Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Book Review - Rebel in the Sands

This is Faber's YA big hitter for 2016. They have been building up for this debut for over a year now. That is how sure they are that this book is going to be everything we readers want to read.

But will it live up to the buzz that has slowly been growing since early 2015?

Amani is desperate to escape Dustwalk. The desert is in her bones, more comfortable holding a gun in her hand and shooting straight, that escape is beyond a want. It's a need.

When a stranger with no name turns up at a shooting range and saves her life, she is given the chance to run. Run and not look back. She takes it. But the desert is full of dangers, blood and magic. Soon, Amani is going to find herself in the middle in the rebellion and discover something about herself that might change her from being the gun who taught herself how to fire a gun...

So, this book. My reactions? I really liked it. I think fans of Zoe Marriott, Garth Nix and Laini Taylor will enjoy this mashed-up Arabian Nights Western.

While this world, the dangers and characters were fantastical, they all felt grounded and rooted. There was an element of realness that I hugely liked and made me keep reading. Plus, the world building and character development was subtle and very clever, which is a good sign that these will continue to grow. over the trilogy.

There is a hint of a romance storyline, but this is very subtle and isn't overwhelming, which is refreshing. There are books out there that make the romance quite overpowering.

What was also refreshing about the book was the mythology. I can only think of one book that uses djinn, and that is an adult literary novel. Seeing it here was an interesting twist within in YA fantasy.

Because of everything that happened in my real, non-blog life (work, family, Bagheera, boyfriend, possible holiday planning, the What Makes Us Human tour, etc), I found the first half of reading this book a little tricky as I couldn't sit down long enough to get into the story. Because of this, at times, I was a little overwhelmed with the world and mythology being giving to us, but once I got to the halfway mark, I found my stride and became to speed through.

This might be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed myself quite a bit and am very eager to read the next book in the series.

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