Title: Rebel of the Sands
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #1
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
There are no spoilers in this review.
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.
(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)
This story takes place in the desert. My first thought when I started reading was how the heck do these people survive in such a place? It would take some crazy strength in order to live where there’s basically nothing but sand and metal. I wouldn’t be able to handle all the heat and sand. Plus, my skin would burn and break out like crazy.
My heart hurts whenever I read books where the protagonist is dealt bad luck blow after blow. It’s so sad how cruel the world is to them and I can’t stand it. Amani is probably one of the unluckiest characters I’ve read about because she cannot catch a break. There was never a time she wasn’t either running or fighting. That takes a toll on a person, and my heart ached for her.
Also, I easily get super emotional over fictional characters so… yeah.
The reason I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars is because a lot of the story was the same throughout: running. All the characters were doing was running away from their enemies most of the time and there wasn’t much action. The action only came in the last couple chapters where everything explosive happened.
With all the hype that was surrounding this story when it came out and all the raving reviews I’ve read, I expected more from this. Maybe it’s because I’ve reading nothing but YA fantasy lately, but I found the story kind of boring because the premise of a girl dressing up as a boy to survive and trying to escape a small town is pretty common in the young adult fantasy genre. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, though. Am I even making sense? I don’t know… it’s hard to explain.
I don’t hate this novel, but I don’t absolutely adore it like a lot of other people do. To me, this is your average YA fantasy novel. If you’re looking for one, this won’t disappoint.
It’s so sad that in a lot of fantasy worlds, many female protagonist has to start off dressing up like a boy in order to survive. Kind of says something about the real world, too.
Ajinahd “Jin” Al’Oman Bin Izman
The romantic in me loves this guy so much.
He’s one of my favorite characters just because he’s the little kernel of kindness in a town filled with desperation and dread.
She has the attitude of a stepsister in Cinderella. Have some heart, geez.
He’s like the other ugly stepsister in Cinderella because everything he does is for self-gain. It’s kind of sad.
the uncle and aunt
And while we’re talking about family, the aunt and uncle that raises Amani are like the evil stepmother in Cinderella, hating on Amani because of her mother (aka the aunt’s sister) and making her do almost all the work. Among other things….
Not sure whether or not to like this guy just yet.
Family drama is always so lovely, isn’t it?
I give this book 3.5 / 5 BBC Sherlock heads.
Until next time….