Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Published: Published March 8th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: ebook, 314 pages
My rating: (3.7 stars )
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 received an ARC from the publisher via netgalley.
This is the story of young Amani finding her self before she gets lost in the desert, it is definitely an intriguing one. Author, Alwyn Hamilton, writes about the story of young Amani who fights to be more in a world where women are nothing. A unique, captivating story set in the desert in a western civilisation. With guns, fights and otherworldly spirits what’s not to love? The story is a lot more than another western civilisation book providing insight into strong issues like gender discrimination etc.
Amani is a strong character it’s no wonder she carries the story so well. She doesn’t take no for an answer and is a clear fighter from the beginning. The book even starts off with one of her risky escapades. Amani is a great role model as a feminist and a potential activist she is definitely a force to reckon with.
The story starts off just about Amani and her journey but as she grows the scale expands and there is so much more at stake. Amani who has been dreaming of escaping the desert and making something of herself since forever it feels finally gets her chance. Memories of her talks of big things with her mother are constantly on her mind. When she gets the chance to escape she takes it and doesn’t look back. Riding off with Jin.
It is slow at the start but picks pace soon enough and if you stick with it, it is a great read. The book at first doesn’t really have a grounding, no real goal and the course the book could take is as vast as the desert but by the end we could really be certain of the way the series would play out. The writing definitely flows and keeps you reading. The tone is overall good
This book is in the fantasy genre but patience is key and the books fantasy aspect of spirits although is mentioned a few times is never outrightly addressed till the book is coming to a close but in the meantime we had cowboys and foreigners and princes… oh my! Actually a lot doesn’t come till the end of this book really.
The book is a bit tame and dull at times with not much to keep the reader invested. The synopsis and the main character did keep me interested enough to keep on reading just to see where it goes. Luckily by the end there were an abundance of new; new characters, new creatures there was just a lot and it felt rushed close to the end with a lot of info dump, but the author pulled it off. The problem with all this new is that they might not all be developed as fully as it should be and that was the problem I had. The new characters seemed great but they were a mystery to me which is why I didn’t feel as much emotion as would be expected. There was no thrill, nothing. The main character I will admit was handled well as I said and I liked her and she really developed as a character. I would like more of that from the other characters.
There is always the romance to keep things interesting. The pace is slow like most everything in this book but I think it was worth it. They were really cute and you could feel the chemistry. The whole relationship is slightly uncertain for the most part and even till now there were no real labels but they were definitely good together from what I can tell. The moments they have will leave you squealing even with just small things. It’s great this book was more than the romance and can really stand on its own.
Part of the reason it can is the amazing world building. Right from the most unique thing is the world which as I said not only is dystopian but is set in the desert in western civilisation. The author explores an area in the world that is usually not the setting of fantasy books and it is done really well.
Rebel of the sands has a dull start but if you stick with it, you’ll find it’s actually great. There are some really great moments in the book and really interesting ideas and I look forward to more in the next books in this series because …that ending!