Rebel of the Sands Review

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Publication Date: March 8th
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genre: Western Fantasy
Review at a Glance
– It was okay
– Could have been improved
– Kickass Protagonist
– Jaw Dropping Plot Twists


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.
The Rebel of The Sands, a book that was one of my most anticipated books for 2016 and boy was it great.
I loved the storyline and the layout of the book. At moments it was very unpredictable and had me on edge. The beginning was incredible! We get to peek into Amani’s world and oh my damn, was it a sexist and dehumanising place. I TOTALLY understood why Amani wanted to run. Hell, I would have ran.
In the book we are introduced to a whole different world of magic and Djinn (which is pronounced as jin). Jin’s are also known as Genie’s *flails around* *prances* *moon walks* *takes break and snacks on some pancakes…the changes mind and gets sushi* (don’t judge me). But yes the magic in this book is MIND BLOWING. I literally LOVED every minute of each magical scene. My FAVOURITE scene is hands down the horse scene where it flickers from dust to solid and the way Alwyn wrote this gave me goosebumps and I had to pick up my jaw from the floor after I finished it. This scene was just too amazing to put into words at the time and when I tried to explain it to friends I just squealed instead because it was that GOOD!
However, I did have some slight problems with the book. I am not a fan of time jumps/time gaps and this book had a lot of them, ranging from ‘a week later’ to ‘two days later’. I just didn’t like it because ultimately I wanted more detail on what was happening in the lost time. The time jumps weren’t that bad, but they could have been improved and that is what I hope becomes better in the sequel. (What I mean when I say improved is that when we get the ‘recap’ of what happened in the lost time, it’s pretty vague. Nothing in detail, nothing really interesting. This needs to improve in the sequel if it happens again.)
The main character, Amani, was just my kind of girl. Bad ass and rebellious. She knows what to do and oh boy she’s good with guns! I love this female protagonist, I could read about her forever. Also when a bombshell is dropped about Amani I lost it. I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT PLOT TWIST!!
Now to continue let’s look at, Amani’s mysterious counterpart, Jin. I didn’t like Jin at first because… well, the world Amani lives in, you just can’t trust anyone. So he was immediately on my ‘bad side’. However finding out who he really was and what the compass was for redeemed him. His character was complex and sometimes just unpredictable and hard to ‘read’.
The romance in the book didn’t quite cut it for me. I didn’t totally buy it. I liked the romance sometimes and then I didn’t; it really was an on and off kind of thing. At times Alwyn would steer your heart into this OTP but on others times it was … “eh” and just “oh, okay”. I really hope we get to explore this relationship in depth in the sequel because I’m hanging in there to really be ‘sold’ on this OTP.
Lastly, there is a decision made by the main character which I think was something she would never really do, even in A THOUSAND YEARS; it seemed sooooo out of place. I stopped reading after that for a while to wrap my head around her decision. It didn’t really stay true to her character for me because the way she carries herself and the ‘morals’ she has in the book were just ignored for this ‘decision’. I’m trying my best to be vague with this ‘decision’ because it’s really spoilery, but once you read the book you’ll *probably* understand.
These were, for me, the only things that I was nit-picky about but overall the book was just an addiction that I need to cure ASAP by reading the sequel… which is coming out in another year *cries* So send me some book recommendations guys in the comments below and help another book worm cure her need for more bad ass protagonists and great magical worlds.

So, there you have it folks, my thoughts on one of the most amazing books for the year. I rated the book 3/5. The romance and the poorly made ‘decision’ really affected my rating.

Thanks Allen and Unwin for the review Copy !
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