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Rebel: Il deserto in fiamme

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Amani non ha mai avuto dubbi: è sempre stata sicura che prima o poi avrebbe trovato una via di fuga dal deserto spietato e selvaggio in cui è nata. Andarsene è sempre stato nei suoi piani. Quello che invece non si aspettava era di dover fuggire per salvarsi la vita, in compagnia di un ricercato per alto tradimento. Tiratrice infallibile, per guadagnare i soldi necessari a r Amani non ha mai avuto dubbi: è sempre stata sicura che prima o poi avrebbe trovato una via di fuga dal deserto spietato e selvaggio in cui è nata. Andarsene è sempre stato nei suoi piani. Quello che invece non si aspettava era di dover fuggire per salvarsi la vita, in compagnia di un ricercato per alto tradimento. Tiratrice infallibile, per guadagnare i soldi necessari a realizzare il suo sogno Amani partecipa infatti a una gara di tiro travestendosi da uomo. Tra gli avversari, il più temibile è Jin, uno straniero sfrontato, misterioso e affascinante. Troppo tardi Amani scoprirà che Jin è un personaggio chiave nella lotta senza quartiere tra il Sultano di Miraji e il figlio in esilio, il Principe Ribelle. Presto i due si troveranno a scappare attraverso un deserto durissimo e meraviglioso, popolato di personaggi e creature stupefacenti: come i bellissimi e pericolosi Buraqi, fatti di sabbia e vento ma destinati a trasformarsi in magnifici destrieri per chi abbia l'ardire di domarli; i giganteschi rapaci Roc; indomite donne guerriere dalla pelle color oro e sacerdoti capaci di leggere i ricordi altrui nell'acqua... Quando Amani e Jin si troveranno di fronte alle rovine di una città annientata da un fuoco di calore innaturale capiranno che la posta in gioco è più alta di quanto pensassero. Amani dovrà decidere se unirsi alla rivoluzione e capire se davvero quello che vuole è lasciarsi alle spalle il suo deserto.

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Amani non ha mai avuto dubbi: è sempre stata sicura che prima o poi avrebbe trovato una via di fuga dal deserto spietato e selvaggio in cui è nata. Andarsene è sempre stato nei suoi piani. Quello che invece non si aspettava era di dover fuggire per salvarsi la vita, in compagnia di un ricercato per alto tradimento. Tiratrice infallibile, per guadagnare i soldi necessari a r Amani non ha mai avuto dubbi: è sempre stata sicura che prima o poi avrebbe trovato una via di fuga dal deserto spietato e selvaggio in cui è nata. Andarsene è sempre stato nei suoi piani. Quello che invece non si aspettava era di dover fuggire per salvarsi la vita, in compagnia di un ricercato per alto tradimento. Tiratrice infallibile, per guadagnare i soldi necessari a realizzare il suo sogno Amani partecipa infatti a una gara di tiro travestendosi da uomo. Tra gli avversari, il più temibile è Jin, uno straniero sfrontato, misterioso e affascinante. Troppo tardi Amani scoprirà che Jin è un personaggio chiave nella lotta senza quartiere tra il Sultano di Miraji e il figlio in esilio, il Principe Ribelle. Presto i due si troveranno a scappare attraverso un deserto durissimo e meraviglioso, popolato di personaggi e creature stupefacenti: come i bellissimi e pericolosi Buraqi, fatti di sabbia e vento ma destinati a trasformarsi in magnifici destrieri per chi abbia l'ardire di domarli; i giganteschi rapaci Roc; indomite donne guerriere dalla pelle color oro e sacerdoti capaci di leggere i ricordi altrui nell'acqua... Quando Amani e Jin si troveranno di fronte alle rovine di una città annientata da un fuoco di calore innaturale capiranno che la posta in gioco è più alta di quanto pensassero. Amani dovrà decidere se unirsi alla rivoluzione e capire se davvero quello che vuole è lasciarsi alle spalle il suo deserto.

30 review for Rebel: Il deserto in fiamme

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sasha Alsberg

    4.5/5 stars! Review coming soon to my channel...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    Jin had the sort of smile that would turn over whole empires to the enemy - that made me feel like suddenly I understood him exactly, even though I knew nothing about him. I was so certain I would love this book. A Middle-Eastern fantasy with djinn, magic and mythical horses? It's like a unique and delicious recipe for exactly the kind of book I would love. And yet, for the first two thirds, I was so painfully bored I very nearly DNFed it. Rebel of the Sands does pick up toward the end when the Jin had the sort of smile that would turn over whole empires to the enemy - that made me feel like suddenly I understood him exactly, even though I knew nothing about him. I was so certain I would love this book. A Middle-Eastern fantasy with djinn, magic and mythical horses? It's like a unique and delicious recipe for exactly the kind of book I would love. And yet, for the first two thirds, I was so painfully bored I very nearly DNFed it. Rebel of the Sands does pick up toward the end when the real fantasy and magic elements are finally introduced to the story. It takes a very long time to get there, though, and the journey is a slow one. I'm willing to admit that part of my problem with this book is a personal one. On two levels. 1) Firstly, I just did not like the fusion of Arabian mythology with a Western setting. By "Western", I mean cowboys, shoot outs, saloons, etc. I didn't think it worked and, if you ask me, it succeeded in taking an area of the world that is oft-unexplored in modern fantasy and westernizing it. 2) For the most part, this book mirrors the plot of the stream of other Westerns we've seen lately. Maybe I would have liked it more had I not already read the first two thirds in Walk on Earth a Stranger, Vengeance Road and Under a Painted Sky. My initial excitement over this return to the Western genre is petering out, because it seems that everyone is telling the same story. Badass, gun-toting heroine who, though pretty cool, is exactly the same in each book. Absent or dead parents forcing heroine to impersonate a cowboy and go on the road. Long-ass road trips, usually with accompanying hot dude. ^This sums up the plot of each book I mentioned, as well as Rebel of the Sands. And yes, I'll admit the other books may just have the advantage of being first but, for whatever reason, they were so much more compelling than this one. The beginning is literally all about getting Amani and Jin on the road together. Jin is an easy-to-spot love interest as early as page seven, when he is introduced with a detailed description of his bone structure *rolls eyes*, but the two have zero chemistry. Because Amani has been desperate to leave her town and Jin is a wanted fugitive, the two hit the road in a blaze of drama. I think what this story lacks for a long time is an end goal. I'm not a big fan of journey books, for a start, but it is even worse when I have no clue what we're moving towards, or what we should be concerned about. The bigger story emerges later, but by then I was bored and tired of reading about Amani and Jin riding around together and almost making out. I have no interest in the sequel. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store

  3. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    3.75 Review on my channel to come!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Let me start by saying I don’t give out 5 stars easily. It has to be a book I find nothing wrong with, absolutely love, and plan on reading again and again. Rebel of the Sands does all of that. About halfway through I was freaking out because I wanted a sequel so badly. I knew I would need way more of this world and the characters. I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. The story starts with a shooting competition. Amani is disguised as a boy and needs to win in order to finally have eno Let me start by saying I don’t give out 5 stars easily. It has to be a book I find nothing wrong with, absolutely love, and plan on reading again and again. Rebel of the Sands does all of that. About halfway through I was freaking out because I wanted a sequel so badly. I knew I would need way more of this world and the characters. I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. The story starts with a shooting competition. Amani is disguised as a boy and needs to win in order to finally have enough money to escape Dustwalk and travel all the way to Izman, the place her mother always told stories about. It was said to be a place where a girl could be free and make her own choices. Her mother died almost a year ago leaving Amani to live with her aunt and uncle. They are awful. Her uncle wants to marry her off so he no longer has to take care of her, but is debating marrying her himself. Dustwalk is clearly a dead-end town for a girl. It make sense that she would rather die trying to escape the town. Amani meets a mysterious foreigner who appears to bring the perfect opportunity for her to finally leave. She has no clue her world is about to be changed forever. Amani is a very tough, feisty badass chick. She has attitude and a smart mouth, but is determined, strong, and compassionate. She is also incredible with a gun - quite the sharp shooter. She’s actually my favorite heroine in a ya book in quite some time. Every single chapter ended with something that kept me needing to read. If I could have, I wouldn’t have ever put the book down. The writing is completely engaging, while the world-building is original and exciting. The desert nation of Miraji has stories that read like folktales with all this mythology seeped in. This is where the fantasy genre comes into play. There is magic and immortal creatures like skinwalkers and nightmares that roam the desert. There is also a rebellion with a rebel prince plotting to take back his rightful throne. There is a whole lot going on, but it all flows together nicely. I enjoyed meeting all of the characters within the story. There aren’t too many to remember, but you definitely meet plenty throughout. I am excited to see where the story goes in the second book. I felt like Rebel of the Sands ended nicely without any crazy cliffhangers, but still left you wanting to read more. There was a nice slow-burning romance that actually felt real the way it developed. The chemistry at one point had me swooning. That just doesn’t happen with me, so consider me hooked. I cannot wait to see where it all goes. This western twist on an arabic-inspired setting works perfectly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    4.5 stars Guys, meet your new favorite historical fantasy series. This book has spectacular world-building, nimble dialogue, finely drawn characters, and epic battles with magic--not to mention so much chemistry between the main characters that the air is practically charged with the irresistible pull between them. This is that sweeping story (and romance) you might've wanted from THE WRATH AND THE DAWN but didn't quite get. I loved the writing, I loved the characters, and I loved that everyone 4.5 stars Guys, meet your new favorite historical fantasy series. This book has spectacular world-building, nimble dialogue, finely drawn characters, and epic battles with magic--not to mention so much chemistry between the main characters that the air is practically charged with the irresistible pull between them. This is that sweeping story (and romance) you might've wanted from THE WRATH AND THE DAWN but didn't quite get. I loved the writing, I loved the characters, and I loved that everyone here, good or bad, believed in something bigger than themselves. I hope like hell this makes a lot of bestseller lists. It deserves it. And holy hell, it's a debut! So excited for more books from this author, and for this story to continue. More of a review to come.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    Oh, good lord this book was boring. This is a spaghetti Western meets Middle Eastern fantasy and it is just as bad as it sounds. Ok, I guess it wasn't terrible terrible, but it is so excruciatingly dull. Awhile back, Walk On Earth A Stranger came out. It was also a Western, and it was also super fucking boring. But apparently a lot of people loved it. I wasn't one of them. Aside from the Middle-Eastern-magic thingy, there are a few similarities between this book and Walk On Earth A Stranger. 1. Gi Oh, good lord this book was boring. This is a spaghetti Western meets Middle Eastern fantasy and it is just as bad as it sounds. Ok, I guess it wasn't terrible terrible, but it is so excruciatingly dull. Awhile back, Walk On Earth A Stranger came out. It was also a Western, and it was also super fucking boring. But apparently a lot of people loved it. I wasn't one of them. Aside from the Middle-Eastern-magic thingy, there are a few similarities between this book and Walk On Earth A Stranger. 1. Girl with special skills/power growing up in a place where she's different and special 2. Girl has no parents/dead parents 3. Girl disguises herself to get the fuck out of Dodge 4. Girl falls in with a guy who can't possibly be the romantic interest! Not 5. Girl goes on a long-ass, unending, again, excruciatingly dull road trip to get to wherever the fuck she's supposed to go Judging from the high ratings for this book and Walk On Earth A Stranger, clearly people like this stuff. It's just not for me. Read this review and more @ The Book Eaters

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I fell right in love with this freaking book! I don't usually like sand books < -- that's what I call them, lol, but I loved this one so much! It was such a different take on anything I have read. We have Amani who is dead on with a gun and she's wanting to get out of her town and away from her evil uncle and his wives and kids. It's not a very good living situation and she wants to get out before she is married off or married to her uncle. Hell to the no! Amani enters a gun contest one night I fell right in love with this freaking book! I don't usually like sand books < -- that's what I call them, lol, but I loved this one so much! It was such a different take on anything I have read. We have Amani who is dead on with a gun and she's wanting to get out of her town and away from her evil uncle and his wives and kids. It's not a very good living situation and she wants to get out before she is married off or married to her uncle. Hell to the no! Amani enters a gun contest one night when she sneaks out. She's trying to make money to get the hell out of dodge. She ends up meeting a newcomer named, Jin. They eventually team up and hit the road. Although, it takes a bit for them to trust each other and what not. Amani was lucky enough to capture a Buraqi which is a beautiful sand horse and if the person who touches it turns it into a real horse, it is theirs. Well of course, since women can't own a damn thing, Amani would have to give it to her sorry uncle. Anyhoo, things happen and Amani and Jin head out of town on said, Buraqi. I totally loved the world, the characters, the quests, pretty much everything. I loved that there were shapeshifters, Djinni, Demdji, Ghouls, and I'm sure I left something out but you get the idea. It was such a fun ride! Oh and it was pretty awesome to find out that Amani wasn't just a normal girl after all . . . . MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    I really enjoyed this! It was a very cool world and culture to be immersed in. Now that being said I didn't absolutely love it, but it was entertaining!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    The series’ covers do not match! Why, oh why? Tragedy aside, this shiny book took me longer than necessary to read. And it wasn’t because it wasn’t interesting, just very, very—pack of turtles running a marathon—slow. The setting is unusual. It’s not everyday that I read a book set in the desert. That makes for a bleak visual world-building, I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t impressed by the description of places, no shock there. Fortunately, I loved the mystical creatures presented, if I dare use t The series’ covers do not match! Why, oh why? Tragedy aside, this shiny book took me longer than necessary to read. And it wasn’t because it wasn’t interesting, just very, very—pack of turtles running a marathon—slow. The setting is unusual. It’s not everyday that I read a book set in the desert. That makes for a bleak visual world-building, I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t impressed by the description of places, no shock there. Fortunately, I loved the mystical creatures presented, if I dare use that word. Until we actually meet one of those creatures, they are talked about as if they were fairytale characters, like they may exist… somewhere. I had no idea this was the magic mentioned in the blurb. For a debut, it’s pretty well done. For a first in a new series, it’s not bad at all. It starts with action and ends with action. In between, however, it’s less Formula 1 and more Dora the Explorer. The danger is not as present and the walking and riding and escaping seem to be eternal. So thank goodness for a strong, three-dimensional and witty heroine to keep us company during this uncertain period of cat and mouse chase. There’s talk of a war… that’s on the brink of combustion somewhere… but we have to wait a long time before being privy to any juicy detail concerning it. Talk about building suspense. When I got to the end I couldn’t stop reading. The last 1/3 of the book is really something. It should have been like that all along in my opinion. The camaraderie and danger reminded me of the heist in Fast Five. Get the moneeeeeey. Get the poweeeeer. Do it. Do it. Dare to make a change. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  10. 5 out of 5

    enqi ☁️✨ [joon's]

    FULL REVIEW TO COME

  11. 4 out of 5

    Catriona (LittleBookOwl)

    First read of the year! I quite enjoyed this and while it did take me a little while to get drawn into the story, I was definitely entertained. I also have a question - is the name "God" used correctly in this book? I believe the religion is fictional however it draws upon the Islamic faith so I'm unsure. There are many names for God and this particular name just instantly reminded me of the Christian god (maybe this is just because I'm most familiar with Christianity?). Alongside the Middle Eas First read of the year! I quite enjoyed this and while it did take me a little while to get drawn into the story, I was definitely entertained. I also have a question - is the name "God" used correctly in this book? I believe the religion is fictional however it draws upon the Islamic faith so I'm unsure. There are many names for God and this particular name just instantly reminded me of the Christian god (maybe this is just because I'm most familiar with Christianity?). Alongside the Middle Eastern setting it stood out a bit like a sore thumb. Just wanted to ask the question here as it may just be due to my own experiences, however I have also seen other comments/reviews (especially from Arab readers) mentioning that other elements of the religion and the world draws upon Islam and Middle Eastern culture in such a way that it doesn't seem well researched and is stereotypical.

  12. 4 out of 5

    &#x1f98a; Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

    "But if knowledge was power, then the unknown was the greatest weakness of immortal things.” Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Dustwalk always seemed like a prison to Amani - boring with horrible people in it. The only things she loved were her mother and shooting with a gun. When her mother gets hanged for killing her husband and Amani is being send to her aunt, Amani’s urge to run away becomes strong. She tries to win the money to get away - but chaos and a foreigner come into her way. Soon she meets the foreigner a "But if knowledge was power, then the unknown was the greatest weakness of immortal things.” Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Dustwalk always seemed like a prison to Amani - boring with horrible people in it. The only things she loved were her mother and shooting with a gun. When her mother gets hanged for killing her husband and Amani is being send to her aunt, Amani’s urge to run away becomes strong. She tries to win the money to get away - but chaos and a foreigner come into her way. Soon she meets the foreigner again and an exciting but dangerous adventure begins. This book is full of great action, Djinns magic, stories and a rebellion with a traitor prince. It has a good, nice pacing and some lovable characters. It’s definitely a book worth trying, let alone for the world building. The book is also funny and feels magical, it makes you smile and dream of different wonderful worlds in it. 🎈 Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Amani is by far the coolest girl with a gun I know. She’s a badass and she knows that it’s completely stupid to think that women are less than man. No, Amani knows she’s better than any man with a gun. She is strong, intelligent and sometimes ruthless. But in the end there are always secrets to discover. Even in yourself. “(...) that girl who dressed as a Boy, who taught herself to shoot true, who dreamed and saved and wanted so badly. That girl was someone who had made herself matter.” And Jin, oh my wonderful Jin. Your smile makes empires turn on each other and girls go dumb. Your heart is full of kindness and love for the world. For your family and for the girl you love. You thought Amani is a badass? Well you haven’t met Shazi yet, who appears a little later in the book. She’s a real fighter, a born soldier who knows strategy and skill like no one else. She’s definitely one of my favorite female characters now. World ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just imagine you’re somewhere in the desert - maybe in Egypt or in the United Arabic Emirates. There’s desert, there’s gunpowder and there are soldiers everywhere. You’re ruled by a Sultan, a ruthless man who decided some time ago, that he should rule Miraji instead of his father. So he partnered up with the Gallans - an enemy to Miraji - to kill his own family and get himself on the throne. But there’s a rebellion against him - led by his own son. But there aren’t only humans in this world. When God created the world he created the First Beings - Djinn, Buraqi.. magical creatures that are powerful and connect with the sand and sun. They lived undisturbed until the Destroyer of worlds came and twisted the world. They fought, but the First Beings never knew what death is until this day. So they created the Mortals who were brave, fought and died for them. Soon the Destroyer of worlds was defeated, but he left something on earth for the mortals to fear. Ghouls and other creatures who can be the death of you. Sometimes they’re called nightmares and they suck the life out of you until your soul is gone. But the immortals didn’t disappear. They stayed and sometimes loved humans. Soon there were children - half Djinn, half humans - Demdji who were gifted with Djinn powers. They create illusions only you can see, they can change their shape and their faces. They change into other people or even animals. They can become fire, death and sand. Relationships ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Is there anything sweeter than two people who found each other and learned that together they could survive this terrible world and actually change something? There are passionate kisses to hide from the enemy and jokes on the long days together through the sand. Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It was a nice enjoyable writing with action, friendship, betrayal and love. It was filled with stories from Djinns and Mortals, ruthless Sultans and Princes that wish for a rebellion. Great BR with my cutie :*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    It's not that this book was bad - it's that it was so bad I nearly had to do pails to get through it, so bad I felt tired just looking at it, so bad I ended up leaving it behind in France even though the copy I had didn't belong to me. It's fine, though, because I'm pretty sure the person who owns the copy I borrowed hates it so much she'd rather it were across the channel too. I couldn't make head nor tail of it: it's a weird unnecessary blend of wild west and Arabic folklore, set against a sort It's not that this book was bad - it's that it was so bad I nearly had to do pails to get through it, so bad I felt tired just looking at it, so bad I ended up leaving it behind in France even though the copy I had didn't belong to me. It's fine, though, because I'm pretty sure the person who owns the copy I borrowed hates it so much she'd rather it were across the channel too. I couldn't make head nor tail of it: it's a weird unnecessary blend of wild west and Arabic folklore, set against a sort of steampunky backdrop with a low fantasy element and also a rebellion and this book just needs to decide what it is and roll with it. It needs to stop trying to be 4785478 things at once and cool its fucking jets. If you want wild west? Do wild west. If you want Arabic folklore, do it. But those things mix like oil and water. The historical and social construction of the wild west (colonization, the moving American frontier, all of it very brief and ever-changing), plus its very specific time frame, makes absolutely 0 sense when it's floating in a sea of incredibly ancient Middle Eastern mythology. Like what the hell are you even doing mixing those two things? It doesn't help that this book is written in first person (ugh) with an incredibly generic heroine with an incredibly generic skill for firing projectiles in a straight line and an incredibly generic Snarky voice. I have a problem with all of these "omg i'm so snarky!!!!" heroines, and it's this: they're not in the slightest bit funny. There's nothing smart about recycled jokes and comments about people's clothing and this heroine being patted on the head by her male cohorts when she squeaks about being small. It's Amani, it's Mare, it's Clary, it's Alina, it's Echo, it's that awful girl from 13 to Life, it's Rose from Vampire Academy. The thing is that everyone thinks you can just bung in a bland heroine, give her a few "omg i'm super sassy!!!" lines and suddenly that makes her super feminist and current and relatable. It doesn't; it's difficult to create a heroine whose snark works. Snark needs to be written intelligently or not at all. I have issues with first person anyway, but when I'm stuck inside the head of some impossibly irritating protagonist with the sense of humour of a twelve-year-old boy, it's a green light to put the book down and move on with my damn life. Snark can be excellent, but you have to write it smartly. You have to write it dryly. You have to put it on a heroine who's not just going to use it as a smoke screen for her Super Soft Interior that of course only the strapping hero can uncover. I like it when a snarky heroine is snarky not because the author wanted to avoid being called sexist even though the entire book is sexist as shit, but because it's a part of the heroine's personality; give me a heroine who can actually be really mean-spirited and sometimes thinks it's okay to hurt people's feelings. Give me a heroine that other characters sometimes tell to shut the fuck up because she's being a tactless asshole. I'm sick and tired of reading books whose premise promises "a super sassy, snarky heroine!" who's really just a doormat and has no personality outside of a few critiques of other girls' clothes. I don't want to be promised snark and end up with a bunch of childish, unfunny internalized misogyny. Give me a heroine who's prickly and sort of mean but also a decent human being on the inside. I used to be great friends with this guy who, to people he only half-liked, which was most of the people we worked with, would say, "I like you. I mean, it's not like I'd take a bullet for you for anything. But I might break a light sweat for you." That's half mean but it's also pretty fucking funny. That's snark, not this terribly watered down "I'm so feisty!!!" (Bonus points if your 'feisty' heroine never ever utters a single swear word.) This book, on the whole, was a clusterfuck. It's a crazy disorganized garbage dump, like my desk at work at the end of a shift. It's one of those books that's just pure fan service, catering to god knows who, with a vanilla love interest and an uninspiring rebellion (I like rebels, but only when they're done properly, and rarely are they done properly) and a dreadful, overly dramatic, sooper-speshul restless-leg protagonist whose face was begging for a punch. But there's one thing that we always come back to whenever we - we being my two-person book club - discuss this book. Guess what it is. If you guessed the gold suit, then a jagerbomb to you. Cheers. The gold suit. the gold suit. Just don't even get me started on the guy in the gold suit. Don't even set me off. Don't even ask me about it. It was so fucking random. Seriously, guise, what the fuck is the deal with the gold suit. I can't get over it. The gold suit. THE SUIT WAS FUCKING GOLD AND THEN HE LEVELLED A TOWN. I'm so over this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    ❝Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.❞ I think everything from Rebel of the Sands was set differently but it just made it! Alwyn Hamilton was able to mix fantasy with some romance in it and set it in a midwestern/eastern setting and I think that was great of her! Even with that, the fantasy added more since there were mythical creatures and abilities given to t ❝Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.❞ I think everything from Rebel of the Sands was set differently but it just made it! Alwyn Hamilton was able to mix fantasy with some romance in it and set it in a midwestern/eastern setting and I think that was great of her! Even with that, the fantasy added more since there were mythical creatures and abilities given to the people. It was a great mix to read about and nothing was dull, boring, or unpleasant. Instead, everything was captivating since page 1 and everything just keep me going straight to the last page wanting book 2 already. Rebel of the Sands takes place in Dustwalk, a place where women either get went or end up dead. So, they're known either to be married or to be shot by maybe the prince himself. Women are known as householders, orphans, poor, and of course, females. Amani Al’Hiza is all, with some special ability to herself. She's got a perfect aim for shooting and is able to take down anyone who gets in her way. She decides to dress as a boy and cover most of her face to show her eyes at least, but to her the rest of the feminine parts. As she entered this competition, what she really wants is the money that way she's able to leave this town she despises and go to Izman, a place where her mother would always tell her about and would encourage her to go. Now that she has a chance, she doesn't think about wasting it and needs to find a way to make it. In the competition, she meets a guy around her age named Jin, a foreigner who is also entered for the money. As she notices he's got good aim as a shooter and as she finds out he is headed out of Dustwalk as well, Amani wants nothing but to go with him and join him on his journey. But even though Jin isn't really headed to Izman but somewhere else than this ugly and poor town, Amani just wants freedom and to escape. Thinking Jin is her only escape and the only one able to help him, they decide to team up and escape where they are headed to. While being together and having moments together, Amani discovers secrets behind this town, about herself, and truths about each other. These are actually the kind of fantasy novels I enjoy flying through! It's set differently than others in a way. It started off with Amani being a string female lead and just to talk about her, I think her character was different than other YA female protagonists. Alwyn was able to create one who starts off strong but slowly fades. I think it was a good idea of her to release secrets and truths towards the end because of who Amani is and wished to be. Most of the time, women or young girls start off in a weak state. They grow by training and having more experience, ending up able to beat the guys in a competition involving guns, knives, climbing, fighting, defending and other fighting agilities. Amani was quite the same like other female characters, but at the same time she had her own character development. Finding out things afterwards made her realize other things and she realized she's been living a life she never thought about. It was different than what I expected. I didn't predict the ending or thinking think about it, and I didn't expect any of the middle, towards the end, or anything that was about to happen as I was turning the page. I was actually glad I didn't since the story was actually really cool and everything sort of went in it's own direction, making me enjoy it more. The foreigner, Jin, was actually always there to help Amani. Both had feelings for each other and I was glad the romance wasn't slow burn, fast paced or any of the romance had such suspense to it and leaved me shocked. Of course when I ship two characters together and am able to see them together, I get happy when there is a moment of them together but even with that, they both had their secrets to be told, truths to be discovered, and lies to be hidden as the two were on this journey together. He was able to help Amani with his sarcastic attitude and funny personality even when it came to being serious. He knew what he was doing and was able to do it in the right way. Everything was quick and since this turned out to be a trilogy, I was glad nothing ended in a way to leave me very bothered and wishing I never finished the story. Everything was such a cool experience and was glad there were elements added to it. From disguises to gun shootings. From mythical creatures to Nightmares actually being revealed. From pity to passion. I think it was great knowing Amani didn't like her town but then was able to discover things about it and realize her hatred for it should've been changed a long time ago. Even with all the side characters and other main characters, there weren't any who completely bothered me. There were reasons for the happenings and I'm pretty sure that in the other novels, we'll hear more about them. Overall, Rebel of the Sands was a great 2016 read and I'm looking forward for the rest of the trilogy. I don't really know who this would be a recommendation to, as in "fans of ___ will enjoy this" but I do recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fantasy novels. Fantasy overall would be the best genre to describe it since there is fantasy added to it all as the journey continues. I'm looking forward for the next installment and can't wait to see how Hamilton out stands everything else once again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I get slightly nervous going into Massively Highly Anticipated Books of My Life -- because what if I don't like it???? What if my expectations are too high??? Whatifwhatifwhatif. But, WHY DID I EVEN WORRY ABOUT REBEL OF THE SANDS?!? It was a glorious conglomeration of Persian fantasy, magic horses, sass, and guns...and I absolutely freaking loved it. (Seriously tho, was this book written for me?? Omg.) It's basically set in a dusty fantasy world with Middle Eastern influences. I was actually surpr I get slightly nervous going into Massively Highly Anticipated Books of My Life -- because what if I don't like it???? What if my expectations are too high??? Whatifwhatifwhatif. But, WHY DID I EVEN WORRY ABOUT REBEL OF THE SANDS?!? It was a glorious conglomeration of Persian fantasy, magic horses, sass, and guns...and I absolutely freaking loved it. (Seriously tho, was this book written for me?? Omg.) It's basically set in a dusty fantasy world with Middle Eastern influences. I was actually surprised because I NEVER read modern fantasy like this??? (It reminded me a bit of Blood Red Road actually, which I also abso-freaking-lutely love.) We have, like, weapons factories and GUNNNNNNS and shooting people -- but we also have spirits and ghouls and terrible things lurking in the desert that like to rip your face off. #nice And sand. MUCH SAND. It actually almost had a cowboy western feel to it at times...but that could be because I just finished reading Under a Painted Sky and am thinking of all the western things. AHEM. MOVING FORWARD! Amani is downright awesome. She's the "tough heroine" who is a wicked good shot and dreams of running away from her abusive relatives to FIND HER DESTINY OF AWESOME. But she's not ever irritating??? She's really really sassy. And she makes mistakes. Omg, so. many. mistakes. (I kind of wanted to hurt her when (view spoiler)[ she left her BEST FRIEND in the dust to die while she ran away (hide spoiler)] ..I mean, wut even Amani?!?!?) But she had amazing character development too. And of course there's the love interest: Jin. Whom I adored. It could be because of the sass. Or that he slinks into a shooting game in the local tavern and competes against Amani and they're so stinkin' cute together. Ooooor, it could be because he gets shot right at the front and I do love a good story where everyone is bleeding. Ahem. DID I MENTION THE SASS?!?! <3 Also the story itself?! I basically loved it to absolute pieces. It's fast! It's like this entire WORLD crammed into a 330 page novel and, um, hello and excuse me but I'M SO PLEASED ABOUT THIS. Usually I find smaller novels suck with the world building. BUT NOPE. Epic world building. Epic mythology. Epic settings. EEEEPIC EVERYTHING, DANGIT. (Although it did have a tendency to info-dump in the form of folklore tales occasionally. Which I'll forgive it for? But I wasn't particularly interested in those tales.) "So why isn't it full 5 stars, Cait?" you say, because you are intelligent and noticed I'm holding back. Just slightly. There were a smattering of things I found underwhelming. For Instance: • I predicted one of the biggest plot twists. I think it was waaaay too obvious. (view spoiler)[ I mean they said right up front all the legends of the Sultin's rebel prince and blah blah...I KNEW JIN HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. I don't know if there were too many hints? Or perhaps it was just too obvious? But of course Jin was brother to the famous rebel prince, ergo a prince himself, and saboteur of the weapons factory. I kind of rolled my eyes at that reveal, tbh. I saw it from page, like, 10. (hide spoiler)] • Then I did get a bit confused at the end because there are SO MANY CHARACTERS and I'm still not 100% who is killing who and for what. • Also Amani was way more spunky and awesome at the beginning. Maybe she was maturing? But as soon as Amani stopped shooting things along the journey, I was sad. • I also saw the phrase "sharp shooter" in the blurb? And I thought that meant, like, taking out people at long distance or whatnot. But Amani was an AWESOME SHOT but she really wasn't hired for her gun or anything? • It's very sexist. Like, that's okay! Because Amani was like kicking the sexism in the teeth...but I am so tired of sexist fantasy worlds. ...but basically?!? This book was AMAZING and I want to hug it for nearly ever. I'm so happy because of the Persian culture particularly (!! my favourite !!) and all the shooting and trains and MAGIC STUFF and wild actiony adventure. This is definitely on my "you must read it or I will perhaps growl" list. SO WHAT EVEN ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? GO GO GO. ** FAVOURITE QUOTES: Jin was at my side..."Did you just shoot someone?" "I got us hired, if that's what you're asking. And I only shot his glass." Jin hooked one arm around my shoulder, leaning on me. "I knew I liked you, Bandit." "You're going to get us both killed if you go off looking for this on your own, you know. And if I was going to die on account of you, I'd rather have done it weeks ago before I had to do all this walking."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    1.5 Stars I'm honestly amazed at how popular this book is considering how heavily it relies on stereotypes of middle eastern culture and lore to develop its plot, world, and characters. Not a fan at all.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trina (Between Chapters)

    The summary of this book calls it a mash up of The Wild West and Arabian Nights (though it is not a retelling). I think that's pretty accurate in terms of the setting and feel. I do want to acknowledge that there are many negative stereotypes about Middle Eastern culture and the historical US West that are used here, but I don't think the author has ever lived in either region as far as I can tell. Although I ended up loving this story, I don't disagree with people who have questioned if it was The summary of this book calls it a mash up of The Wild West and Arabian Nights (though it is not a retelling). I think that's pretty accurate in terms of the setting and feel. I do want to acknowledge that there are many negative stereotypes about Middle Eastern culture and the historical US West that are used here, but I don't think the author has ever lived in either region as far as I can tell. Although I ended up loving this story, I don't disagree with people who have questioned if it was her story to tell and say the Middle Eastern influence was poorly researched. I have read a couple of own voices reviews that seem to be in conflict about the representation, and as I have no experience with the background it's hard for me to know what to think. While reading, I was very engaged and found the story and world interesting and enjoyable. I kept being surprised at how much I liked it. I loved the world-building. It felt familiar AND fantastical. The magical creatures were interesting. I loved the creation mythology. I loved the magic system. There isn't a ton about the main character, Amani, that stands out to me as something I loved, but there was nothing about her that I hated either. Jin on the other hand was a character I enjoyed from start to finish. I loved the dynamic between the two of them. The middle portion of this book has kind of a survivalist tone and I'm always a sucker for that. Two characters with conflicting motives having to work together to survive? SIGN ME UP! I loved the pacing. There was a part of the story right past halfway where the action lulls off and we start to learn more about new things. This is usually where my attention would take a nose dive. I was expecting to lose momentum here but then surprisingly, things were revealed in a way that kept my interest and propelled me on to the end! I particularly loved that some big things were revealed around 3/4 in because this gave us a little time to explore them and get excited for the next book without revealing too early, which can sometimes make me grow bored. I love (view spoiler)[ Amani's power and everything about how it was revealed. I expected her to have some type of magic, but I wasn't expecting her to be a Demdji. When she was trying to figure out what her power was, I was really afraid it would be something like Noorsham's - control of fire. This is a power that has been done to death so when we find out that she can actually control sand, I was excited! It totally fits her character and the world and it's something fresh (to me at least). I love that her eyes were her only marker, and the iron of her guns kept her power at bay, which is why she never knew. It was SO bittersweet to watch her gain this new power, but at the expense of her sharpshooter skill, which she taught herself, since using a gun essentially "turns off" her Demdji ability. (hide spoiler)] I loved that there were many villains, and I especially loved how one of them ((view spoiler)[Noorsham (hide spoiler)] ) is kind of a wildcard who you want to be won over to the good side but you can't tell how it will play out! I am so invested in seeing what happens with this one character! And the conflict they present to Amani! Ugh! My emotions were all over the place. This book took the overdone rebellion-trying-to-overthrow-an-evil-overlord trope and made me interested in it! I will definitely continue the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    may ❀

    Buddy read 4/5 (we're aLMOST there !!!) with, Praggs ♡♡♡ DNF @ 50% I started this book with such high expectations! I mean, fierce desert girl escaping a terrible situation with her sharpshooting skills! W o w, sounds great !!! But after reading twelve chapters. . . Personally, I’m just concerned where the plot went. . .Literally nonexistent. The clichés in this book are intense. We got: - “The Special Snowflake” – this girl has striking blue eyes (that has to be mentioned three times per chapt Buddy read 4/5 (we're aLMOST there !!!) with, Praggs ♡♡♡ DNF @ 50% I started this book with such high expectations! I mean, fierce desert girl escaping a terrible situation with her sharpshooting skills! W o w, sounds great !!! But after reading twelve chapters. . . Personally, I’m just concerned where the plot went. . .Literally nonexistent. The clichés in this book are intense. We got: - “The Special Snowflake” – this girl has striking blue eyes (that has to be mentioned three times per chapter) while the rest of the simpletons are stuck with ugly brown eyes. - She’s only sixteen but she’s a world-class sharpshooter – never misses a shot - The girl who everyone is madly in love with but she's obvious cause like :) :) :) :) - The Mysterious Foreigner which is basically insta-love just dying to be called out - The Terrible Parents - The EFFING LAME KISS IN THE 8TH CHAPTER - The writing style that makes you want to jump out of a window I seriously wanted to prove everyone wrong and love this book despite my initial distaste to it but like please stop writing clichés and write something more fascinating than a boring MC and a missing plot. “Haven't you ever wanted something so bad that it becomes more than a want? I need to get out of this town. I need it like I need to breathe.” 1.5 stars!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    THE ENDING WAS PERFECT. Perfect, as in an excellent balance of "happy" and "omg tell me more". No cliffhanger, no agony, but things are just starting to heat up in the desert (hehehe). I can't wait to read more! :D ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton Book One of the Rebel of the Sands series Publisher: Penguin Publication Date: March 8, 2016 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the f THE ENDING WAS PERFECT. Perfect, as in an excellent balance of "happy" and "omg tell me more". No cliffhanger, no agony, but things are just starting to heat up in the desert (hehehe). I can't wait to read more! :D ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton Book One of the Rebel of the Sands series Publisher: Penguin Publication Date: March 8, 2016 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: Ahhh, I can see why this book has received so many stunningly positive early reviews so far, and why it's set to be a huge success worldwide. This book was magical! And such a fun, exciting fantasy novel. So many YA fantasy books today are so heavy and gloom-and-doom-y, save-the-world-and-claim-the-throne kinds. This book has certain elements that are typical of YA fantasy novels, but nothing like your average YA fantasy, in my opinion. Amani desperately wants to escape the small desert town of Dustwalk. She's excellent with a gun, and she's hoping to use those skills to win some prize money and get out of the town, before her uncle marries her off. With a little help from a handsome foreigner, Amani escapes into the world outside of Dustwalk. But she isn't expecting the wild adventure that follows, tangling her up in rebellion and revolution and magic she has never seen before. My expectations have been super high, ever since seeing this book's cover (the original one AND the new one!). It's not always smart to be excited about a book solely based on the cover, but in this case, I was justified. Kickbutt fantasy + amazing synopsis + gorgeous cover? This book has been calling to me! So I'm even more excited that it did not disappoint, because my expectations were crazy high! Amani surprised me from the very beginning. I know we in the YA book world like to throw around phrases like "kicka** heroine", how some heroines are tough and feisty and spunky and whatnot. But Amani is a different kind of tough. She's so incredibly mouthy, and she stands in the face of danger and does not back down. I love her wild spirit, and how unafraid she is to show her temper's claws. Not that she has an angry temper - but her personality is very fiery. I love her to pieces! Her character development was a very important part of this book; as she matures as she discovers the world beyond Dustwalk. The world-building of this book is incredible! Desert fantasies are nothing new in YA, but this desert fantasy is a little different. Guns and trains and other technology totally exist, and yet, so does Djinni and ghouls and magic. The world is also highly patriarchal, and polygamy is very common. Amani's uncle has many wives who all live together with their children... it's just of awful to read, and a bit heartbreaking. The Sultan himself has, and I quote, "more sons than there are hours in the day" (ARC, 170). While no one will like this polygamous aspect (I hope!), everyone can agree that its presence helps the authenticity and richness of the world-building. Did I mention how much I liked the setting? No? I love desert settings. I like how the author made this desert setting very unique and almost modern, but totally not modern. We're not stuck in Dustwalk for very long, and Amani travels through many places. This book takes place over many months (at least two), and I like how the pacing felt. Our male protagonist is Jin, who is the foreigner mentioned in the synopsis. Jin! Ah! I liked him a lot. He's charming and funny and adept in a fight. He's handsome and muscular and extremely intelligent. We don't know exactly who he is for a good part of the book, but when we find out, it came as a bit of a surprise to me. I LOVE that the author does not take a cliche route with Jin. Jin is one of my favorite characters in the book, and I was cheering him on just as much as I was cheering on Amani. We meet many of our secondary characters in the latter half of the book, and I adore so many of them! Shazad is another strong female, in a different way. Hala too. Bahi is such a sweetie! I love the twins too. The author does an excellent with the development of the secondary characters - and what a lovely cast of characters they were. The story captivated me, and I love how the author moved the plot. The book never seemed slow, or overwhelming. This book is the first in a trilogy, so the author did not get into the heavier parts of the fantasy in this particular book. We are introduced to the political conflicts and there are some key moves made in this book. But I liked that, despite all of that, this story remained fun and adventurous. I'm sure it'll get more calculating and threatening and fearful in the next two books, but I'm savoring the adventure that was this first book. There is a subtle and sweet romance in this book! The synopsis alludes to it, and I'm happy to say that I love the blossoming relationship between Amani and Jin. I LOVE that they are slowly coming to understand their feelings - there are no "I love you"'s thrown around, and no one is making rash decisions for the sake of each other. The romance is so sweet, and yet, so sneaky. I foresee more swoony scenes in future books, but this one kept the romance light and sweet. Also, no love triangle in any way shape or form! Not an insinuation or speck or whiff. No cliffhanger either! Small mercy there, because I have been hit with so many cliffhangers recently. Phew! I'm sure there will be a cliffhanger at the end of book two of the trilogy (as it usually happens), but we're safe for now! Have I said enough to convince you? I'm going to wrap up my review a little, because I could probably go on and on. I loved this beautiful story and cannot wait to read the next book! What I Did Not Like: Nothing that I can think of at the moment! Maybe that we have to wait for the sequel?! Personal request there - more kissing! Would I Recommend It: Whether you're a YA fantasy fan or not, this is definitely NOT a book to miss. The ending is not cliffhanger-y at all, so it wouldn't hurt to start now! I so want to reread this book and experience it all over again. What a fabulous story! Rating: 4.5 stars -> rounded up to 5 stars. I can see this being a favorite at the end of the year! I don't give the five-star rating often, but I'm thinking this book deserves it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sh3llraiser (grumpybookgrrrl)

    I read this for the 2017 MacHalo Group Reading Challenge. Five girl-with-the-gun stars! This book is a little bit of this and this mixed with this: The girl who taught herself to shoot a gun. Until she could knock down a row of tin cans like they were nothing and the gun was everything. "Because I'm the girl with the gun." What a fantastic debut novel! I loved it! It's a Western set in an alternate Middle Eastern-type world. There are lots of magical beings - djinni, Skinwalkers, horses made of sand (Bu I read this for the 2017 MacHalo Group Reading Challenge. Five girl-with-the-gun stars! This book is a little bit of this and this mixed with this: The girl who taught herself to shoot a gun. Until she could knock down a row of tin cans like they were nothing and the gun was everything. "Because I'm the girl with the gun." What a fantastic debut novel! I loved it! It's a Western set in an alternate Middle Eastern-type world. There are lots of magical beings - djinni, Skinwalkers, horses made of sand (Buraqis), and Demdjis who are hybrids and have different powers. Some can create illusions, some can shapeshift, or control sand with their mind. One of the magical characters shapeshifts into both men and women, which is different. It's a very cool world. We have a young girl who starts off alone, in a bad situation. Left with uncaring family members. She's an ace shot, though, and saves money to leave town and start a new life. She meets up with a foreigner named Jin and the story unfolds. There is the Sultan who rules all and his allied army, the Gallan. Magical creatures live in fear. Women have no rights in most places. Heirs to the throne are plotting to overthrow their father (the sultan). There is a romance, but it's romance-light, I would say and no pining or angst. Although Amani does spend some time trying to catch a glimpse of Jin's chest tattoo several times and notices his muscles in a few scenes. A few kisses. But it's mainly plot driven and about Amani's self-discovery and finding a new unconventional family. The female lead is GREAT. No damsel in distress, no annoying YA heroine who turns into a mindless airhead around cute guys. She is strong, independent. It also has one of my favorite tropes: the cross-dressing trope. I think it's fun. I really enjoyed this and would highly recommend. It's funny because there is a popular reviewer here (who is awesome and writes great reviews) who, whenever I see has given a book a one or two star rating, I know I will probably end up liking the book! haha. It's funny how those things work and this time was no different. Different tastes I guess. :) Also read for a reading challenge: The MacHalo 2017 reading challenge: 6. A western.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I loved everything about this book and to be honest I didn’t expect to. The fact that the setting was very different to what I usually read was why I loved it. I loved how Alwyn Hamilton decided to change the typical setting that is in every other book and made it so diverse. Everything about it was perfect! There was just enough romance, and all the fantasy and magical creatures were just great!! I was so intrigued from the beginning. The sad part now is that I need to wait to have the second b I loved everything about this book and to be honest I didn’t expect to. The fact that the setting was very different to what I usually read was why I loved it. I loved how Alwyn Hamilton decided to change the typical setting that is in every other book and made it so diverse. Everything about it was perfect! There was just enough romance, and all the fantasy and magical creatures were just great!! I was so intrigued from the beginning. The sad part now is that I need to wait to have the second book in my hands. Before this book I was almost headed into the reading slump because of the current book I was reading so then I decided to read this book. I ended up flying through it (but not because the writing was so big and there was a big gap at the top and bottom of each page) and loving it so much! The second I started the book I just had to carry on reading it. The characters were all really good and they were actually lovable and not annoying which is so good. Amani is the main protagonist and she was a really strong female character. I loved how even though where she lived women weren’t able to do much she still taught herself all these things and tried to be different. The only thing that really bothered me about her was how she always left people behind and cared only for herself. I understand that was the purpose and the author wrote her that way but it still irritated me. Jin, who the newcomer to Amani’s home was actually my favourite character. I loved him and his personality from the beginning. I loved how a lot of things that happened around a third of the book was so different. The author kept slamming all these twists and turns in the plot one after the other. Everything was so unexpected and every time I turned the page something crazy happened. This book is such a wonderful book and I NEED the second book NOW. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out and how the story unfolds. I totally recommend this to anyone!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)

    This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books. Rebel of the Sands has one of the best opening chapters I've read in a long time! We start by finding Amani Al'Hiza disguised as a boy and about to take part in a gun shooting competition. To escape her dead-end town of Dustwalk and her repulsive uncle (who wants to marry her), she needs to win the competition to have enough money to finally flee to Izman. At the competition she meets Jin, the mysterious foreigner, and Amani soon finds This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books. Rebel of the Sands has one of the best opening chapters I've read in a long time! We start by finding Amani Al'Hiza disguised as a boy and about to take part in a gun shooting competition. To escape her dead-end town of Dustwalk and her repulsive uncle (who wants to marry her), she needs to win the competition to have enough money to finally flee to Izman. At the competition she meets Jin, the mysterious foreigner, and Amani soon finds herself as part of the uprising against the Sultan and his destructive forces. I loved this! It was so refreshing to read a fantasy book that wasn't set in an England-type environment; this was pure Middle Eastern desert with djinnis and mythical sand horses, but also had somewhat of a cowboy western vibe going on. Hell yes. Amani carried the story wonderfully. She was sassy and strong but also incredibly naive about the world outside of her small town. Discovering the outside world alongside her was such an exciting experience. We see desert battles, gun slinging competitions, mythical sand horses, a train heist, I could go on, but I won't because you all should read the book. Now, why did I give this four out of five rather than the full five? I found many of the supporting characters, who we meet past the halfway point, to be a bit flat, not quite as fleshed out as they could have been. Especially Ahmed, who should have been way more memorable. However, as this is the first book in the series so I'm banking on the fact that these characters will shine in the future novels. Rebel of the Sands is Alwyn Hamilton's debut novel, which is absolutely ridiculous considering how well written and well paced it is. You can tell she's a natural storyteller, and I am SO excited to see what else she gives us. Let us also take a moment to admire the gorgeous cover our eyes are thanking us for. Buy your copy today!  (Amazon US / Amazon CA / Book Depository / Indigo)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Amani Al’Hiza has been trying to escape her hometown Dustwalk for years; but even though she’s a gifted gunslinger with a perfect aim, she just can’t manage to shoot herself out of the town on her own. But 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 a mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the de Amani Al’Hiza has been trying to escape her hometown Dustwalk for years; but even though she’s a gifted gunslinger with a perfect aim, she just can’t manage to shoot herself out of the town on her own. But 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 a mythical horse – or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew. The plot of this book was amazing. “Rebel of the Sands” was so interesting and such a gripping read. I was literally glued to it and just couldn’t put it down anymore. It was such a quick read and I absolutely loved the setting of this story. Furthermore, there were so many things that I just didn’t see coming and it was definitely one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read in a long time. Another thing I loved about “Rebel of the Sands” were the unique characters. The main characters Amani and Jin were absolutely fantastic and I adored both of them. There were just so many different kinds of characters in this book and I didn’t grow bored of any of them. And I also just really loved the romance in this novel. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had “butterflies” in my stomach while reading about the relationship of two book characters and I can’t wait to get more of them in the next books. I also really liked Alwyn Hamilton’s writing style. The book was very well written and overall, just very easy to read. So all in all, you can probably already guess that I absolutely loved this book. It had amazing characters, a great plot, was super interesting and a book I just couldn’t put down anymore which is pretty much everything I was looking for. I just had to give this book a full five stars and I still can’t believe it took me so long to finally start this series. By the time I’m writing this review – which is almost three weeks after reading the book – I’m actually already in the middle of the sequel, Traitor to the Throne, and I’m enjoying it just as much as “Rebel of the Sands”. Currently, I definitely feel like this series has the potential to get a spot on my list of all-time favorite book series. instagram || my blog || twitter

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Four Stars! Special thanks to Tânia for the recommendation! “But if knowledge was power, then the unknown was the greatest weakness of immortal things.” I think I have a new type of book that I seem to be enjoying a lot lately… and that is desert type books. I don’t know how else to put it. We have one of my new all time favourites An Ember in the Ashes and now we have this! I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had no idea what to expect going into this, I keep away from reviews and reading too muc Four Stars! Special thanks to Tânia for the recommendation! “But if knowledge was power, then the unknown was the greatest weakness of immortal things.” I think I have a new type of book that I seem to be enjoying a lot lately… and that is desert type books. I don’t know how else to put it. We have one of my new all time favourites An Ember in the Ashes and now we have this! I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had no idea what to expect going into this, I keep away from reviews and reading too much into something before I go into it, and I’m SO happy I did! I was delighted to see elements of magic, shunned Princes, a rebellion, some romance, lots of twists and so much more. It is full of detail, to say this is the first book in a series it seriously engages you and it makes you want to read more (lucky me I started it late and can hopefully binge the rest of the series this month!) The world and character building was brought to life and it was so easy to imagine. I think that’s what I enjoyed so much! The detail you get is as though you can place yourself in the pages and become part of the story, I loved it! Characters “What else was I meant to do? Leave you to die?" "You might've." "I wouldn't have.” We first see Amani trying to escape from her current situation due to certain matters (to be honest I don’t blame her) from the moment I met her I was like, yep me and you are going to get a long just fine. She was a good a character, we see her come into revelation, holding her own and when things are unexpected although immature for a while realises it’s better to not hold a grudge. (I felt like a proud mummy bear at that point). I loved her building relationships with the characters and knowing her worth. I need to know more. Then we have Jin, he’s trouble from the moment you meet him, and I was a sucker I can’t even begin to explain. He too takes things in his stride, his loyalty is unfaltering and his belief in others was just ahhhhh, I can’t help but smile! I also liked his take on religion, he may not be religious but the way he saw it was so well done. I’m pretty intrigued to find out what happens with his story. What I liked? - I loved all of the storytelling throughout, it really set the scene but not only that we got so much insight to what happens. - The backwards and forwards of saving lives… I liked it okay! - All of the magical elements! We had Magic horses, people able to change appearance, hallucinations. I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT. - The freeing of the Buraqi. - How creepy the Skinwalkers are. - The compass. - There’s a character, I’m not going to mention the name, but there’s a character and when they speak it’s just so full of passion, I was like… sign me up! - There were so many twists! I mean I knew one of them and others I was completely blind to even though it had been dangled in front of us from the very start. What I didn’t like? - One of the plot twists I literally knew from the very beginning. I messaged Tania being like if this isn’t the case I will eat my shoe, and look who isn’t eating their shoe. ME! - We get introduced to a LOT of characters, at times I couldn’t keep up… don’t know who’s related to who in some cases, and it was a lot of information thrown at me in one chapter than I don’t think has fully settled until probably Traitor to the Throne. - Why are the women seen to be lesser and not equal, it’s something I can’t stand. I understand WHY it’s like that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. “These ideas could make men shout for rebellion even when it meant they would hang for it.” Overall I’m looking forward to continuing on with this series, I mean after that ending how can I not? I’m hoping to see a lot more magic, get to know other characters more and find out more information.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lainey

    Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHRZy... Update 2/19/16 - After sitting on this one, I'm rating it a 2.5 instead. All I can really say about this is that the book left a lot to be desired. Rebel of the Sands tells the story of a young woman gunslinger named Amani. She lives in this small town that she says has too many of two things: guns and sand. Orphaned and living with her uncle and aunts, she finds the opportunity to leave the town behind with the help of a mysterious foreigner. Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHRZy... Update 2/19/16 - After sitting on this one, I'm rating it a 2.5 instead. All I can really say about this is that the book left a lot to be desired. Rebel of the Sands tells the story of a young woman gunslinger named Amani. She lives in this small town that she says has too many of two things: guns and sand. Orphaned and living with her uncle and aunts, she finds the opportunity to leave the town behind with the help of a mysterious foreigner. That's all you get from the summary on the back of the book and this all takes place in the first 75 pages leaving you to wonder what the hell the plot is. Keep wondering because it actually doesn't show up until the last 70 pages of the novel leaving me to believe this was all just set-up book for the series. So, I rated this a 3. The first chapter is one of my favorite first chapters from the book, so I was really excited for this book, and then after the summary of the book happened, my interest in the book started to go downhill and it didn't rise again until the very end. I will be continuing with this series, but this book is definitely not one of my favorite I ever read. One of the biggest problems I had with it was the world building. The set up was great - a desert fantasy setting with guns and iron and trains and magic. I was feeling it. My problem with it was that the author seemed to be throwing new elements into the story as she went along like, "oh yeah, this is a thing that has been going on for thousands of years but I'm only now mentioning it on page 250." I didn't like this. I wanted to feel all this from the beginning. This also happened a lot with the magical beings like the Burqui, the Nightmares, and Skinwalkers. They all felt like an afterthought. They didn't feel cemented into the story and were kind of just "there" to add drama to the storyline. If you like complex magic-systems in stories you won't get it here. In continuation with the setting, I found the names to be very... I don't know. First, Amani is from Dustwalk. Yet all the other cities in this country are given these very middle eastern-esque names like Izman, Dassama, Mirija, etc. Not to mention there was so difference between places and peoples' names. Sometimes I had no idea if they were talking about a person or a place because they are all so similar. I would have liked to have seen more of a difference for this world. Along with this world being in a fantasy setting, I found the diction to be very... modern. It kept reminding me of an American teenager the way Anani spoke and it kept taking me out of this world. I just wanted more for this world and I felt like it all wasn't very developed well and could have been. Character wise, I felt no connection to anyone - especially our main heroine. Jin, who is the main male character and love interest, I didn't feel their connection at all. And of course, their relationship is rushed light years when I finished the chapter, turned the page and read: "Over the next six weeks..." THIS IS HOW TO KILL A RELATIONSHIP. As a reader, I need to SEE all of this happened, especially if it is told in one perspective, first point of view. You can only get away with that if your story is multiple pov. Honestly, when I read the summarized six weeks in one paragraph, I couldn't connect with this characters anymore. Especially since we were at a point in the story when I had no idea what we were working towards - aka there was no plot. What prevented me from rating this book a two was the last 100 pages or so, when the plot appeared. And yet... as action-thrilled as it was suppose to be, I was just reading this, I wasn't feeling it at all. I didn't care if anyone died in the last scene, I didn't care about anything really. But still, I'll be reading the next book to see what happens. I just wished I was more emotionally invested in this story and I wasn't.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

    It's been almost a year since I've read this, but it stuck to me in a way that I can still remember a lot about what I loved about it. In this glorious piece of heaven you will find: 1. A realistic heroine -- Amani's fierce AF. She has a huge mouth that she can't shut, is incredibly sassy and fierce. At first she was too into herself and a bit stuck up, but her development was amazing and she turned into such a compassionate, loving heroine by the end. (Not that her original murderous self wasn't It's been almost a year since I've read this, but it stuck to me in a way that I can still remember a lot about what I loved about it. In this glorious piece of heaven you will find: 1. A realistic heroine -- Amani's fierce AF. She has a huge mouth that she can't shut, is incredibly sassy and fierce. At first she was too into herself and a bit stuck up, but her development was amazing and she turned into such a compassionate, loving heroine by the end. (Not that her original murderous self wasn't awesome or anything, because it was.) 2. A kick-butt world... and MAGIC -- It was so easy to get lost in Miraji, with its djinn, ghouls and magical horses. But we've also got guns, trains, and those tech things that make the world a bit more complex and intriguing. 3. A super cute love interest and romance -- Jin is just a mixture of mysterious, witty and charming (yes, feel free to ask for my hand in marriage, Jin darling), who isn't afraid to back down. He compliments Amani and they're just so annoyingly cute together. 4. BEAUTIFUL pacing -- IT WAS FAST. It wasn't too fast that you wouldn't get any of the stuff that went down, but it wasn't slow in a way that you wouldn't get any substance from the plot. It was just fast enough for a lot of things to go down, remain totally investing, but still understandable. 5. That cover -- Let's just admire it, yes? Do yourself a favor and get yourself a physical copy. You're welcome.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fafa's Book Corner

    Mini review: Wow this was so much fun! I loved Amani and Jin. The magic and the stories were really cool! Will definitely be continuing this series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)

    3.75 STARS Rebel of the Sands reminded me so much of the Grisha trilogy mixed with some X-Men elements set in the desert. This book was a pretty fun read. For sure I liked it but I didn't really love it. At times, the beginning felt a little slow and info dumpy but the story picks up fairly quickly. The characters were actually my favorite part and I loved all the different abilities each Demdji had. Although, I found that Amani's ability to manipulate sand was a little unusual. It was different f 3.75 STARS Rebel of the Sands reminded me so much of the Grisha trilogy mixed with some X-Men elements set in the desert. This book was a pretty fun read. For sure I liked it but I didn't really love it. At times, the beginning felt a little slow and info dumpy but the story picks up fairly quickly. The characters were actually my favorite part and I loved all the different abilities each Demdji had. Although, I found that Amani's ability to manipulate sand was a little unusual. It was different from your typical superpower but it wasn't as exciting as I was hoping her power to be. But I guess considering how this story is set in the desert, I suppose it proved useful. However, I was a little disappointed that the Rebel Prince played a very minor role in the book. This whole rebellion was formed for the purpose of the Rebel Prince but we rarely got to see him in action. In all honesty, it sort of made it hard for me to believe that Ahmed was this great, born-to-be leader that everyone made him out to be. If Jin turned out to be the Rebel Prince, it would've been predictable but at least understandable and believable because we spent the whole book being around him as opposed to 2-3 scenes with Ahmed. Rebel of the Sands had a few twists and turns and I enjoyed the adventure that this book put me on. I appreciated the Mulan influences that surrounded our main character, Amani. Although this book certainly wasn't the greatest I've read, I can really see the potential that Alwyn Hamilton has as an author and I look forward to more books written by this author.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

    WESTERNS, I love 'em. FYI. So REBEL OF THE SANDS was already on my radar before I read the preview chapters, but now I NEEDS IT. B/c this: A group of factory workers still in their uniforms huddled around a nomad in a busted-up wagon who was shouting about selling Djinni blood that’d grant good folks their hearts’ desires. His wide grin looked desperate in the oily lamplight, and no wonder. It’d been years since anyone round these parts had seen a real live First Being, let alone a Djinni. Besid WESTERNS, I love 'em. FYI. So REBEL OF THE SANDS was already on my radar before I read the preview chapters, but now I NEEDS IT. B/c this: A group of factory workers still in their uniforms huddled around a nomad in a busted-up wagon who was shouting about selling Djinni blood that’d grant good folks their hearts’ desires. His wide grin looked desperate in the oily lamplight, and no wonder. It’d been years since anyone round these parts had seen a real live First Being, let alone a Djinni. Besides, he should’ve known better than to think desert dwellers would believe Djinn bled anything other than pure fire—or that anyone in Deadshot would believe themselves good folk. And this: Even with my face covered from the nose down, Hasan must’ve seen the hesitation. His attention was already wandering past me, like he figured I was about to walk away. That was what did it. I dropped the money on the table in a jangling handful of louzi and half-louzi that I’d scrimped one by one over the past three years. Aunt Farrah always said I didn’t seem to mind proving myself dumb if it meant proving someone else wrong. Amani Al'Hiza is a sharpshooter who's been living with her creeper uncle, who wants to make her one of his wives (ICK), and her equally unpleasant aunt since her mother was hung for reasons unknown nearly a year prior. Unsurprisingly, Amani does not want to become one of her uncle's wives, so she takes the money she's scrounged and stolen over the last several years, and uses it to enter herself in a contest, planning to use the prize money to get the hell out of dodge. Things don't go as planned. That's as far as I got with the preview, but the writing is fantastic and authentic, and I want the rest of it NOW.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kassidy

    *3.75*

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