Author: Kiersten White
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mythology, Coming-of-Age, Comedy
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Source: Publisher-provided ARC via Edelweiss
Synopsis: 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.
☆: 2/5 stars – It’s easily consumed but not well-written, sadly.
Always trust your friends and never trust your friends. Sounds like nonsense, no? Well, my friends are near-unanimous in disliking White’s novels; I myself read three of her books and disliked two, but I’m sure I’d dislike the third if I reread it. When I asked for help deciding what to read one night, Blythe, Christina, and Reut all said to read this. It’s their fault this review exists and I got to The Chaos of Stars when I did.
Like White’s other novels, the prose is juvenile and clunky at times, but it’s easy to roll your eyes at the main character and keep reading until you’re at the end of the book. If there’s anything the author can do, it’s write a story that shuts down a reader’s brain for a while and goes down almost as easy as a glass of water as long as you don’t overthink it (which is why it’s such a good thing her books can shut down brain function). If someone is in need of something to read on a long airport flight or get their mind off something going on in their life, this is the kind of book just right for the job.
Now, if your brain works anything like mine, you’re probably wondering how two gods bumping uglies produced a human child. It’s a good question. What’s the answer? There is no answer! Isis and Osiris have human children together every twenty years and that’s that. We’re asked to accept that and move on. If you can’t do that and your brain is still turned on past chapter two, you’re going to have a really, really bad time. You’re asked to go with it so many times that “just go with it” should be the novel’s tagline. Isis may be a goddess of motherhood, among other things, but there are more ways to show it than sticking her in a constant cycle of being pregnant and raising her children.
Isadora may be the most unbearable of White’s heroines thus far. Being the child of gods, it’s easy to find her anger at them genuine. After all, her parents are going to live forever and they’ve made it clear she won’t because she’s not like them. This one genuine trait of hers is bashed into our heads as she tells us multiple times how angry she is with them. What makes her worse than the others is how judgmental she is. She calls her god-brother Horus Whore-us (this is not a joke and the novel really IS that juvenile) almost every time she refers to him and she calls his wife Hathor a drunken floozy.
Come on, she’s the goddess of beer and sex. Expecting her to not drink or be sexual is kind of like expecting a man to wake up one day bereft of his penis as if he never had it in the first place: it’s not going to happen, so you’re getting your hopes up for nothing.
As for a plot, the book doesn’t have much of one. Isadora lacks the strength of character to make this a character-driven novel, what little conflict there is gets eliminated within two sentences at the end of the book, the romance is weak, and the twists (one of which is tied to the romance) are very predictable. Really, I saw what was coming with the romance from the very first time Isadora spoke to her love interest Ry. Writers know language matters and that’s doubly important here because language is what gives him away.
This being my third strike with White’s novels, she’s off my TBR for good. Why keep wasting the time and money, after all? One must eventually learn from her mistakes. If readers have disliked her previous novels and want to read this to see if she gets any better, let me tell you this: SHE DOESN’T. My verdict is that only superfans of hers should bother. Others should skip it and spend that money on something better.