Here is my review for The Blazing Star, by Imani Josey.
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Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius. But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?
She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.
Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.
As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.
- different setting from any regular YA fantasy novel
- amazing WOC set of main characters
- vivid imagery
- lacks in world building and general explaining of things
- super abrupt ending
When I was younger I was kinda obsessed with old Egypt so when I learned about this book, I really wanted to read it! I have to admit I have read very little fantasy books with a non western inspired setting so I was super excited. And hello, gorgeous cover! The part until Portia goes back in time was pretty standard YA, which is totally fine. After that, things kinda pick up but it’s also there I encountered the biggest problem I had with this book: the world building just isn’t enough. There’s a real lack of explaining. Things or people are introduced without much description so, it’s hard to sometimes know what is being referred to. I have a few images of egyptian civilisation in my head already but I feel like, if I hadn’t, it was going to be really hard to follow the story. But, when Josey takes the time to talk about the surroundings of her story, you are totally there. It almost felt like I could look around and see myself in that world. And the women she created! The main cast of characters is mainly composed of just women, of colour, and they’re all amazing. Super strong and with such distinct personalities. I wish some had more page time. I didn’t really like the relationship of Portia’s and the love interest, it was too much instalove. The other thing I found strange was the use of the word twinning (which I didn’t even knew was a really word). It was… odd. But maybe it’s something used by twins and that I can start to understand. Even with some flaws, I was enjoying the book. But I have to say, the ending was really disappointing. It was so abrupt and weird. I didn’t even knew this was supposed to be the first in a series so it was even more weird. Nevertheless, this is a really fun book to read. I would absolutely recommend it to any fantasy lovers.
Is anyone curious to read this one? Please let me know!
See you guys soon,