Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

A 60 Second Review by Anne Brees
★★★★☆ (3.75)
Genre – Young Adult Fantasy

Summary – She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her 24934065hands.

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.

Initial Thoughts – I enjoyed this book, but it just felt like every other fantasy/Western novel I’ve read recently. I loved Amani and the setting, but nothing else really stood out.
Plot – ★★★☆☆ Nothing plotwise caught my attention in this book. There were no twists that truly surprised me.
Characters – ★★★★☆ I loved, loved, loved Amani and her sharp tongue. She was strong because she taught herself to be and somehow, choosing to save herself instead of someone else, made her even more likable to me. The rest of the characters were okay, though they could have used some more developing.
Story world – ★★★★☆ Throughout reading this, I could practically feel the sand sticking to my skin. However, the history and mythology surrounding the djinni could have used just a little more detail and mention.
Style – ★★★★☆  Nothing about Hamilton’s style really stood out. It was developed and fluid, but it didn’t have that extra something.
Closing Thoughts – This book would have been a pretty good book, if I hadn’t already read several like it. Hopefully in the next book, we can experience Amani’s awesome character in a much better plot.
Recommendation – Recommended for lovers of mystical creatures, sharp wit, and wild shoot-outs.

(summary and cover from GoodReads)
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