Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
(Amazon|Book Depository|Goodreads)

Rating:
Pages: 368
Source: Purchased
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Published by: Faber & Faber
Pubilcation Date: February 4th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Young Adult

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.

2016-fave

Rebel of the Sands Alwyn Hamilton Review

Woah. I was not expecting myself to end up loving this book so much. Like really. We got off to a bad start, and I considered DNFing when I was about 60 pages in… But thank goodness I didn’t because I would have missed out on an epic and beautiful adventure. After the 100 page mark, I was on the edge of my seat needing to know everything. 

“The world makes things for each place. Fish for the sea, Rocs for the mountain skies, and girls with sun in their skin and perfect aim for a desert that doesn’t let weakness live.”

I even made a character collage. So yeah, I basically went from zero to full-on fangirl mode within an hour. And you know what I’ve come to realise? I LOVE STORIES SET IN DESERTS WITH MIDDLE EASTERN THEMES. LOVE THEM. This even has a Western twist. (Be very excited).

Rebel of the Sands Alwyn Hamilton Book Review Characters

The story follows Amani and Jin on their adventure through the desert, and they come across some incredibly interesting things. But I shall say no more about those things, other than there was so much more to the world than I expected.

I started off not really liking Amani that much, but she really grew on me and the both of them are very loveable characters. Their romance is slow burn, and they make a great team. Obviously, I ship the shiznit out of them because they are ADORABLE in their own cute adventurous and mischievous way.

“Jin always smiled at me like we were both about to be in big trouble and he loved it.”

swoon

The world building is done really well, although a bit confusing at times. There is a lot going on since they’re travelling a lot, but once you start to know all the different places and names, it’s really great. I just wish there had been a map included. I love maps. 

“Aunt Farrah always said I didn’t seem to mind proving myself dumb if it meant proving someone else wrong.”

The characters and places introduced later in the book are so intriguing and I can’t wait to find out more about them. The actual plot itself was really great, I liked all the aspects to it and it was not predictable. Somehow I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming, and was like… Wait. What? HECK YEAH! This is so what I signed up for.

heck yeah

The ending was total perfection, everything wound together just right. It isn’t a cliffhanger but you’ll be dying to read the sequel. (We can all suffer together, right? Strength in numbers, people!).

This is definitely not a book to be missed, especially if you are a fan of The Wrath & The Dawn!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 4.2 / 5

About Alwyn Hamilton

Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing
    February 5, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Sadly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Wrath & The Dawn :/ But I like the Middle Eastern topic in my books as well so I may give this book a chance one day. Your enthusiasm is catchy, Anissa 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Oh noo, well hopefully if you ever do read this one you will prefer it! 🙂 I just got the HB of it today because I loved it so much, and the HB is sooooo darn beautiful *heart eyes emoji*

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Bookfever
    February 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Okay… Now I REALLY want to read the book after reading your review, Anissa! I just think I can’t buy it anytime soon but it’s definitely on the top of my list. 😀

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      YAAAAS, Stephanie, you need to read it! I hope you’ll love it as much as I did. Link me your review if you ever do read it! 😀

  • Reply
    Suze
    February 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Great review, I loved this book! It’s such a unique story. I also really like your character collage, it matches the book very well :).

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I’m glad you loved it too, it was such a fun read! I purchased the HB copy of it too because I loved it so much, and it is soooo darn gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Wattle
    February 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I love all the gifs you used 😛 I’ve not heard of this one before hmmm, not sure if it’s my thing or not, but I shall add it to the TBR anyway. If it comes down to it, I can always just imagine Jake Gyllenhaal as Jin haha

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Hehehe, thank you! You can never go wrong with Jake haha! I hope you do read it someday, it’s a great one! 🙂

  • Reply
    Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages
    February 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    YAAAY! I’m so glad you loved it in the end! I KNEW THIS WOULD BE A GREAT BOOK, HA! Now I’m even more excited for my copy to arrive but it takes a month (!!!) – whyyyy did I buy the hardcover edition? Ugh! Great review, my dear! ♥

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Hahaha, YESSS it’s soooo good! Thank you so much! My HB copy just arrived today, I’m so glad I bought it too because the HB is just soooo gorgeous! I know you’re reading this now and I hope you love it as much as I did! ♥

  • Reply
    Omobola
    February 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for this review. It came as a blessing as I am going through a dry spell right now

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      You’re welcome! 😀

  • Reply
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout
    February 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Okay but I am legit SO EXCITED for this? The cover is gorgeous, the setting is just what I want to read more of, your character collage basically SLAYED me, and I loved TWATD!!! Added this to the TBR already and practically certain I’ll get it at some point. Yay!

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      IT IS SO GOOD! Ahh, I hope you get it soon, this is a must have! <3 <3

  • Reply
    czai
    February 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I’ve been seeing this book a lot. The romance, the world, and great plot. I like intriguing reads and even I haven’t read any middle eastern themed books, you just made me excited to read this!! Great review! 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you! 😀 I hope you do get to read it soon, it definitely shouldn’t be missed! 🙂

  • Reply
    Daniela Ark
    February 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    love the character collage! 🙂 I like that you couldn’t see any of the plot twists coming! It is hard to surprise avid readers. Great review 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Hehe thank you so much! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland
    February 7, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I was a bit worried about this, just because I REALLY WANTED to read this book and I was worried it wouldn’t deliver. However you’ve completely convinced me my fears are unfounded! I hope I can get my hands on this soon. I’m ready for an awesome plot and world!

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      BEC YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK AND WE SHALL FANGIRL TOGETHER. That’s hoping you’ll love it as much as I did, haha! 😀

  • Reply
    Emily @ Loony Literate
    February 8, 2016 at 8:25 am

    FANS OF WRATH AND THE DAWN? Yes please. I love Middle Eastern-set books! Although yes, maps are essential with books like this 😉

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Yaaaas, it is a glorious book! I hope you get your hands on a copy soon 😀

  • Reply
    Chiara
    February 9, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I absolutely love it when you think about DNFing a book, but keep on going, and then it turns out to be a book you really like! Best feeling ever 😀

    I’ve seen this book around, but haven’t added it to the TBR yet because I am so hesitant to start new series. *stares at the 80 series I’m currently reading* But I have to say that I am pretty interested in reading it! I haven’t read many books set in the desert, but I did love the novella in The Assassin’s Blade where Celaena was in the desert, which bodes well for this book, I think.

    PLUS, YOU USED JAKE IN YOUR FANGIRL COLLAGE SO I NEED IT.

    Lovely review 😀

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      YOU CAN NEVER SAY NO TO JAKE xD Thank you so much! I hope you get to read it soon, it really is rather awesome! 😀

  • Reply
    Kynndra-jo @ Diva Booknerd
    February 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I’m so happy to hear you liked this one, even if it took a little while to enjoy! I’m really looking forward to its release as I found the synopsis intriguing from the get-go. Your review has only made me more excited! Can’t wait to read it c:

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      I’m glad, it’s such a great book – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

  • Reply
    Gabi @ Let's Gab About Books
    February 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I love this glowing review! I have been hearing a lot about this book here and there, and I think that I might actually read it sooner rather than later. I haven’t really read many books with settings like this one, but I love that they are more frequent lately, and want to check this one out. 🙂 also, at first mention of slow burn romance I AM SO THERE. It’s my fav. <3 great review, as always, Anissa!

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Gabi! 😀 I reaaaaally hope you get to read this one soon and that you love it as much as I did! Please link me your review if you ever do read it! <3

  • Reply
    Alise
    February 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I’m really glad you reviewed this one but I was unsure about it until this point. Like you, I didn’t really expect to like it so while it was on my TBR, it was pretty far down. BUT NOW. I NEED. Seems like it has my favorite kind of romance in it 😉

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      YOU NEED TO READ IT. And then I need to read your review, and hope you love it as much as I did! 😀

  • Reply
    Nikki Wang
    February 13, 2016 at 4:03 am

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’M SO JEALOUS YOU READ THIS I STILL HAVE TO GET MY HANDS ON A COPY. IT looks so so fabulous and I’m glad you liked it! I’m such a huge fan of The Wrath and the Dawn and GAHHHHHH SO EXCITED. Lovely review!

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I HOPE YOU GET TO READ IT SOOOOON MY DEAR, and I hope you love it as much as I did! Thank you so much <3 <3

  • Reply
    Jordan @ The Heart of a Book Blogger
    February 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn, and this definitely sounds like a book I’ll love, too! I’m so excited for Rebel of the Sands to release in the US next month! I’m glad to hear that the plot and romance were great! Lovely review! 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you get to read it soon and love it as much as I did! 😀

  • Reply
    Cait @ Paper Fury
    February 14, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Omg you WIN for the gifs in this review. XDXD THAT IS PERFECTION. Ahem. So I just finished this last night and loooooved it. <3 I loved Amani the whole time though, and zomg Jin was adorable and perfect. *happy sigh* I loved their like sort of piratey romance? Like I don't know how to describe it. xD They totally screwed each other over and stole from each other BUT THEN THEY STILL WORKED OUT AND IT WAS AWESOME. heh. I need book 2 immediately though. omg.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOD! 😀 😀 I’m so glad you loved it too! And yes book 2 right meow puh-lezzzz.

  • Reply
    Nick
    February 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I am SO excited for this one! I’m hoping to pick it up later this week and it looks like I’m in for a ride. I’ll have to remember what you said about not really liking Amani in the beginning. I’m so quick to DNF when that happens. I’m most excited about that slow burn romance though. It sounds really well-done. And of course the world building sounds like it’s going to be appeal to me as well. I’m happy you loved this one!
    Lovely review! 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      February 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Yess, I’m excited for you! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for you review, I hope you end up loving it as much as I did and then we can do ALL THE FANGIRLINGS! 😀 Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lonna
    February 27, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Your review makes me very excited to read this book. It’s been on my radar, and I’ve come across many positive reviews. I’m glad you mentioned the slow start–I’ll make sure to be patient. 🙂 Have you read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir? I think they have a similar theme–cinematic, past-paced, and all that goodness. 🙂

    • Reply
      Anissa
      March 14, 2016 at 12:57 am

      I haven’t actually, but I own a copy of it and I really need to read it soon! 🙂 I really hope you get to read Rebel of the Sands soon, it is truly amazing!

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