in the beginning. I didn't like how cold she acted to her parents and they way she treated him. Though, I totally understand why. But, really, it was all one big misunderstanding. If only her mother had talked more about her to why they left Isadora mortal, things would've probably gone a whole different way. But then again, we wouldn't have had this great book if that was the case. Another slightly minor point to me was how I was a little confused in the beginning as to why two gods like Isis and Osiris would have kids that are mortal. Now I know how it all works but at the time I was not sure about it all.
Also wasn't too fond about Isadora's mother, Isis. But I did feel how much she did love her. Her father, Osiris, god of the underworld, was sort of an enigma to me but I'm sure he can raise hell (Ha. See what I did there?) if his family is threatened. And that's those are the only reasons why I didn't rate it a full 5 star read. It was a really good book but not quite that 5 star amazingness I would've liked to feel but it's still a favorite of mine now anyway.
Even though I didn't particulary liked Isadora, I warmed up to her when I read more. She's actually pretty freaking hilarious. Ex: she calls her brother Horus, Whore-us. I kept cracking up when she called him that. But I liked her the best when she was with Ry. 

"I open my eyes to see Ry staring at me, and my desert soul erupts with turquoise water, floods and cascades and waterfalls rushing in around my rocky parts, pushing and reshaping and filling every hidden dark spot."

They were adorable together and I love how Isadora could be her own person with him. And I could totally see how much he cares for her. *fangirling again*
Their romance was so sweet and cute. How love how there wasn't any instant-love, however there was instant attraction to each other. That was such a relief to me because I was so afraid that I would have to deal with insta-love yet again. Luckily it wasn't so. They were friends first and although Ry has his own secrets they were good together. Their relationship really grew slowly and I love how Ry let Isadora see that love isn't all about hurting in the end. When she finds out about this secret things about Ry, my heart broke for them because she was so hurt and mad. It was so sad. But anyway it turned out fine in the end, especially when things start to really go bad and a bad person is after Isadora. Ry never stopped trying to protect or love her.
I gotta say this about the bad guys. They were great. And trust me, you'll be surprised to find out who the true baddie is actually. It sure took me by surprise. You think you know the way how a book is going to go, but then it goes entirely the other way. Gotta love that when it happens!

One of the best things about this book, after all the egyptian mythology goodness, was Kiersten White's graceful writing. I adored it. It was really beautiful at times! 

“My heart is sand and Orion's cruel tide has washed it away from me, scattered it, lost it.”

I mean, seriously, there are some really enticing sentences that are so alluring I want to paint them on my bedroom walls, I am not kidding. So I'm definitely looking forward to read more books by this author. And I'm also hoping that The Chaos of Stars will get a sequel since in my opinion the end was open to suggestion a bit and I don't like that. I want to know more about all the gods (both egyptian and greek!) and especially see more of Isadora and Ry. So, please, Ms. White, write a sequel! =D

Overal, The Chaos of Stars is a captivating read about egyptian gods but also about love, family and friendship and not taking the easy way out, that everyone just has to read. Kiersten White has created such a perfect world, giving egyptian mythology an exciting spin but also presents interesting information about the mythology which her main character also gives a funny spin on in turn. The writing was perfectly done, enchanting even at time so I couldn't get enough of this story and hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I did.





Oh, shut up. He is not saying that he's too good-looking to be friends with girls. But then again, yesterday at the beach, there were a high percentage of beach beauties sitting very close to us and/or sauntering repeatedly past. And he never looked up once. I snort. "You poor handsome thing. If only you were ugly, then girls wouldn't have to throw themselves at you all the time. I could break your perfect nose for you, if it'd make your life easier.”
There's a reason cats were near deity in ancient Egypt. Dogs may be loyal, but cats are smart. This one must recognize our bond. You can take the cat ouf of Egypt, but you can't take Egypt out of the cat. Wow, I should have that embroidered on a pillow or something.
“I get that you're scared and that you've been hurt. But doing what is easy and safe is no way to live, and a life without passion and love is so far beneath what you deserve.”
“I'm fine." It's a lie. I am not fine. My head is a symphony of pain, a sadistic master maestro conducting an opus of excruciating, devastating perfecting.”



Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy and Mind Games, the start of a new dark thriller series. She has one tall husband and two small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com

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3 comments:

  1. Mythology! Sounds like a book I need to try! Especially if Greek gods make an appearance :D

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  2. I solely wanted to read this book because of the Egyptian Mythology (I'm Egyptian too) and it's the first time I've seen it as an element in books. I was hesitant after hearing some "meh" reviews, but I'm glad you liked it ;)

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    Replies
    1. I might be more biased though because I'm interested in the mythology but I genuinly did like it. You should try it!

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