3 out of 4 stars
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In Death by Chaos by Renaii West, Tasha Goldberg enters college at Parnassus Canyon University with a bang. Despite her wishes, she moves into Hesperus Hall, Room 407, with three other girls—Elizabeth, Dawn, and Miranda. Yet, it seems the fates decided this pairing early on, as the four become fast friends. They become the "Goddesses of 407," each claiming a "realm" of the college.
However, life changes drastically for all of them when a fellow student is found dead, and one of their own is the main suspect. They become entrenched in a web of lies and secrets. Still, as always, life moves on whether you are ready or not. Tasha is determined to learn the truth, even though years have passed. You'll need to pick up the book to learn how a college incident wreaks havoc decades later and see what Tasha discovers.
I'll begin by saying that I was immediately pulled into the book. I found the writing superb, if a bit lengthy, even on the first page. I wanted to know what was going to happen. Immediately following this, I was slightly put off as readers learn more about Tasha, one of the main characters. She has a sarcastic and narcissistic personality. While I love some good wit and diverse characters, she was a bit much for me. That said, she is far different from many main characters I have come across in books, making her unique and fascinating.
From there, I found the book to go way too fast. In a few chapters, college is over. In the next few breaths, readers find themselves finished with a decade, then two. I felt like much was glossed over. On the other hand, the author did elaborate on some important aspects, such as the four girls meeting and the mysterious death. Personally, I feel that the book could have been formatted differently. That said, others may like this approach.
Overall, I have to give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I thought the book was an intriguing murder mystery. The characters were unique and fresh. The story kept me reading, and the writing was well done. I only found a few grammatical errors. However, the pace of the book was one of the main aspects holding me back from giving it a full four stars. In addition, I thought the use of Greek mythology references was redundant, bordering on excessive. Again, this is a personal preference and may not hinder the enjoyment of this book to others.
Overall, I would recommend this book to lovers of a good murder mystery. That said, I need to warn readers of potential triggers. These include, but are not limited to, discussion of rape, death, and some slurs. These were minor, in my opinion, but are helpful to those considering picking up this book.
Death by Chaos
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