Rebel of the Sands follows Amani, a blue eyed, gun slinging girl who wants nothing more then to leave her aptly named backwater town of Dustwalk. Amani decides to use her best talent to raise the money she needs for a one way ticket out, and goes to a shooting competition, sure she will be the best shot. She wasn’t expecting Jin, a foreigner with eyes that seem to see right through her disguise to the girl she is beneath.
After finding out Jin is a fugitive being looked for by the Sultan’s men, Amani decides to ally herself with him in the hopes he will get her out of Dustwalk. This begins a wild adventure full of mystery, deceit and friendship (and maybe romance??)
Set somewhere between a Arabian desert and an American Western, complete with guns, swords and a whole lot of sand, you can’t fault Rebel of the Sand’s originality- it has it in droves. I have never before read a fantasy book set the way this book was. Unfortunately I didn’t much enjoy the storyline that much. There where very long periods of dragging descriptions, and then some very fast paced scenes that ended very quickly, and it was all enough to give me mental whiplash.
I also just didn’t connect with the characters, and I had already forgotten their names when I went to write this review, and had to go look them up.
That being said the book really became interesting in the last 90 pages, and it was then that I was really pulled in, it’s just a shame I didn’t feel like that the whole way through. I probably will still pick up the second book when it comes out next year, depending on how I feel then.
I have to admit that maybe my problems with this book are self inflicted- I read it very fast. I grew bored and decided to push through regardless, reading faster and faster, all so I could tick it off my list and say I had read it. That probably didn’t help.
I’m giving Rebel of the Sands 3 ice creams out of 5.
Rebel of the Sands definitely has a lot going for it; adventure, fantasy, two great PoC leads who have interesting backstories and strong complex storylines. Lot’s of people loved it, but it just didn’t fit right for me. I don’t know what it was, but the whole book felt hollow, and I never really connected. I would definitely give it a go if you like fantasy, seeing as I’m going against the grain with this review.