Hello my beautiful little nerds! I’ve been on quite the hiatus lately, trying to be an adult and all (not necessarily succeeding but hey, sue me for trying). But that hasn’t stopped me from cramming my pointy-ass nose in about eight books since I’ve last updated. Which brings me to my next review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I received this book in my first ever Uppercase Box. The Uppercase Box is basically a book-of-the-month club except they send you all sorts of different literary goodies along with one newly-released novel. It’s $29.99 a month and I don’t care what my boyfriend says, it’s worth every goddamn penny.
When I first opened the Uppercase Box, the pleasure center of my brain imploded. TEAL AND GOLD, mankind’s greatest color combination this side of the galaxy (your opinion is irrelevant). This could have been the most monotonous book ever written and I would still keep it out on my coffee table solely as a decoration. I want a teal casket when they lower me into the ground. With teal and gold flowers. Teal everything forever. Which brings me to the first part of my review, the aesthetics of this beaut.
WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT IT. Let me set the tone so you can truly appreciate the thought that went into creating this baby. The novel takes place in an Arabian-like desert. Look at the sand! Each new chapter page has sand scattered across the top, and every other page is adorned with sand along the spine. I can’t take it. I want to meet the creator and shake their goddamn hand. So much time and thought went into producing this bad boy and this reader highly appreciates it.
As mentioned before, Rebel of the Sands takes place in the desert. Think similar to Aladdin (I’m a Disney freak so that’s how I imagined it). Easiest way to describe the genre, you ask? Western/fantasy/persian/dystopian/magically fantastic. Hamilton focuses on Amani, a young girl with dreams of a bigger life than the measly one she’s been a part of for fifteen years. Also, she’s a gun-toting badass who gives zero fucks. My kind of lady. Give me a young girl who knows her place in life and fights for what she believes in and you have yourself a loyal reader. Without giving too much away, Amani escapes her sexist, rundown town in search of a better tomorrow… and obviously there’s a love interest involved. Enter Jin, with his strong jaw and defined cheekbones *swoons*. I’m not going to lie, the first 3/4 of the book is pretty damn slow… it centers on Amani and Jin’s travels, which inevitably end up in disaster after disaster. It’s not until the last quarter of the book when the real magic takes place, and I mean that quite literally. Again, without giving too much away, revelations are had and a secret magical world is stumbled upon. With mystical, flaming horses and everything. And my god is the ending fucking fantastic.
Hamilton creates a unique language throughout the novel which makes it somewhat hard to follow at times. The formerly mentioned magic horses are referred to as Buraqi, for example. People from the “old times” who are known to have magical powers are referred to as the Djinni. Those are just two words of the complex language she created throughout the book, which I give Hamilton made props for. Writing a novel in itself is beyond hard work, but adding your own secret language throughout it had to be beyond confusing at times. Good for you, girl.
This was Alwyn Hamilton’s first book. The complexity of the language and story line made it feel like she’s been around for years. This woman is able to paint such a beautiful picture in the minds of anyone who picks up her book. I’m seriously contemplating naming my first-born daughter after her. Alwyn is a kickass writer with a kickass name to match. And her dedication at the beginning will bring tears to your eyes.
Purchase Rebel of the Sands by clicking here.
That’s all she wrote, folks! XOXO ♥ G