Rebel of the Sands - REVIEW

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Published By: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Genre: YA, Fantasy

"She's more gunpowder than girl."  

With that one line I was hooked. Amani is a self taught sharp shooter, and incredibly good! Desperate to escape her town, and her disgusting Uncle who is threatening to marry her, she disguises herself as a boy and enters a shooting competition in hopes of winning enough money to get her to the town of Izman. She meets an intriguing foreigner, buraqis or sand horses, skinwalkers, djinni and all sorts of interesting characters with various powers along the way.
This book was a fun mix of Middle Eastern/Western/Fantasy with great characters. I really liked the setting, the writing style, and the romance was nice for three reasons

1. It didn't play a huge role
2. No love triangle
3. No insta-love (in fact Amani is more than willing to drug Jin, steal his things and leave him in the dust)

Some of the reveals I definitely saw coming, but I don't think Hamilton was trying very hard to hide them from the readers since we had many clues and hints throughout. I was a little disappointed towards the end when the thing that made Amani special to me, her sharp shooting ability, was pushed aside in favor of other ways of fighting. Not that her other abilities aren't fantastic, I was just sad to see her use her gun less. 

Amani showed a lot of growth by the end, and it was nice to see her put others first and not abandon them in favor her own need to survive. This is a book I would recommend, especially since it only took me two days to read. Needless to say, it held my attention. I was surprised to discover this was a debut novel. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Great Read!

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