Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on March 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
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.
For once, Dani and Jamie were in complete agreement with this book. We both thought the exact same things about each of the plot points we liked and disliked, which is quite surprising. Typically, we will think the majority of the same things, but Dani will think something *cough*romance*cough* should have been included more whereas Jamie does not think so. But not with REBEL OF THE SANDS! We both really liked this one but aren’t in a hurry to pick the next one up – although we will. This is a fun and fast-paced book that left us flipping pages but also wanting just a little bit more.
REBEL OF THE SANDS is fast paced and has a good mix of action and romance. While the romance is there, it isn’t overbearing, and it feels natural as well. Jin and Amani spend a lot of time together before they realise what they feel rather than being completely head over heels from the first instant. However, there could have been more to it. It could have been developed a tad more, especially at the end when their feelings are becoming increasingly stronger for one another. The last couple of pages left both of us wanting a bit more touching and expression from Amani and Jin because we were finally feeling the love, but it felt kind of like a denial? Hopefully, in the next book, there will be more touching and love.
Amani was BAE. She took matters into her own hands and did what she could to survive, but she still made choices based on what she wanted out of life. We both liked that instead of trying to overachieve and save everyone, she did what she could and then hightailed it out of there to save her own skin. Too often you see MCs who think they HAVE to save everyone to fully succeed, but Amani did not care about that and mostly tried to save those she cared most about (herself …and Jin).
We both really loved the setting and thought it was well developed. Jamie liked the magical aspect of it and that every story had its basis in fact and fiction within society. It was all very believable and made Jamie, the pasty ginger, never want to spend more than one day in the sun for fear of being baked to a crisp or turned into a sand horse. Dani really liked that there was mention of the other kingdoms and how they interact with the politics of Miraji. Both of us would like to see even more of that in the next one (and also a map so we can keep track of everything).
Dani thought that the plot was really unique and kept her guessing. Jamie agrees and thought that it was so well written in the sense that there were pieces to help you connect the dots but the path to get from Point A to Point B wasn’t clear so you were constantly surprised when something occurred to get you to a different plot point. However, there was ONE plot point that we would have liked to be better developed but that is in the spoiler section below!
There were a couple things that kept Dani and Jamie from rating this one five stars, the most important being that Amani seemed to flip-flop between her thoughts and her actions. At some points, it seemed as though she was arguing for one thing, but in the next action she took, she was doing the opposite. As well, it was difficult to connect with some of the secondary characters. While they were all fully developed and very easy to distinguish between, it was as if there was a barrier between us and them to allow us to connect with them on a deep, emotional level. There were some pretty bad things that happened to some of them, and both of us were pretty meh about it. (This is typical for Jamie but not for Dani, so it is saying a lot.)
However, we both did really enjoy reading this one. There was a great amount of action, adventure, and a great plot that moved forward without feeling like unnecessary plot points were being added. This book has a great MC who knows what she wants and is actively trying to get it. As well, there is a lot left open to be explored in a sequel. We are both looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
In the video, Jamie discusses Amani’s reveal, which she thought came out of nowhere. She will explain below what happened and what more she wanted. BUT SPOILERS.View Spoiler »
Amani is revealed to be a half-djinn, born of a djinni father and human mother. However, there is absolutely NO lead up to it. The “hints” that are dropped for it are completely misdirected as being something else. Nothing that is given about Amani’s features, including her eye colour, are discussed as MAYBE being related to her being something other than the bi-product of a foreigner. There is nothing that led me to believe AT ALL that she could be that, whereas all the other main plot points had SOME hints as to the fact that this was a possibility (i.e. Jin being related to the Rebel Prince leader). I was so disappointed by this tbh.
« Hide Spoiler
What did you think? Let us know in the comments, making sure to preface any spoilery comments with “SPOILER DISCUSSION”.
- Have you read REBEL OF THE SANDS? What was your favourite part?
- What are some myths that you would like to see included in books?
- Have you ever shot a gun? (We have!)
Win a signed copy of REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton! International, ends June 19th, 2016!
a Rafflecopter giveaway