Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of StarsTitle: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kierstan White
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Why I Read It: I have a soft spot for books involving re-imagined mythology. I was also kind of an Ancient Egypt nut as a child.

A Quick Introduction: Isadora's family takes complicated to a new level. For one thing, they've all been alive for thousands of years. They're also gods. Ancient Egyptian ones. Isadora isn't a god, and she never will be. She's a human child of Isis and Osiris, just one in a very long line. And she's sick of it. Sick of being only non-permanent thing in the house, sick of all the lies she was led to believe as a child, and especially sick of her family. She's convinced they only want her around because they need a human worshiper, and, when the chance arises, she jumps on it, taking off for San Diego. But even an ocean away from Egypt she finds new problems and challenges, and also that her family still isn't far enough away to forget.

Review: This one was alright. I wasn't crazy about it, but I didn't hate it either. I feel basically nothing for this book, except perhaps a little regret that it wasn't better.

Isadora is a character who isn't really likable per say, but she still made me empathize somewhat, even though I occasionally found her a little bit melodramatic. She's been hurt, and now she's scared of being hurt again. Having been raised by, and around, eternal, undying beings, she's all too aware that she isn't like them, that she'll die some day. This leads her to the conclusion that it isn't worth putting down roots or forming attachments, because, even if she isn't betrayed, nothing in her life is going to last forever, so why bother trying? In doing this she sets herself up for a lot of anguish, especially now that she's surrounded by normal humans, all of whom will eventually die, and who constantly remind her that nothing will last forever. She also believes herself to be essentially replaceable- her mother has a new baby whenever the latest child has grown up, Isadora spent her childhood painting the walls of her own tomb and most of her family barely gives her a passing glance. However, I still found Isadora to be petty, often selfish and downright mean sometimes. Also, kind of slow on the uptake occasionally. Simply put, she could be quite annoying.

Isadora's never really had friends, and she didn't really intend to make them either, but none the less, she does make a couple, and they start to bring he out of her somewhat bitter, angry shell a little bit. There is romance in the book, and I didn't mind the love interest, though he did seem a little too perfect. Isadora is quite violently opposed to romantic relationships, because she views them as painfully temporary. There were times that the characters felt a little forced, and I didn't really find myself drawn into the story.

I'm usually pretty open to new interpretations of the gods, but for some reason I felt like these didn't ring true. I'm not sure why that was, but they just didn't feel right. The motives of the evildoers seemed kind of shallow and contrived. It didn't seem to fit well with the ambiguity that exists in Egyptian mythology, or the way the characters were established in said mythology.It wasn't that this couldn't be an interpretation, it just lacked the rich complexity that exists in Egyptian mythology.There was very little in the way of world building, and the plot didn't really develop until the last fifty pages or so, wherein the climax was a let down.

To conclude, this book had quite a few flaws to it that stopped me from enjoying it as much as I had hoped it would.

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