This YA book took me completely by surprise. I try not to read other reviews if I think I’m going to review a book myself, but I had read the synopsis. It sounded intriguing, but didn’t sound special, yep, insert foot here. I’ll get back to this statement, I promise, BUT, Rebel of the Sands did have some similarities to other YA novels. Amani was an orphan, living in her aunt’s household, an outsider who wanted to escape her small town and small life. Yep, I’ve seen that theme before in other books, most notably Tris in the Divergent series, although it was a faction, instead of a town. Unlike Tris, Amani didn’t have a supporting life she was leaving behind. She only had one friend, a young man, who was also somewhat of an outcast. Rebel of the Sands, as other YA books do, has a love interest, Jin. Unlike Tris’s immediate moon eyes for Four, Amani and Jin have a slightly antagonist love-hate relationship, filled with some great one liners and engaging dialog. So, yes, the underlining themes were there, escaping poor upbringing, young love, and self discovery, but what made this book so good was the great dialog, the adventure, and the setting.
Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands is set in the sweeping sands of a desert, a la Arabian Nights. A world that should’ve been without color, filled with sand, grit and dust, that Hamilton made colorful through her descriptive language and great dialog. Amani, unlike Tris from Divergent, went on her journey of self discovery and actually discovered herself! She was always strong and unique, but she started off self absorbed and single minded. Amani’s tunnel vision widened so she could view the world in technicolor, and Hamilton’s imagery delivered that impact.
Special. That is the exact word I would use to describe Rebel of the Sands. I am removing my foot out of my mouth now
Ok, if you disagree with anything I said above, including dissing the Divergent series, I’d love to hear about it!
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Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved