About the Book
Book #1 in the Chaos Chronicles series
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Perspective: 3rd person, multi-POV
Publication Date: September 13, 2020
Format: Kindle Edition
Length: 395 pages
Hidden away in an Eden-like paradise lies a village dedicated to the worship of the goddess Laastra and her husband Arthai. When villagers reach the age of eighteen, they are forced to marry and bear children – but Nadia has other ideas. Tired of the endless worship, torture and oppression of the fanatical cult, Nadia concocts a plan to flee the walled compound before her dreaded wedding day. Despite being an outsider and a troublemaker hated by all, Nadia enlists the help of her husbands-to-be, High Elder candidate Venne and warrior guardian Emiil. Yet along the way they discover terrifying secrets about their existence and all that has been hidden from them. After a life of being powerless and punished, Nadia and her friends begin to realise they may be something more than mere mortals. The world beyond the village walls is nothing like they had dreamed. Will the price of freedom be too much to pay?
TW/CW: (from the author) explicit gore/violence, discussion of rape, discussion of suicide, PTSD, depression and anxiety, physical and emotional abuse, domestic abuse.
About the Author
Sophie Gabrielle is a writer based in Yorkshire, UK. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield, graduating with both a BA and MA. Sophie primarily writes Young Adult Fantasy, dealing with themes of trauma, mental illness and independence. Her first novel Chaos Beckons, book one of the Chaos Chronicles, was self-published in 2020.
When not writing, she can be found playing video games, reading or hugging dogs. She also speaks regularly about her battle with physical and mental illness. You can find her on Instagram @sophgabswrites.
Rating: 4/5 stars
I love when, as a reader, I can tell the author poured their heart and soul into their story and characters. This was definitely the case with Sophie Gabrielle’s Chaos Beckons, an emotional, action-packed debut from start to finish. I fell in love with the characters and their journeys in chapter one, and my attachment only grew as I continued reading. Theirs is the kind of story in which you can’t wait to see what happens next, even if you know it will be painful (and believe me, it was) because you’re hoping the characters who have endured so much will get their happy endings. While this book ended with more cliffhangers than resolutions, it made for a fantastic start to a new series that will leave you wanting more.
Nadia, Venne, and Emiil are such interesting and flawed protagonists with distinct POVs. Their nuances made me want to cheer for them one moment, hug them the next, and shout at them in frustration another. Nadia and Venne’s chemistry was apparent from the start, and I loved seeing their romance develop as the book went on. While it was clear they loved one another, the realization that they wanted different things and did not share the same views made their relationship feel layered and realistic. And poor Emiil… I’m hoping my interpretations were correct and he’ll ultimately get a HEA with a certain princely someone… but with everything that happened in this book, I don’t think any character will safe in the sequel.
I loved learning about the magic system and religion/lore of the world alongside the characters; it made the worldbuilding feel natural with the flow of the story. The expansion of the world led to the introduction of some intriguing side characters, most of whom I’m still not sure 100% I can trust. Just when I would think I had them figured out, in particular a scheming duke and a powerful royal, they would do something to surprise me, making me feel just as conflicted as Nadia, Venne, and Emiil. Lastly, the action scenes in this book are very well written and will have you on the edge of your seat.
I would have liked a little more backstory on Nadia, Venne, Emiil, and their families and relationships in/with the village at the start of the book. For me, this would have further emphasized the contrasts (and comparisons) to their new lives after their escape and amplified the emotions they felt looking back on the trauma they endured. Still, the book’s overall theme of, in the words of the author, “the perception of freedom” is poignantly explored, and I have a feeling more secrets will be revealed in book #2, Chaos Lies.
I’d recommend this book for older YA readers and fans of YA and NA looking for a dark, emotional, and creative new series. I’m very much looking forward to the next book!
➜ Support Sophie Gabrielle and this amazing series by purchasing Chaos Beckons on Amazon (it’s available under Kindle Unlimited!)
➜ Add Chaos Beckons to Goodreads
➜ Listen to the author’s Chaos Beckons playlist
➜ Book #2, Chaos Lies, has an estimated release date of September 2021!
➜ For more updates, follow Sophie Gabrielle on Instagram @sophgabswrites
Thank you so much to author Sophie Gabrielle for reaching out and providing an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.