Book review: “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 hinted at above, The Chaos of Stars is a story about a very special girl with a very screwed-up family. Isadora is an ordinary girl born into extraordinary circumstances. Her life gets flipped, turned upside down (whoa…Fresh Prince moment right there…), after she finds out that she is not immortal. How could she be? The human child of Egyptian gods – seems a bit unfair. The Chaos of Stars, the fifth novel by author Kiersten White, has a lot of ups and downs but was overall an enjoyable read.

I  have been a fan of Kiersten’s work since one random night when I went quote-searching online. I was sitting, snuggling with my cat, and feeling a bit lonely, went searching for a quote about wanting a date. I found this quote, spoken by Evie, the main character from her first novel Paranormalcy:

“Sometimes I get bored. And sometimes all I want, more than anything else in the world, is to go on a freaking date.”

That quote made me seek out the novel, devour the trilogy in a weekend, and thus fall in love with White’s writing. In Chaos White doesn’t disappoint when it comes to staying true to herself. The writing feels very much true to her and who she is. I did encounter quite a few instances in which Isadora felt too much like Evie – probably one of my favorite young female characters in a book to date (right up there with Katniss). They’re both strong, yet insecure girls, who don’t swear (Bleep & Floods are instead the words of choice), and are searching for something special out of life. That was a challenge for me to get past when reading the novel.

My favorite part was the plot – or at least the idea behind the plot. I have never been a fan of history – but the Egyptians have always fascinated me. I have never pictured a world where the Gods are still living, have children, and deal with things like sibling rivalry and redecorating bedrooms. This idea intrigued me, so I would have liked to see more history and myth play into the story. At the beginning of each chapter, there was a snippet that seemed to be a history of the Gods themselves, but sometimes Isadora would appear in them, unnamed, and that confused me. But, like I said, I have never been a big fan of history, thus I know relatively little about Egyptian culture. So while they confused me, that isn’t necessarily a representative judge of quality.

All in all the book was a good, easy read with an enjoyable level of entertainment. The characters are fun, despite sometimes being surface deep, and the plot is intriguing, though at times I wanted more development, and the history is there, but it might attract some more than others.