Daughter of Chaos

Daughter of Chaos

4.1 14
by Jen McConnel
     
 

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"You must choose, child. Choose now, and choose once, for once taken, the path becomes your fate."

Magic is supposed to be easy; there's Black, White, and Green Magic, and once a Witch picks a path, that's really all she has to worry about. But for Darlena Agara, things just keep getting harder. She's torn between her best friend's choice of the Black path,

Overview

"You must choose, child. Choose now, and choose once, for once taken, the path becomes your fate."

Magic is supposed to be easy; there's Black, White, and Green Magic, and once a Witch picks a path, that's really all she has to worry about. But for Darlena Agara, things just keep getting harder. She's torn between her best friend's choice of the Black path, and her on-again, off-again boyfriend's choice of the White path, so she tries to stall, waiting for divine inspiration. Darlena isn't expecting the form it takes, though. Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, shows up in her living room and pressures her to choose her path, and Lena does something stupid; she declares that she'll be a Red Witch, something that doesn't exist...or does it?
Now Lena's on the run, struggling to master the forces of chaos she now controls while at the same time staying out of the way of the crazy gods and goddesses who want her to use Red Magic to cause chaos. Turns out, Red Magic is real...and deadly. Will Lena learn enough about her power before it's too late, or will she become a walking disaster?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Elisabeth W. Rauch
At sixteen, Darlena must declare her branch of witchcraft: black with her best friend, white with her love, or green with her parents. She is past due in making her choice, and unlike her friends, she does not feel like her decision is clear. But when the Queen of Witches, Hecate, appears in her living room demanding her answer, Darlena blurts “red,” expecting that her nonanswer will buy her some time. Instead, she finds herself committed to a branch of witchcraft she never knew existed, expelled from the private school for witches, at odds with everyone she was close to, constantly visited by goddesses she has only heard of, and in fear for her life. Darlena must think and act fast in this action-packed first book of the Red Magic series. At the beginning, this novel is reminiscent of other popular fantasy novels like the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, but it quickly takes on a life of its own that will appeal to science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fans alike. Darlena’s struggles mirror issues that many teens face, making her a relatable and likable main character. This is a title with wide appeal that will fly off the shelves. Reviewer: Elisabeth W. Rauch; Ages 11 to 15.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781537625737
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
09/13/2016
Pages:
344

Meet the Author

Jen McConnel is a teacher, a former librarian and reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her poetry has appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including PanGaia, Sagewoman, and the Storyteller, where she won a people’s choice third-place award for her poem, “Luna.” She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Daughter of Chaos 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
MissFictional More than 1 year ago
I'm a bit surprised at how easily I gave this book four stars--I didn't go through what I liked and didn't like, neither did I spend an hour analyzing the plot--I automatically decided to give Daughter of Chaos an applaudable four stars right after finishing the story. Why? It awakened my love for this genre by weaving mythology throughout while managing to bring a creative twist to the story that was equal parts innovative and simplistic. It was unadulterated fun and was reminiscent of the tongue-in-cheek tone of The Percy Jackson series. Which I loved. That said, if you have low tolerance for characters who make not-so-smart decisions on an almost chapter-ly basis, you probably won't be the protagonist's biggest fan. But I was able to ignore this minor annoyance due to the colorful mythology and engaging writing. I am eagerly anticipating the second installment in this refreshing take on mythology.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The strongest part of this book was its premise: a teenage witch named Darlena is feeling the pressure to choose between the 3 traditional paths of magic: white, green, or black. But when she is suddenly forced to come to an abrupt decision, she blurts out the first thing that comes to mind--"Red!" It turns out that Red is chaos magic, a super rare path for witches to take. Now that Darlena has become one of the only Red witches in the world, a variety of forces seek to manipulate her for their own gain. Darlena must explore and learn to understand her quickly growing power, all while navigating a complicated love life, her home life, getting kicked out of school, and the frequency with which goddesses keep popping up in her bedroom.  While the premise of the story was strong, a few other areas were underdeveloped. First of all, it is repeatedly stated that Black magic is not bad or evil, but the limited descriptions of it and the actions of the one Black witch character make that difficult to believe. If Black magic is not evil/harmful, then what is it? This would be a very interesting topic and could have been fleshed out a lot more.  Many of the secondary characters are flat, especially the human villain of the story. She appears to be motivated solely by greed and jealousy, but her actions are pretty extreme not to afford a more in-depth and complex explanation But my biggest critique is the way the novel ended. The "final battle" scene is a little anti-climactic and is over rather quickly. But aside from that,within the last quarter of the book, it becomes apparent that this book is setting up for a sequel. From that point on, the story ceases to be substantive in itself, and everything besides the final battle is totally geared toward setting up the events of the next book. The ending feels more like the beginning of the next story instead of the end of this one. While I don't generally mind cliff-hangers or books that leave you begging for more, I feel that Daughter of Chaos took setting up for the sequel to such an extent that it no longer is able to totally stand on its own. 
jeneaw34 More than 1 year ago
This is the first installment in a new series, that is centered around witches. And follows Darlena, a young girl who comes from a family of witches. When the children reach a certain age, they have to decide which path it is they want to take, meaning they choose the type of witch they want to study and become. Darlena doesn’t want to make a decision, and has no idea what she lies ahead of her with the path she chose.   Darlena is just like most girl, she goes to school, has friends that seemed to be good ones. She attends a school where there are other witches so she isn’t alone with some the struggles she goes through. Her fiesty personality combined with her stubbornness made her the kinda girl I would certainly be friends with. I think the fact that her parents were a big part of her life was a fantastic, and so the level of support they gave her was something that I really thought was I wish we saw more of in YA books. The side characters were are so interesting, and learning a little about some of them was a treat. Some didn’t stay secondary characters for long, and played a large part towards the end.   This moves a steady pace, and kept my attention. Blending the witches culture with mythology they way McConnel did was brilliant, gods and goddesses who practice witchcraft, um yes please. The were different kinds of magic, each having their own strengths. The path of magic that Darlena chose is one the has a say in the chaos that take place, and Darlena is learning to control her magic, her emotions play in that and it was clear that she struggles. But she grows a lot and learns from a few of the goddesses. But, Hecate was a piece of work though, definitely made for a good villain but she wasn’t alone. There was betrayals, and even a small but sweet romance. I think this is a great start the series, I am looking forward to seeing where Darlena’s path takes her next. 
Kelly_Hashway More than 1 year ago
I liked Darlena from the start. She thinks she can outsmart Hecate, and for me that just spelled guts right there. Of course it backfires and she winds up pledging herself to Red Magic, which she didn't even know existed. Still, Darlena seems suited for Red Magic and the fact that Hecate wants her means she has a lot of power. Unfortunately, that power makes her a very sought after witch. Darlena doesn't know who to trust or how to use her Red Magic for good, and she winds up on a journey she never could have imagined. Witches and Greek gods! This seriously couldn't get any better. I have a weird obsession with Hades, and he was awesome in this story. I tore through this book, loving every second and being totally invested in Darlena and her future. McConnel has a winner with Daughter of Chaos and in my opinion, book two can't get here fast enough. If you enjoy witch books, go get Daughter of Chaos now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
simplisticreviewsMCMC More than 1 year ago
Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic, #1) by Jen McConnel Melissa Cushing's review Apr 19, 2014 2.5 of 5 stars This book, I give <b>2.5 out of 5</b> stars. I truly had high hopes for this story. I loved the idea behind mixing magic and mythology. It sounded different and I am all in for a different kind of story to capture my imagination. I thought it was a very cool concept and a refreshing idea for a YA Paranormal novel, but I found myself just needing a little more at times. First of all there is no secret to the fact that if your read all of my book reviews, I am a HUGE fan of the &quot;romance&quot; of a story. I do not care if I am tortured between a love triangle, or a stubborn male/female figure.... but even throughout the turmoil of waiting, I can have hope because I can always &quot;feel&quot; the chemistry with characters in a story and that is what drives me to read more and usually makes it very difficult to put down....or to see the finished product. I have to say this truly is the first book I have read that I felt the romance was forced. I did not feel the chemistry between Justin and Darlena at all. Throughout the entire book there was a lack of relationship between the two characters. I love romance and the possibility of an awesome love story BUT Darlena and Justin's relationship if you could call it that just does nothing for me. I kept waiting to be proved wrong... BUT sadly no. Darlena's character always did things on her own and without thinking it through, one rash decision after another...UGH! I just felt all over the place without a real purpose and there were moments I felt the book had possibilities, maybe the first 35% or so (which is an oddity in itself because usually it takes the first 30% or so for me to really get into it)... but sadly after that I found myself slightly bored. It is very hard for me to be this honest, but the longer I am reviewing, I realize that this is the purpose. I hope the sequel speeds up and has more action and maybe a love triangle or something to grab me..... that may be the ONLY way it could be salvaged ... for me anyway. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.... and it is an awesome sounding book! That is why I chose to review... <i>Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She&rsquo;s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there&rsquo;s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena&rsquo;s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch. Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world&rsquo;s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be. But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.</i> DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy I will read The sequel.... to see where Darlena goes with this story.... interesting concept...I juts need more to keep me enthralled.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Daughter of Chaos' is the exhilarating first book in a new young adult paranormal trilogy. The book follows main character Darlena, a teenage witch, as she first chooses her path (not knowing what she was getting herself into) and as she attempts to control her new magic. When Darlena was faced with finally choosing her path as a witch - White, Green, or Black - she panicked and picked one she didn't think existed - Red. As it turns out, there is definitely a Red path - it's the magic of chaos. Now Darlena must learn to control her new powers, figure out who she can and can't trust, and how she's going to live as a Red witch. I have a definite love for all books that deal with witches, so this was a definite must read for me. I wasn't sure what to expect - but I was greatly impressed and surprised with what the author gives us in the story. In Darlena's world, there are witches and Nons (people without magic). Darlena and her family are witches, as are all the kids who attend the private school of Trinity. When the witches are in their teens, they are expected to choose one of the three paths - the one that they will then follow for the rest of their lives. Darlena isn't ready to choose a path - and she frankly doesn't think that she should have to. I found Darlena to be a fun and realistic main character for the story. I immediately connected with her from the beginning. She's smart, a loving and devoted daughter and friend, and is full of determination once she makes up her mind about something. She definitely isn't perfect though - as we see when she gives the gods and goddesses serious attitude and when she openly defies their orders. I liked how down to earth she is, which made it even easier to identify with her throughout the book. The other characters in the book were distinct and well written with quirks, flaws, and unique personalities. They worked well in the story together with each other as well as with Darlena and the plot in general. The plot was fantastic - it blended so many different genres together to make a truly original story. Along with the witches and their powers and history, we encounter the gods and goddesses from several different religions and cultures. I loved reading about all of the mythology surrounding them and their various characteristics. The way the author incorporates gods and goddesses with witchcraft was a very pleasant surprise that I think took the story to a whole new level. Along with the mythology and paranormal aspects of the plot, there's also tons of action, adventure, romance, and even some contemporary teen issues. All of the various parts of the plot were intertwined in a natural and effortless way that had me eagerly reading to see what was going to happen next. This is definitely a book that fans of paranormal fiction will want to get their hands on - I'm already anticipating the next installment. I also recommend it to fans of all genres as it has a bit of something for everyone. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Have you EVER tried to get a life-altering commitment out of a teen? How can they know what path they want to take, especially if it is what type of witch path they should follow? When forced into a corner, unsure and feeling the pressure to answer the question of her &ldquo;forever&rdquo; witchhood, Darlena reacts much as many others would in her place, she throws out a sarcastic, off the wall answer. To her horror, discovers she has made a commitment to being a type of witch that dabbles in chaos, very rare, and potentially very dangerous. Once again, Darlena&rsquo;s snark and her headstrong ways have gotten her in world of trouble. Expelled from her school of fellow witches, she is adrift and afraid, with no real guidance to help her along. Who can she turn to when almost everyone shuns her? Darlena doesn't eve nknow what a Red witch is! Are the gods and goddesses there to guide her or harass her? Will her emotions get the better of her and cause more chaos and pain in the world? What of the boy she lost long ago, Justin? Will his path of the white witch cause him to turn his back on her or will they re-kindle a flame that never quite died out? Who can Darlena trust? Her best friend is changing,is it jealousy gone wild? The best advice Darlena received came from the god of the underworld of all places, but should she listen? Darlena must learn to stand on her own and believe in herself, but who else will believe in her? Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel is a refreshing twist to the YA paranormal genre! She brings her main character to full color life with brilliant mental dialogue as well as verbal, while allowing the reader to feel Darlena&rsquo;s fear, insecurity and sense of being lost in an overwhelming situation. Adding in visits from goddesses, splashed with colors of mythology, Ms. McConnel has twisted her own version of why there is chaos in the world and made it completely believable! She even delves into love, hate, and death, all part of things that we call &ldquo;life.&rdquo; The main focus is the tension between Darlena and, well, almost EVERYONE else, making Darlena&rsquo;s character the central focus throughout while not actually coloring in too many of the supporting characters with anything but a dull marker. I connected so well with Darlena, I felt terrible for her, even with Justin&rsquo;s support, as he did not come across as a strong ally to me, but maybe that was part of the coming of age, no matter what, one must deal with their own problems themselves. Lots of twists, lots of subplots, tons of tension and some well-deserved teen angst, all coming at the reader at top speed, I do look forward to the future installments of this series!
BookishThings More than 1 year ago
3.5 I like the premise of the different paths of magic, and the tie-in to mythology. I had a like/dislike relationship with Darlena. At times she was really annoying, and too hung up on what was going on with her and Justin. I think she was letting that define who she was at times. I love, and admire, that Darlena stands up to the goddesses. She isn&rsquo;t the type to be pushed around. Even when she&rsquo;s afraid, she smarts off. I didn&rsquo;t care for Justin. He has this holier-than-thou attitude, and I wanted to punch him, a lot! :P There is a complete family unit, which is missing in many YA books. There were some tense times between Darlena and her parents, but that is normal in any family. Daughter of Chaos is action packed. There is always a problem, or situation, lurking around every corner. The details of how Red magic works is still a little confusing to me, but I hope it will be explained more in future book/s. Overall, this is an engaging read and a perspective on Magic that I haven&rsquo;t seen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never read a book with greek goodesses and witches side by side, sort of speak. Well writen and quite an adventure. Its really the best of both worlds. Ied recomend it to all.
MzRia More than 1 year ago
The Way I See It I really enjoyed Daughter of Chaos, it was different and mysterious. McConnel&rsquo;s writing is addictive I was unable to put this down. There were gods from all types of mythology not just Greek, (those are my fav) so that was fun. Everyone seems to take an interest in Darlena her interactions were great, she made me lol. Having said that I really wanted to connect with the characters more! Justin(the love interest) plays a pretty important role but he was very confusing I couldn&rsquo;t tell if he had feelings for Darlena or if he was just being a &ldquo;good guy.&rdquo; Then at one point he flies off the handle towards her (justifiably so) but I was like &ldquo;jeez dude chill out! If you weren&rsquo;t so confusing that would have never happened!&rdquo; Darlena is headstrong and though she might not be a White Witch she isn&rsquo;t destined for the black path either. Her personality was impressive I could understand why she was destined to be a Red Witch. I&rsquo;m looking forward to continuing this series because I can&rsquo;t wait to see what happens next.  D-estiny, not wanting to choose a path Darlena makes a rash declaration hoping it will buy her some time, not knowing she was meant for this her whole life.  A-fraid, no one truly understands red magic those that do aren&rsquo;t talking. Darlena can no longer rely on her mother&rsquo;s guidance and help, a looming wicked god will not allow it.  U-nknowingly, in defending her life Darlena will cause chaos but balance future destruction. Though scary her path is set and this is what she wants to do.  G-uide, Justin has always been a friend Darlena will seek him out with the hope that she can trust him.  H-ecate, dark and dangerous she wants to control Darlena and will stop at nothing to have her under her thumb.  T-heory, Darlena and Justin figure out a way to stop certain events from happening, instead of lasting peace this enrages those it opposes.  E-lude, with the help of love Darlena is able to stay safe while practicing her magic.  R-emorse, Darlena was never one to believe that love is a dangerous magic she finds out in the most painful way that is not the case.  O-bscure, betrayal has a very familiar face Darlena is in danger and has nowhere to turn, she is now truly alone.  F-orce, with the help of a potential patron of Red Magic Darlena gets a reprieve but the cost is almost too unbearable.  C-omfort, Darlena makes a friend and is able to regroup. A careless act is the catalyst towards an impending confrontation.  H-elpless, a region is headed towards certain doom; Darlena is tired of running she sets out to embrace what has always been her destiny.  A-fraid, the storm has arrived Darlena knows what must happen but her heart hurts at the outcome. Becoming a monster weighs heavy on her mind but she is left without a choice, Darlena must protect those she loves.  O-pportunity, Darlena has been rushed back and forth; important decisions have been made hastily. Accepting the advice afforded to her she will not make the same mistake again.  S-acrifice, living in comfort and ignorance is no longer an option Darlena seeks balance and for the first time she can see clearly what she must do and where she must go.  Daughter of Chaos was full of twists and turns and Darlena had to figure everything out on her own with minimal guidance. It was really hard to tell who was truly on her side so I was able to relate with her feelings towards her situation. We see a certain transformation take place and it was nice to read that ah ha moment of hers. I loved that with everything she regrets becoming a Red Witch did not make the list. Her capacity of love and tenacious headstrong personality she is the right gal for the job. The ending was sad and happy at the same time! Not to worry y&rsquo;all there isn&rsquo;t a cliffhanger or anything but it is left very open and I can&rsquo;t wait to see what happens next. I am looking forward to meeting other gods Darlena encounters, and what Hecate has in store for her.  My Wish I know Justin has chosen the White Magic path and is kind, honest, reserved, blah, blah, blah&hellip;boring!! Come on J I know there&rsquo;s more to you than the Rede! He is super strong and super smart I want his character to JUMP off the pages!! I see the potential there with him so I want him to embrace HIS calling :0) OR if he&rsquo;s not destined to be super awesome I want Darlena to dump the zero and find a hero ;0)  My Rating 3.5 Dreamers, Nons, Blood Witch, Trinity, Coffee Shop, Herbal Tea, Prom Kiss, Tropical Storm, Balancing Chaos, Aphrodite, Hecate, Kali Ma, Persephone, Amaterasu, Hades, Black Witch, Healing Power, Last Kiss, Bloody Kilt, Delightfully dangerous adventures ahead filled stars!! For fans of paranormal YA this one&rsquo;s for you ¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JenLBW More than 1 year ago
Daughter of Chaos really hooked me from the word go. At first it was just the way that witchcraft was handled. I loved that the witches were divided by White, Green and Black. All specializing in different things and the way they use their powers. Of course there are rules that they have to follow in accordance to the Rede. Then you add the awesomeness of the little known Red magic. Then you intertwine all of this with Mythology by having them be patrons to witches as well as still being gods/goddesses Throw in some Shakespeare and you have a book that speaks to me. Jen McConnel is a girl after my own heart, I can tell you that. I enjoyed the writing style. I thought that plot was well paced and thought out. I really like that the romance is already established and I really liked that fact that Darlena and Justin are broken up. So it&rsquo;s not that they are working towards a new relationship but dealing with one that might not be quite over. So it was nice to have something different in that way. I loved how the characters came together and the whole premise of the story in general. That Darlena pledges herself as a Red witch and nobody knows what that means. Daughter of Chaos has a huge cast of characters and I really enjoyed them all.. You have Darlena who is kick ass in her own right as the MC but I loved that we cross paths so many different Gods and Goddess as she finds her way through Red magic. I also like her strong relationship with her parents, especially her mom. It was is so refreshing to see that and nice for her to have that kind of support system. She has a best boyfriend and an ex-boyfriend that they struggle with the ex part of their relationship. I loved each Goddess introduced and that Jen didn&rsquo;t just stick with the Greek myths. She incorporated some other ones too. Plus there is Hecate is one scary queen of witches.  Sometimes I hate betrayal in a book because it breaks your heart but sometimes I down with a good betrayal. One that makes sense and I can understand the motivations. So ya I definitely could see it in this book. It&rsquo;s a nice touch. There is magic casting it was not overbaring and not underated either.  This is one of those books that I liked so many things about it, it&rsquo;s almost harder to come up with a coherent review. I just want to keep saying this was awesome and this was awesome. So in short I have to say I really loved this book.  If you are fan of Witches and Mythology this is a fantastic blend and the book is absolutely for you. I recommend it for your reading list. . 
AliceGrace More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given, offered, or received to alter this review. Daughter of Chaos started and it didn't stop. It just kept going and going. It wasn't overwhelming but it was paced just right; not too slow, not too fast. I couldn't put it down. We had cupcakes the day I started this. I love cupcakes people. I told myself that I was going to take a cupcake break several times. I never did. You know why? Because I couldn't stop reading. I read this book in about 5 1/2 hours. This is a big deal because I'd only had one that day and other people in my house have a way of scarfing down my favorite food. First of all, wow character development! It was all believable but part of me is amazed at how naturally Darlena's development feels just because she learned a lot. Miss McConnel did an amazing job. When we first meet her, Darlena has a bad habit of acting before she thinks. This gets her into a huge mess. By the end, we see her tempering this, yet the spontaneous and stubborn Darlena we love is still there. I'm not sure why, but I didn't expect a modern setting. For some reason, I thought this was going to be high fantasy. I do love high fantasy and witches, so I will admit that I was a little disappointed. Still, it was great and I'm so glad I read it! I really loved the take on Hades and Persephone. Hades was still the formidable guy we know yet McConnel gave us a look at a softer side too. I'm really interested to see where she takes us with Persephone. Of course, we have some other deities. I didn't particularly like Hecate but, then again, I don't think I was supposed to. Aphrodite was actually enjoyable and she felt like a pretty logical choice for Darlena. In closing, the boy was totally swoon worthy.