The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White Review: Egyptian gods & goddesses with angst

June 2, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White Review: Egyptian gods & goddesses with angstThe Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Published by HarperCollins Australia on September 10, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository
Add to Goodreads

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'sUnearthly, The Chaos of Stars takes readers on an unforgettable journey halfway across the world and back, and proves there's no place like home.

The Chaos of the Stars is a book that I really wanted to love, but sadly didn’t. It is set in Egypt which is pretty much my favourite dream destination ever, and features Egyptian gods and goddesses, with the main character, Isadora as a daughter of Isis and Osiris. Unfortunately, something about the light, quirky re-imagining of the gods and goddesses just didn’t sit well with me.

I really enjoyed the beginning where Isadora pretty much describes her weird and wonderful godly family and their quirks. However I was already cringing a few pages in as she refers to her brother Horus as “Whore-us” throughout the novel and wife Hathor as “his drunken floozy of a wife”. There’s just some places you don’t go when it comes to gods and goddesses but nope, she went there.

I have read and loved Kiersten White’s other series, Paranormalcy, and really enjoyed the bright pink-loving Evie with all of her spark, quirkiness and hilarious wit. Unfortunately, Isadora pretty much walked and talked like Evie, save for her eternal angst and dark thoughts against her parents and family. She would be completely bitter at one time and then a happy go lucky light-hearted joker the next. It was a weird combination that didn’t quite fit. I didn’t see where all the hate came from especially since her parents didn’t really do anything against her except to fall pregnant with their next child. I’m glad to report that Isadora does come around eventually though.

To my dismay, the intriguing Egyptian setting soon gets replaced with stereotypical setting of America. Isadora promptly jet sets to San Diego and does the usual thing like fall into insta-love with Ry, and then it becomes a poorly developed, soppy romance, none of all of that initial intrigue and wonder I had with it.

Between every chapter, there’s a description of Isadora’s dreams (or what I think are her dreams or her random thoughts) as well as some mythology. I liked reading these segments, but there was no explanation or significance to the chapters. I didn’t quite see their place and wish they sort of tied in some way. While the rest of the book is filled with light drivel of no particular substance, without these segments to keep me going I would have probably abandoned the book.


The Chaos of Stars is a really light book that adds a fresh unique and humorous personalities to Egyptian gods and goddesses, but unfortunately I felt like the book was filled with drivel of no substance. I wanted more mythology and less insta-love and not the run of the mill US setting. It is a coming of age novel with humour and angst, but I wouldn’t read it for the Egyptian mythology alone, especially since it was applied with such a light hand.

The cover is beautiful though and I’m glad it’s a standalone.

Rating: 2 out of 5

I received a review copy of this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

The following two tabs change content below.
Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

Tags: , , , ,

78 responses to “The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White Review: Egyptian gods & goddesses with angst

  1. I know, Isadora was a really difficult character to get behind. EXACTLY because of the blatant disrespect towards elders, which are important in our cultures right? I would think that Egyptian culture would be similar too.

  2. I know, I really wish it did keep the Egyptian setting because that's what set it apart. I'm glad you enjoyed her other books, I have so far too except for this one. Thanks Kaitlin!

  3. Darn. It would've been awesome of this book kept its Egyptian setting. I rarely ever see that done! The lightness of this book may not appeal to me that much when I get to reading it. I've read every one of Kiersten White's released novels, but none of them have wowed me yet (though I still like them enough to give them 3-4 stars). I love her ideas, so I keep reading her books and hoping that I'll love one of them. It seems like this one won't turn out to be the one to finally wow me. 🙁 Great review, Jeann!
    Kaitlin @ Reading is recently posted…My Last Kiss Blog Tour ~ Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Yeah, I think I'm going to pass on this one. I love Egyptian mythology too, but I really can't fathom "humorous personalities" in conjunction with the gods and goddesses of that pantheon. Egyptian gods and goddesses aren't funny, they're SCARY and dark and twisty. That plus insta-love/soppy romance spells NO for me, I'm pretty sure. I'm sorry it didn't much work for you either 🙁
    Jessica @ Rabid Read recently posted…Review: A Fistful of Charms by Kim HarrisonMy Profile

  5. I'm a total miss with White's books unfortunately, so I was planning to stay away from this regardless, but I am now even more sure I probably wouldn't like it after reading your review! It's a shame because, like you said, this has so much potential being set in such a unique place. The possibilities are endless! Ir's a shame it was worn down by angst and instalove. Books with no substance are always hard to review because they never leave an emotional impact on you, but you did wonderful explaining your feelings! Thanks so much for sharing Jeann, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite T recently posted…After the EndMy Profile

  6. Eesh! "Whore-us"!? O_o I was looking forward to this one so that's too bad – this is not the first disappointed review I have seen so it seems like it's not especially well liked overall. And even tough Isadora grows on you she sounds like she would irritate me. I'm undecided if I'm skipping this one but it's not looking good >.< Great review, hun!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuMy Profile

  7. Damn, such a gorgeous cover too. Mythology books are a big hit or miss for me, most usually miss the mark. They can end up really long and boring, or barely skimming the mythology, rarely does an author get it right. But to take the storyline out of what sounded like a magical setting (and more unique than most YA books) and move it back to the US with a horrid love story? I'll be crossing this off my list too. Thanks for the warning Jeann, fabulous review! 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…The Minnow by Diana SweeneyMy Profile

  8. I also really wanted to love this one, I even had an ARC but that's before I saw all the mixed review so I passed. I'm sorry it wasn't for you…

  9. Ugh. AS much as I want to love this book, I don't think I'll be able to based on your review. Isidora sounds like someone I'd be hating from the get-go. And it's not just the insta-love, either, but also the blatant disrespect towards her elders and her kin. Why hate on your parents and call them atrocious names because of something so petty?? D: I mean, I know she comes around later on, but it drives me crazy when a character's hate on someone is not justifiable.
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…ARC Review: We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBrideMy Profile

  10. Is it mean to say I’m glad you read this before me Jeann? This cover and blurb drew me in like a fish on a hook but I hadn’t heard anything about it really until now. I love all mythology and stories that involve Gods and Goddess but whore-us is not something I ever want to experience.

    Thanks for the great and fair review Jeann!
    Katie recently posted…Book Review:Summer on the Short Bus – Bethany CrandellMy Profile

  11. I'm sorry to hear this one really didn't work for you!

    I actually really enjoyed it and loved all the bits of Egyptian mythology but like you would have prefer if we'd spend more time out of the US too.

    Great honest review, Jeann! Sometimes books we want to love really just don't work for us!
    Pili recently posted…First event debut for Piwicakes!!My Profile

  12. I don't remember exactly what I thought of this one, except for liking the humor. For some reason, at the time, "Whore-us" made me giggle. I guess I'm weird like that! It might be different if I read it again, though. Sorry this didn't work out for you, Jeann!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darli recently posted…Movie Review: MaleficentMy Profile

  13. This is really disappointing. I looove mythological retellings, especially ones that focus on Egyptian myths. And I've read Mind Games by this author, and I loved it! This one is at my local library, and I've been thinking about picking it up. But now, I think I'll wait a bit and read other ones before I venture into this. Ugh, and that cover is so GORGEOUS! *sigh* It's too bad you didn't enjoy this one. It sounded so promising. Great review, though!

    Also, Egypt is one of my favorite dream destinations, too! 🙂
    Holly U recently posted…Cover Reveal: Distant Desires by Cambria HebertMy Profile

  14. I'm sorry this one was such a bummer for you Jeann! I hadn't heard good things about it so i didn't pick it up when it first hit my radar! The backdrop madeit sounds like such an interesting story but then it just wasn;t…

    Hopefully your next read it much better!


  15. *CACKLES* Ah yes, this book. I really wanted to like it too, but my feelings ended up similar to yours! It started with a really cool setting in Egypt, and had so much potential to be a book that gave a good look into a completely different culture. Then it becomes another "New Girl in Town" kind of story. The mythology elements were cool, but the rest of it? You're right, just drivel. Ugh. 😐
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 79: The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)My Profile

  16. My favorite dream destination is New Orleans followed closely by Cairo 😀

    I know a lot of people were let down by this book which is why although I was intrigued I decided to skip this one in the end :/ I am sorry it didn't work out for you though.

    Lovely review as always, Jeann! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…Monday Marathon: Mischievous Kiss, Episode 6My Profile

  17. I wanted to check this book out, but I ended up changing my mind. I've heard lots of mixed things about and have seen reviews with the same opinions that you have. Great review and thanks for honest opinion!
    Janina @ Synchronize recently posted…Champion by Marie LuMy Profile

  18. This makes me so sad, I've had this book on my to read list for a while now and it sounded so good. I love ancient Egypt and I'm always on the look out for books set there and for me it's actually hard to find. I'm bummed to learn that it has one of those annoying insta love romances and reading your thoughts made the plot seem more immature than I thought it was going be. I don't know if I'll end up picking this one up anymore, I'm glad I found your review!
    Caitlin Dampier recently posted…May Monthly Beauty FavoritesMy Profile

  19. I totally read this book for the cover. Haha. It certainly does disappoint in the Egyptian mythology area, but I think it was a light, fun read. Quite forgettable though. And I don't meet a lot of people whose dream destination is Egypt. I hope you'd tell us more as to why. 🙂
    Francine Soleil recently posted…Review: Pretenders by Lisi HarrisonMy Profile

  20. Ugh, you'd think this would be right up my alley. I love anything to with Gods, any mythology but the reviews put me off it. I guess Kiersten White's books are either hit or miss with me, I couldn't really get into the Paranormalcy series, but did really like the crazy Mind Games duology, because it was messy and weird and I liked that about it. Wasn't exactly a conventional one and kind of twisted and darker than I guess her usual, so it worked for me. But yeah, really don't want to read this now, especially because of the insta-love, no, no. Don't get me wrong, I do like some insta-loves, depends on the characters themselves/the story/situation etc, but this one just sounds…bad. And not even the laugh-because-it's-so-bad kind of bad, just….bad. Shame. 🙁
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Say Her NameMy Profile

  21. I was disappointed too because I expected more Egyptian mythology instead of teenage angst and drama. However, since I haven't read Paranormalcy, I was able to enjoy Chaos of Stars more. I really liked the light writing and while Isadora is mostly bitter, I found her narration to be hilarious at times.

  22. Sorry you didn't like this one 🙁 I've been hearing a lot about it but I have so many books to review, this one is kind of like on my late tbr list lol Now I'm even considering if I should read it haha Great review!

  23. I haven't heard the most positive things about this one, which is a shame! I'd expected a lot from a novel by Kiersten White. It sounds like the Egyptian mythology, unfortunately, played second fiddle to the love story, which tends to be the kiss of death for me. Thanks for taking the time to review this one though, Jeann!

  24. I remember telling myself that I'd like to read something that involves ancient Egypt (or even just plain Egypt) but this sounds disappointing especially the part about going to San Diego and that insta-love @_@

    and yes, that cover is so beautiful 😀
    czai recently posted…[REVIEW] ProdigyMy Profile

  25. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Jeann! It's a shame that you didn't love this book. I've wanted to read this book for a while now because of the cover and Egyptian mythology and the name of the protagonist, but after seeing several not-so-favourable reviews, I'm not sure I'm going to bother with it. Great review, nonetheless!
    Ebony @ Paperbacks & recently posted…The Tea Party Blog TagMy Profile

  26. That's too bad. I thought it was just me. I picked this book a few months ago but couldn't get past the first few chapters. I had planned to get to it sometime in the future but never felt enthusiastic to pick it back up. Great review.
    Andie recently posted…2014 Releases – JuneMy Profile

  27. I did have this one catching my eye for a while (because of that lovely cover and the interesting blurb), but I don't like insta-love or stereotypes so I'm not so sure now. I would like to read 'Mind Games' though , since I've heard some more positive things about that. I like your review here – even though you didn't enjoy it I think that your comments were justified since you said everything quite diplomatically 🙂
    Eugenia @ Chasm of B recently posted…ARC Review: The FeverMy Profile

    • Haha yes, I managed to leave the snark out of this one. Woah, I can't believe you weren't impressed with Mind Games because I have heard so much about it. Thanks Cait!