Friday, 2 May 2014
#CBR6 Book 40: "The Chaos of Stars" by Kiersten White
Rating: 2.5 stars
Disclaimer! I was granted an ARC of this book from HarperTeen via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.
Isadora is the youngest mortal daughter of Isis and Osiris, yup, those guys, the Egyptian gods. As seasons passed, and their believers started dying away, Isis found a solution to make sure she, her husband and all their immortal family still have worshippers, by having a mortal child every twenty years. She keeps them close, then sends them out into the world to manage on their own when they're old enough, but they still pray to their parents, thereby ensuring that the deities are not entirely forgotten. Said children can speak all known languages in the world, but Isadora doesn't seem grateful for such an awesome ability.
She's has been at odds with her mother since she got old enough to discover that the fun room she played in when she was little and was encouraged to decorate, was in fact her tomb. The situation doesn't improve when she discovers that her mother is pregnant again, ahead of schedule, as Isadora is only sixteen. She's none to happy about being replaced as the baby of the family, and when Isis (and Isadora herself, although she lies to her mother about it) start having very ominous dreams, she's thrilled to go along with the plan to travel to America to stay with her brother.
Her brother, twenty years her senior, is happily married and expecting a child of his own. Isadora, determined to be as sulky and disagreeable as possible, finds it impossible not to love her new sister-in-law. While she's in the US, she gets a summer job at museum, that's about to host an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts donated by her mother (who everyone just thinks is an Egyptian eccentric). She makes friends with one of the other volunteers at the museum and meets the dreamy and mysterious Ry. While the ominous dreams appear to have stopped, her room at her brother's is broken into and thrashed. Later, the driver delivering the artifacts for the exhibit is attacked. Could her mother be right? Is there someone actually after her?
Isadora may be the daughter of gods, but she's also a pretty whiny and disagreeable brat for much of the book. So what if her father is the king of the underworld and sits at the breakfast table reading the morning papers in his mummy wrappings? It's a lot more fun than having a dad who's an accountant, girl. Her only character traits appear to be that she's very pretty (because of course she is) and has an overwhelming passion for interior decoration. To the point where her internal monologue is constantly critizising every single house and room she ever enters. Despite her surliness, she seems to have no trouble making friends in America. She also meets the unbelievably gorgeous Ry, whose full name is Orion (just like Isadora's favourite constellation, what are the odds? He naturally falls for her instantly, but Isadora keeps pushing him away, because love is for suckers and her parents' tendency to have offspring to ensure their own continued survival as gods has made her wary of trusting anyone.
She's really very self-centred, and not very smart. Ry's mysterious parentage was painfully obvious to me, as was the culprits behind the sinister plot against Isadora and her mother. Yet while I wanted to slap Isadora a whole load of times and tell her to snap out of it and grow up, I kept turning the pages to see where the story was going and I really did like the concept of ancient gods having mortal children to keep their names from being forgotten. I'm sad that the gorgeous cover and fun concept didn't play out into a particularly good book, but while I don't see myself re-reading the book, I certainly didn't hate it.