Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Summary from Goodreads:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
I was looking for a good fantasy that would keep me hooked from page one. And more importantly, I was looking for something that wasn’t exactly like every other YA fantasy that has come before. I found it. This book was a breath of fresh air after staying inside all day. Seriously, this was just what I needed.
What this book excelled in more than most was it’s setting, it’s world. I felt like I was in the desert with these characters. I felt the heat, I feared the supernatural, I was terrified of the desperate people and their guns, I was even more terrified for all the women ever, and I was so invested in this world. This is what I want to feel when reading any new fantasy series. And sadly, it doesn’t happen that often any more. Thank you, book, for bringing back this feeling.
The characters were fun too. How could I not love the main character, who dresses as a boy, escapes to a shooting match (where she can outshoot all the boys), and attempts to own her freedom from a sexist, terrifying world? Her home life is frightening and her prospects had me cringing in disgust. I loved that she was never willing to give up, to settle for anything but what she wanted, no matter how easy it would be.
Then, when the politics of things really open up, the book did begin to feel like a lot of other fantasy and or dystopian stories I’ve read before (aka: the big twists were not so twisty). However, by this point, I was so lost in this unique world  and fun characters, that some of the more familiar plot points didn’t bother me. And then of course, I just had to know what would happen, what the amazing main character would decide to do, and well, I can’t say much more with out spoiling. But, it was good.
All in all, I was really impressed with this one. There were definitely some links that could be made between this setting and one in a real place in the middleeast, and this made things more interesting for me. Of course, then there were also monsters and magic and secret weapons. The setting was wonderful. The characters were fun. The plot was a tad predictable; however, everything else made up for this. I give it a 9/10.

1 comment:

  1. Even since I found out that this was set in the desert, I've wanted to read it because those are my favorite settings! Seeing how you felt like the setting TRULY shined and came alive here makes me want to read this even more now! The characters sound excellent too, especially the MC and well I don't mind a bit of predictability considering the setting ;) Awesome review my friend! xx