Title: Son of War, Daughter of Chaos
Author: Janette Rallison
Release Date: July 2014
Length: 326 pages
Series?: not yet, but probably
Genre: YA, Paranormal
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Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.
When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.
I was on my feet and running down the path before I could fully process what was happening. The dark swarm flew toward me. Their wings sounded like the dull hum of an incoming storm. I didn’t have to see them to know they were scarabs—the flesh-eating kind. The Horusians had pinpointed our location and flown in beetles to kill us. How they found us, I didn’t know.
As I fled down the slope, I slipped. My feet jerked out in front of me. I hit the ground, hard, skidding and then flipped over. I tumbled down the slope, clawing at the ice, trying to get a handhold. White flashes of snow jumbled together in my vision. Finally, I hit a flat spot. I managed to stop, pick myself up, and run again. Panic wrapped around me. I couldn’t make it off the ridge before the scarabs reached me, and even if I could, I had nowhere to hide from the beetles on this open stretch of land. Still, I ran. I wouldn’t stand still for death.
An Egyptian tom is only a good place to die if you happen to the pharaoh for whom it was built. And maybe not even then. I didn’t intend to room with any of the deceased, which meant the sooner I got out of this place the better. [preface]
I’m going to be honest: I got lost with this book. I had no earthly idea where the author was going for the longest time, until the real action got underway about the 2/5 mark. Like we were all taught in school, lead into what you’re going to write about — and that’s what I forgot, so that’s why I started with the first words of the book. It reminded me (after finishing the book) of where the story was going.
Some kids grow up keeping watch for Santa and the Easter bunny. I spent my early years looking for people whose eyes flashed green, whose heartbeats were abnormally slow, who seemed immune to cold weather, who were exceptionally strong, or could fly…
…I never found anyone whose eyes flashed green, or who flew – although I regarded the tooth fairy and Santa’s reindeer with mistrust for a few years.
Aislynn’s family has never been normal. Her parents have always had houses reinforced in such ways that makes them nearly indestructible and safe — something beyond imagination. They have moved several times, and each time Aislynn, her older brother Roark and their dad go to either the Arctic or Antarctica. They hang out with other “researchers” their dad knows, and because of their pretty frequent trips they have become accustomed to such extreme cold. Their mom stayed behind to find and ready their new house.
While other fathers played soccer and coached their kids’ little league teams, my dad taught me how to forge passports, hack computers and hotwire cars.
All her life Aislynn’s parents have gone beyond paranoid parents and into crazy territory, according to Aislynn. She knows how to do things that most people will never know how to do — things only criminals know how to do, like forge passports and hotwire cars.
Everything changes after their mother’s suspicious death. Their dad goes even further on the restrictions and protections set in place, and he’s gone off the crazy train deep end on the paranoia side. Roark has been different since their mother’s death, and their move to a new place in Arizona doesn’t give Aislynn any allusion that they’re running from the enemy.
Roark and Aislynn are treated in the classic double standard sense by their dad, despite his craziness. Roark is free to roam as he pleases, with no need to check in or report. Aislynn can’t even go to a friend’s house without a search and investigation more thorough than the CIA! Sheesh. I could very much relate to this part of the book (even though I am the oldest in my family, but still the only girl), and the way Aislynn perceives and feels about how Roark and her dad treat the entire situation of Roark’s life outside their house vs. her life is completely justified. She is extremely frustrated. Most of us know too many restrictions can lead to all out rebellion, but that’s not Aislynn’s style.
Instead, she makes sure she can go with Roark to one of his parties. See, Aislynn is crushing on Roark’s best friend, Dane. The stars align, the rain goddess answers Aislynn’s call, and Aislynn’s nearly mapping out a marriage…until Dane gives her the cold shoulder. As with all teenage romances, they get over their bump, and even against the rules, Aislynn invites Dane over to watch a movie. He’s been in their house plenty of times over the last few months to do stuff with Roark, why would this be any different?
Everything changes when Aislynn wakes up groggy and finds Dane going through Roark’s room…and finds a little vial of something. They are definitely not dating anymore!
“I don’t think an apology counts if you put me on your to-kill list shortly thereafter.”
This sets in motion so many things, including yet another trip on the run, this time to Antarctica. Aislynn leads a swarm of attacking bugs right into camp, which prompts another move. Their dad drops them in Boston with friends, who have two teenage kids of their own, and takes off for Europe and Africa to study these bugs, ancient Egyptian history and more. It’s the key to saving the Setites, a mutated ancient Egyptian species.
In Boston, Aislynn discovers exactly what she is, and how her heritage changes everything about her life, and worries even more about the truth surrounding her mother’s death.
If you spend all of your time being afraid of life, you never get to live it.
Through a series of events, Aislynn ends up striking a bargain with her dad, and hightails it to Egypt to work with him in the pyramids and tombs of the pharaohs. She learns so much from her dad and their work together, and she has made her own conclusions about these flesh-eating bugs that are attacking her people. It all has to do with that little vial Dane found in Roark’s room, the amulet her father now wears around his neck and an ancient Egyptian war that’s far from over.
Aislynn has to make some tough decisions throughout the entire book, but especially in the latter half. She makes a few bold moves and one large demand of the enemy Hurosians that just may save both their people.
There are several points in the book when her father, brother or friend Jack make it clear that her running away from a situation is not safe or smart. By the end, it is clear that Aislynn has developed into a more comprehensive character who can take it in and formulate a plan. One that hopefully works. 🙂
I loved how Aislynn used her conclusions about the scarab bugs, and the knowledge about the vials that the Setites use, to create a specific plan to put to work. Despite her father’s wishes, she will attend college. Didn’t graduate before Dane went crazy on her? No problem, she puts all the skills her father has taught her over the years into practice…even to protect herself from her family and friends.
“Trust is like glass. Once it’s broken, it’s hard to put together again.”
*****About the Author*****
Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.
Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.
Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom.
There is $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cashup for grabs in this giveaway. Ends
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