***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Rebel of the Sands was easily one of my most anticipated reads of the year yet I ended up not loving it as much as I had wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book. The second half just ended up letting me down with the amount of ‘twists’ that came.
The first half of the book built on the tension between the two characters and was full of awesome badassery. The second half got better and then all of a sudden, there were too many revelations that weren’t fully developed.
So. Amani is best described as badass. I LOVE HER. She has some epic shooting skills and can take care of herself. It is so much fun watching her journey across the land, even as she screws up from time to time. Amani isn’t afraid of making mistakes and she is a strong character. If the apocalypse happened, I would want her on my side. Unfortunately, I also think it would have been nice to see her character develop a little bit more.
Jin is SUPER SWOONY. #loveatfirstsight (one of these days I am going to do a review completely in hashtags.) Their romance is nice and slow burn in the first half of the book but in the second half, things progress too quickly. They go from this slow-burn romance to love and it didn’t fit with the pace at which their romance had been developing. It’s not insta love since they were together for over two months but, it is something…
The world building in this book is amazing. The author did such a good job at making the world come to life. I LOVED the descriptions, I loved the setting and I loved the way magic became part of this world. The author clearly knew what she wanted readers to get from her world and did a good job at bringing pieces together.
Things get a little iffy with the plot. I loved the direction the book seemed to be heading in and one of the first big revelations had me jumping off the walls. I was ready for more and excited to see what would follow the revelation and how it would affect Amani. Unfortunately, we got a bunch of other revelations to follow that one and I don’t think it worked. It left no room for real development and made lots of relationships in the books feel rushed.
It also made the second half of the book feel rushed in general. We went from a comfortable pace in the first half to moving very fast in the second half. Basically, there is a divide in the book between the first half and the second half, and I would have enjoyed the second half more if it wasn’t rushed. I like fast paced books, I don’t like fast paces when they leave no room for development and this seemed to be the case here.
Having said that, I DID really enjoy reading the book. It was such an amazing premise and the author followed through (for the most part.) Rebel of the Sands was definitely worth the read and it goes by fast. I cannot wait to see what awaits us in the sequel.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
"Emily: Prequel to the Evolution Trilogy" by Vanessa Wester is a welcome addition to the series. Instead of re-opening the plotlines and meddling with what has ended, the author went down the - in my opinion - much suitable path of putting the spotlight on an area or person. I'm a big fan of those encores and Wester has done very well in this one.
The story itself is a character study that works well on its own, the inner torment of a woman who is different, a young love with difficulties and obstacles.
Moving and with beautiful empathy this is a heartfelt and well written prequel. For fans of the series a definite must but also a success on its own.
"First Date: Love & Regrets" by Vanessa Wester is the short and well written story of a first date, one that brings back the rush and excitement of that youthful time for many. Hopes and fears, worries and expectations, and then reality, which is always different.
In this case we question the motifs for the date and we have another man present, making this a playful and exciting read as we wait what will happen.
The cover is very poignant, signifying the sparks and fireworks of young love and fancy. The book was free on Amazon at the time of purchase and turned out to be a real treat.
"First Date" by Vanessa Wester is composed of three delightful shorts, each approaching love from a different angle. The first reminds us all of how tumultuous young love or "infatuation" can be, never knowing how your heart truly feels until it's forced to decide. The second was my favorite because it threw a bit of otherworldly interest into the mix. I loved the idea of a cupid sent from above to help us out. And the final short reminds us that what once was can never be again. This book was a great way to spend some down time without having to get embroiled in complicated subplots and character analysis. Easy beach or before bed read!