Thursday, September 8, 2016

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands has been on my radar for about a hundred years, even though it was pubbed just a few months ago. This must mean that I saw some early cover reveals or something. Anyhooo. I checked it out from the library and read it in about two seconds.
Here’s the GoodReads mumbo Jumbo.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

What I had to say about it:
First, let me say that I looked up the word rakish after reading this summary because I wouldn’t have described Jin as a rake at all. After seeing the definition, from the very worthy Wikipedia entry, I agree with myself. I’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself.
The usual tropes: Yes, this is one of those down on her impoverished luck, I’ve got to get the hell up out of here or be wed to my uncle sort of books. Parents are dead or disappeared or something. Dead, I think. So, Amani, who is smart, clever, and bold has to figure out how to get out of her sandy land, ASAP, or become part of her uncle’s harem. Gag. And obviously there are other guys in town who want her but she finds too provincial for her likes. If you don’t know from the description, Jin becomes not just her way out of town by an all- around dreamy character. He’s also hiding something. ::shock::

Yeah, Ok. I’m being a bit snarky for a book I really actually liked. I loved Amani’s tough, confused, emotional girl-ness. She’s not a girl to sit around and let shit happen to her, though she has to come to terms with her tendency to save herself at the expense of others.

And Jin is definitely made of fictional boyfriend material. I also liked how there was a bit of a who’s side is everyone really on thing, keeping the pacing and the uncertainty going. I really thought I knew one particular thing that was going to happen and then was surprised by the actuality in the story. I love when that happens.

There’s some fantasy creatures and elemental power that kind of slips into the story and then becomes more important as it progresses. I wasn’t expecting that based on my glance over the summary. However, the group of powered people that Amani meets are an asset to the book.  

This gets a WNDB sticker because of the Arabian setting/ characters and the non-Western cultural elements. 

I will be keeping a watch for the sequel. 

Fan Art I found on the interwebs (pic links to source)

No comments:

Post a Comment