by Kiersten White
Read: July 27 - 28, 2013
Published: September 10, 2013 by HarperTeen **UPCOMING**
Source: Edelweiss - THANK YOU Harper Collins*!
Category: Egyptian Mythology, YA
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. (From Goodreads)
Isadora is the mortal daughter of Egyptian gods, a fact that she's begun to resent in recent years, especially with her parents constant obsession with death. Her dad is the god of the underworld, after all. When her mom Isis starts having ominous dreams, Isadora jumps at the chance to move to her brother's house in San Diego. Having only family for company for her entire 16 years, Isadora is excited to escape her heritage and be a normal teen for once. Although life in San Diego doesn't start off exactly as she planned, Isadora quickly makes friends, gets a job and meets Ry, a cute boy with whom she's determined not to get involved. But Isadora soon realizes that her family and past is not something she can escape, and maybe she shouldn't want to. When frightening things start happening for real, Isadora finds out how much her family really means to her.
- The cover is gorgeous.
- Egyptian mythology fascinates me. This is the first book I've read that features it and I thought it was very accessible and fun.
- For those of us that have trouble remembering the details of Egyptian mythology or its pantheon of gods, we get short history lessons at the beginning of each chapter. These sections are told to us by Isadora and feature personal touches, because they are part of her own family history.
- A standalone, self contained story. (Though I would like more from this world!)
- Isadora wants to be an interior designer, and we get to see her at work throughout this book. I loved watching Isadora create. It was like an addicting design show.
- Isadora also spends time working in a museum. This is perfect because it is through museum exhibits that I've had the most encounters with Egyptian history and artifacts. Plus, I used to work at one and always like when they're featured in books (see more on this below).
- The cast of characters was colorful and amusing, especially Isadora, Tyler and Ry.
- I had a lot of fun reading this book. It is a perfect happy palate cleanser (that's my new buzz word).
- As much as I thought the museum job plotline was fun, the structure of the museum did not make sense to me. While there are lots of small museums where staff double as curators, visitor services etc., anything big enough to have a traveling Egyptian exhibit, several exhibit rooms and money for construction, would have a bigger staff with dedicated curators. The fact that Marissa, Tyler and Isadora did everything (and seemed to be the only staff besides the no-named guards) was pretty hilarious. I doubt most people will even notice this though.
- The Chaos of Stars is based on ancient Egyptian mythology, but Isadora has grown up in modern Egypt (although fairly isolated). With all of the current events in Egypt and the incredible unrest there, I'm surprised there wasn't even a mention in passing about the state of the country. Although adding this element would have taken away from the lightness of the story, it would have brought some relevance to it.
- The Chaos of Stars was a nice light read, and I like that it is a self contained story, but I wish the author had gone a little bigger or deeper with her story. Or at least, I'd love to see another book set in this world. Or maybe Egyptian mythology will start trending.
- The bad guy wasn't a huge secret and I definitely guessed some other elements before Isadora. I wish the plot had been a tad tricker. But I'm also surprised at how much I enjoyed this book despite it all.
- I wish there had been a cooler explanation for Ry's secret notebook writing. I was a bit underwhelmed by that plot line. (I want to say more here, but I'm going to stay vague for spoiler's sake).
The Chaos of Stars is a light easy read with digestible mythology and relatable coming of age themes. I could definitely sympathize with Isadora's struggles to reconcile her family and heritage with her modern life. Plus this story features a sweet and clean romance that I really enjoyed. While I always knew where Isadora would end up by the conclusion of this book - the lessons she'll learn and the personal growth she'll discover, her journey was still quite enjoyable. I'd love to read more of this world, or more Egyptian based mythology in general.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone
*Book received in exchange for an honest review.