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Hunters of Chaos

Review

Hunters of Chaos

If you, like me, are a fan of mythology and of girls being awesome, then this is the book for you. HUNTERS OF CHAOS is the beginning of a new series from author Crystal Velasquez, and focuses on Ana Cetzal, a young girl of Mayan descent who receives a sudden invitation to attend a prestigious boarding school in New Mexico that had also been attended by her late parents. Things get weird when Ana arrives at the school --- sudden earthquakes reveal a mysterious ancient temple located on the school's grounds, and with it comes an equally mysterious and prominent archaeologist. When her history teacher shows Ana the school museum's "special collections" --- along with three of her friends of Chinese, Navajo and Egyptian descent --- the four girls realize they have special powers; they can all turn into powerful Wildcats. The girls have to use their newfound powers to thwart the sinister Brotherhood of Chaos from coming into power and destroying the world. 

HUNTERS OF CHAOS found a way to combine four different ancient cultures and bring them into a contemporary setting without seeming forced.

The first word that comes to mind when describing this book is "delightful." It was a fun and entertaining read with a diverse and unique cast of characters. I was excited to read HUNTERS OF CHAOS because the premise reminded me of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Kane Chronicles series, and while HUNTERS OF CHAOS is similar in that young kids learn that they have special powers gifted to them through their ancestry, it's different enough to be refreshing. I really enjoyed how much history was woven into this story and that it didn't focus on one specific mythology. Instead, HUNTERS OF CHAOS found a way to combine four different ancient cultures and bring them into a contemporary setting without seeming forced.There was just enough historical background to set up a series, which left me eager to read the next installment. 

My favorite thing about HUNTERS OF CHAOS was, of course, that all four of the heroes are girls. Each girl is distinctly unique, and not just because of her distinct culture. They were all well-developed, and Ana is a clever and introspective narrator. There were, at first, a few clichés --- Ana's roommate loves fashion and instantly wants to become "bffs" and give Ana a makeover --- but eventually those clichés get thrown out the window as Ana realizes that not everyone is what they seem on the surface. Although HUNTERS OF CHAOS is about (awesome) girls, that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed by everyone. There is plenty of action, mystery and history to keep anyone interested.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Rick Riordan and to anyone who loves history and a bit of magic. HUNTERS OF CHAOS is a very promising start to what could be a great series for middle-grade readers. It's well-written, well-paced, funny and clever, and I'm excited to read more. 

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on June 16, 2015

Hunters of Chaos
by Crystal Velasquez

  • Publication Date: June 9, 2015
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • ISBN-10: 1481424521
  • ISBN-13: 9781481424523