Daughter of Isis
By Kelsey Ketch
October 26, 2013
Ages 15 and up
Self-Published by Author
Reviewed: Ebook/ARC from Author
“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”
Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.
The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.
Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.
The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls.
*Note: Content for Upper YA*
I was excited to be invited to read DAUGHTER OF ISIS by Kesley Ketch, knowing that, as of now, there is a definite lack of Egyptian mythology in YA fiction (though this trend appears to be changing in recent months). Note to readers: This book is for the “Upper YA” crowd. It contains some crude language, portrayals of gender dominance and mild sexual innuendo.
I see DAUGHTER OF ISIS as a book that could get people talking. The subject matter is true to its source as well as the Egyptian gods that it refers to. If you know anything about Egyptian mythology, Set is often depicted as a fairly unforgiving god, not to mention a murderer… If you do any reading about the Temple of Set, you will find some fairly dark material, which appears to be the basis for this book. At its most basic level, DAUGHTER OF ISIS is a story about the war between good and evil.
Some readers may find similarities between DAUGHTER OF ISIS and previous YA books, such as September Girls (due to the themes of gender roles and the use of sex as power within the novel), and Twilight (sorry, but I had to throw that one in there, due to the new girl in a new town, new car and new friends, who meets a “bad guy” who is more than what he seems). Now, just wait… If you are someone who thinks those comparisons may not be a good thing, think again. Many times during the novel, the writer actually seems to be poking fun at the topics at hand. Natti, the main character, is no Bella Swan. She has a good head on her shoulders, she’s athletic, she has plenty of snark and a personality that is fitting for a girl her age and she is not a social pariah. But she does move to a new town, she does get a new car and she does meet this guy…
As for the September Girls comparison: This book may be controversial to some people. In my opinion, controversy is good. It gets people talking. And isn’t that what books are supposed to do? Make people think and talk about things? Some of the events that take place within this book (ie. the act of controlling others and using sex as a source for power, women being placed into the roles of servant and harem member, the sacrificial ceremonies, etc.) are not easy to read about, but are, in fact, close to real-life cult practices – with the added presence of magic, of course.
To be honest, I despised most of the men in this book… Their roles are extremely exaggerated, which I think is intentional. The way I see it, you are supposed to hate the men in this book. But still, I struggled with the actions of the male characters, especially with the way that the community just accepts how Seth and his lackeys behave. Actually, that’s the most freaky part in the novel – the way the community just accepts this seemingly cult-like behavior, people going missing, etc… It’s like The Stepford Wives gone wild, with crazy, evil masochistic, sex-craving men in charge. Thank god, the author makes it clear from the very start that something just ain’t right. If she hadn’t, then the way that the characters acted would have been a huge (HUGE) turn off in my book. BONUS: Natti *also* does NOT buy the behavior of her peers. She lashes out, she questions everything, she rejects the boys’ advances… We learn as to why she is able to do this and why the rest of the community cannot.
Luckily, even though the main male lead, Seth, is one of those aforementioned despised men, he does manage to redeem himself by the end of the book. You can tell that he is trying to fight his very nature, it just very… sloooowww… coming. I think that Seth will have plenty of time to further redeem himself in book two, just as long as he does not regress… *Please, oh please, don’t let him regress!*
Oh, and can I just say that the real villain of the story is one of the creepiest bad guys ever? I would be getting the heck out of Dodge if he ever moved to my town, that’s for sure… I won’t spoil the extent of his villainous ways, but they are not good. No, not good at all.
The author has a way with words that draws the reader into her story. As disturbing as the story may be, it is a good one – and you’ll have a hard time putting it down once you’ve begun. Most of all, I love the way that the author used YA cliches and mocked those cliches to their very core. Was it intentional? I hope so. If not, well, kudos the the author for unintentional mockery. Also, what with the intensity of the action in this novel and the direction in which the story is heading (talk about the most cliff-hangy of cliff hangers!!!), I look forward to reading book two, Son of Set, when it’s released. With a title like that, it only promises to be even darker than DAUGHTER OF ISIS.