Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

April 10, 2016 Review 26 ★★★★

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

Publisher: Penguin
Source: Purchased
Pages: 320
Release Date: March 8th 2016
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & 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.

‘You are this country, Amani.’ He spoke more quietly now. ‘More alive than anything ought to be in this place. All fire and gunpowder, with one finger always on the trigger.”

The hype for this book was strong. So strong I couldn’t resist ordering it online with rush shipping even though I didn’t read it right away. I never said I make good life decisions.Once I did finally pick it up and read it, I came to the conclusion that the hype lied to me a little. It was good, but it wasn’t awesome.

What was awesome, though, was Amani. Amani is one kick-ass heroine. In a world where women are basically possessions and treated like dirt, Amani not only wishes for better, she reaches out and takes it. She wants out of her situation and she works hard to do it through whatever means necessary. And her character development, though.

you go girl

REBEL OF THE SANDS is definitely not lacking when it comes to action and suspense. From the very beginning, this book caught my attention and held it. Although there were some slow parts in the middle, where the dreaded traveling scenes took place, the action kicked back up again towards the middle of the second half of the book.

And when I say things picked, things really picked up. I didn’t put the second half of the book down once, and every chapter ending only made me that much more anxious to get to the next chapter. It feels like anything could happen to your favorite characters at any time, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. The fantasy and magic elements finally come into play, and the stakes get higher.

However, there was one negative to ALL THE THINGS being revealed somewhat towards the end and that was that the pacing then just felt off. So many major plot points are only made evident late in the game so they seemed kind of randomly thrown in since there weren’t hints of them before. View Spoiler »

Everyone seemed to love the romance in this one and while I didn’t see anything wrong with it, I couldn’t totally ship it either. The relationship wasn’t exactly built on truth and I never saw much other than friendship between them other than a few scenes. I also never totally got the chemistry between the two *dodges tomatoes* but I’m in the minority.

Outside of the badassery of the main character, I would have to say the side characters were the most interesting. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of them until the second half of the book. From what we do know of them and their backstories, I really want to know more about them and hope they make an appearance in the sequel.

Ending on somewhat of a cliffhanger, I’m anxious to see where this story is headed. 

rebel of the sands quote

26 Responses to “Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton”

  1. Omobola

    I liked the book but I can get your point about it not being all that awesome. And yes, their relationship was more like early stages of friendship to me too but I didn’t have high expectations going in so I wasn’t that disappointed. Nice review
    Omobola recently posted…Book Review: The Mirror King

    • Alise

      Right? It still seems more like a friendship to me, I hope we see some more development later on. Thanks!

    • Alise

      Yeah, exactly! I’m glad I read it but I wasn’t blown away. I’m glad I’m not the only one! I didn’t hate them together but I didn’t see the chemistry ><

  2. Kirsty-Marie Jones

    Yeah, so with you with the hype, which left me disappointed with it, I loved it, but didn’t love love it, took me well over half way to get into it (but yes with the action when it really got started) and yeah, there wasn’t many hints so it did feel a bit random, but I did love that twist. Now that the intro to everything is done, hopefully the second in the series will basically be perfect.
    Kirsty-Marie Jones recently posted…And I’m a little bit scared tonight, I need to run just far enough, so
    I can smile again, smile again, so I can smile again

    • Alise

      Yes! It’s interested how many people have the same opinion, I thought I would be kind of a black sheep. I agree, the twist added some much needed extra oomph but boy, did it come out of nowhere.

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Funnily enough, most of the reviews I’ve read for this one have been middling. I still want to read it because I LOVE desert settings – and kick ass females :D but I’m in no big rush! I’m glad the pacing picked up in the second half though…better that than the other way around: exciting first half that lags for the second half o_O
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The House of Hades

    • Alise

      Desert setting are usually fun! Amani really is great, so no problems there :) I don’t know, I’m more likely to DNF this way haha

  4. Sara L.

    Nice review, Alise. I’ve been on the fence about checking out Rebel of the Sands… mostly because I’m wary of overhyped books now. So I’m waiting to read some reviews before I commit. Not sure if I’m there yet, but I’m glad to hear you at least liked the book.
    Sara L. recently posted…Chronicling The Craft: Draft #3 Begins!

  5. Lonna

    Alise, you’re hilarious with the striked out phrase… “I never said I make good life decisions.” Rest assured I think you speak for many of us, and me for sure. I’m glad the story really picked up during the second half, even if certain parts did seem a bit random. Great review!
    Lonna recently posted…Rarity from the Hollow Review and Giveaway

  6. Emily @ Loony Literate

    This sounds so awesome but I don’t actually know if it’s my thing! I guess I tend to avoid the hype for these kinds of books because I know they won’t be to my liking?

  7. Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things

    YES this is me! The hype lied to me! Because although this book was good it wasn’t amazing and so I went into it with high expectation and came out of it a tad disappointing. I really only started connecting with the characters towards the end, I’m looking forward to the sequel because same as you I really loved the side characters and I’m excited to learn more about them.
    Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things recently posted…The Bookshelf Tag/Mini Bookshelf Tour

    • Alise

      Yep, same for me! Now that everything is set up hopefully we see a lot of great things from the next book.

  8. Olivia Galt

    Great review! I’ve been super excited to read this one! Hopefully, i’ll really enjoy it. And I totally understand about not reading it right away even though you were so excited about it. That happens to me all the time – books end up sitting around when I thought i’d read it ASAP. It’s a strange phenomenon. :D
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages
    Olivia Galt recently posted…Back To Blogging

    • Alise

      Exactly! So much just came out of nowhere, I really wish it had been built on throughout the book instead of just kind of thrown in. Thank you!

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