Hardcover, 277 pages.
Release date: September 10th 2013.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Reviewed by: Arianne.
Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy, is back with The Chaos of Stars—an enchanting novel set in Egypt and San Diego that captures the magic of first love and the eternally complicated truth about family.
Isadora's family is seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you're the human daughter of the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is tired of living with crazy relatives who think she's only worthy of a passing glance—so when she gets the chance to move to California with her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly learns there's no such thing as a clean break from family.
Blending Ally Carter's humor and the romance of Cynthia Hand's Unearthly, The Chaos of Stars takes readers on an unforgettable journey halfway across the world and back, and proves there's no place like home.
I absolutely adored this book. I’ve wanted to read it for so long, and not only did it meet my expectations, it totally surpassed them, too. Beautifully written, stylish and packed with action, it absolutely crackles with life and energy. It’s so truly original and full of heart; my favourite Kiersten White novel by far.
The Chaos of Stars is a tale of family and friendship, rebellion and romance. Oh, and ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses who are supposed to be long gone but are in fact alive and (mostly) well, feuding with each other and occasionally having mortal children so they can keep their power strong. Forced into a world where family bonds are more of a burden and doomed to die while her parents will live on forever, it’s no wonder heroine Isadora is a little resentful — and when she sees her chance to escape and move in with her older brother Sirus in San Diego, she takes it.
Sirus is the closest Isadora’s ever had to a protector or even a friend (having been raised in the desert and frequently ignored by her father in favour of the underworld as well as her mother in favour of her other, more powerful children). He was the first of many characters I came to love over the course of this book. Tyler is a frankly brilliant best friend, as memorable as she is funny, and so relatable, especially when it comes to her relationship with her boyfriend Scott: “I love him. But seriously, if he’s not back soon, it’s over. I will propose to the next boy who walks by with anything edible.” Even more than that, Tyler is a fantastically strong character, never once overshadowed by the intense chase sequences and detailed mythology which make up most of the book.
I really liked the love interest Ry, too. There’s possibly a little too much time spent repeatedly describing his fascinatingly blue eyes, I’d love to read a version of this book from his perspective. Let’s just say he has a lot of mythology in his family tree too, and seeing his side of the story both leading up to and during The Chaos of Stars would definitely be intriguing.
However, for me the real soul of this book came from the incredible, indomitable Isadora. She is hands down one of my favourite YA heroines of all time. Fierce, resolute and devastatingly capable, she’s a true force to be reckoned with. I love that she’s a character who’s decided to lock her vulnerabilities away and sticks to that promise, yet she’s still so brilliantly human. Whip-smart and talented, secretive and complex, Isadora is the kind of friend you’d want on your side in a fight, and she makes it impossible to resist reading on.
Perhaps most importantly of all, the writing in this book is stunning. It packs a punch without sacrificing beauty, humour or significance. It’s an emotional rollercoaster yet reads like pure sunshine. The plot is masterfully woven, with as much emphasis on character arcs and decisions as there is on twisting, turning action. This book is a standalone, but if there ever was a sequel, I would snap it up in a second.
In short: The Chaos of Stars is magnificent. Beautifully written, heartbreakingly real and wonderfully funny, it’s Stephanie Perkins meets Rick Riordan, featuring one of the best female leads I’ve seen from YA in years. Outstanding.