Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chaos of the Stars by Kiersten White

All good stories have a few false starts... Myth: The children of immortal gods are immortal, too. Reality: Isadora isn’t going to be around forever—and her parents barely seem to notice she’s alive right now. Myth: Once a god, always a god—that kind of power never fades away. Reality: These days, Isadora’s relatives are clinging to the little bit of power they have left. And some of them would do anything to take it all.… Myth: Every teenage girl dreams of falling in love. Reality: From what Isadora’s seen, “love” is a painful mess. All she dreams of is a normal life away from her crazy family—minus any romantic drama. Myth: If you go far enough, you can leave the past behind. Reality: Isadora moves halfway around the world to San Diego for a fresh start, but quickly finds that there’s no such thing as a clean break from family—and that leaving her old life may mean sacrificing more than she ever guessed. The Chaos of Stars blends sweet romance, high-stakes suspense, and the magic of Egyptian mythology to create a complex, funny, and deeply moving story about true love and what it means to be a family. (Summary From author's website)

I really enjoyed reading Chaos of the Stars. I know that the whole demi-god myth is kind of becoming an overdone trope in the market right now, but Chaos of the Stars has several things that makes it stand out. The first is that it is great as a stand-alone novel that has an interesting world that you would like to visit again, but don’t have to once all the loose ends of the novel are tied up. It is kind of relaxing to read a YA fantasy that doesn’t require a three book commitment. Also, while there is romance, there is no love triangle. Lovely! In addition, there is no super reveal about secret powers in which the female protagonist turns into a super warrior so that she can save the world.

The plot instead lingers on Isadora's relationship with her family. Being the daughter of two Egyptian gods can be really confusing at times, and Isadora questions whether her parents really love her. She can’t wait to get away from her mom, Isis and spend some time on her own. When Isis senses danger coming she sends Isadora away to live with her brother in California.  Isadora enjoys volunteering at the local museum and hanging out with the new friends she has made, but when strange break-ins start happening at the museum and at her brother’s house, Isadora can’t help but wonder if there is some plot afoot. When Isadora discovers who is behind the break-ins and what they want she has to race to save the family that she has come to realize that she loves and cares for.
So, yeah Chaos of the Stars is a fun, light-hearted introduction to the insanity that is Egyptian mythology, and makes itself stand out by throwing aside some popular paranormal romance  conventions and focusing the story on family drama, rather than epic battles. I wanted a bit more tension in the first couple chapters, but other than that I really enjoyed the novel.

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