Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton || Underwhelmed with a dash of excitement?

Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands #1

Alwyn Hamilton

book review 25.jpg

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. 

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Published: March 8th 2016



Trigger Warning




Sexism, Misogyny, Death

“Haven’t you ever wanted something so bad that it becomes more than a want? I need to get out of this town. I need it like I need to breathe.” 

There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and I can see why— Debut author? Check. Badass gunslinging girl? Check. Western/Arabian mix? Check. This was made for greatness… I was just underwhelmed. It was enjoyable, but maybe the excitement got my expectations too high.

In the small town of Dustwalk, Amani has two choices: end up ‘wed or dead’. Desperate to get out, she leaves with the mysterious Jin into the desert, which is filled with all kind of creatures. Being a Western/ Arabian mix, there was a lot of uniqueness to the story. We have djinn, desert creatures and so much more that the characters have to deal with.

coffee divider 2

“I believe money and guns get you a lot further in a war than magic these days.” 

We’re in the desert for a long while, so I can’t say the imagery was anything special? I wasn’t really captivated by it or paying attention to it, but that isn’t even my main issue, the characters were.

rebel of the sands fan art.jpg

Amani was cool, both as a main character and under pressure. Her nickname ‘The Blue-Eyed Bandit’ was nice, too, but other than that, I didn’t connect with her. She was the stereotypical, special snowflake character… because she didn’t have really any motivation. She wanted to get out of Dustwalk. Alright. Now what? Then this pretty boy with nice eyes comes in and all of his plans are now your plans.

It was like looking from the outside in, which is sad because I wanted to be in the world with them.

coffee divider 2

“You know, I never believed in fate until I met you… then I started thinking coincidence didn’t have near so cruel a sense of humor” 

Jin also was pretty basic as well as the romance. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. Again, he was just a way out of her fate in Dustwalk and she was a mysterious girl who was good with guns. At least, that’s how I saw it. Their development just felt instalovey and with the situations they were put in, a great relationship romantic or not could have been made.

The side characters are interesting, but forgettable. I couldn’t tell you any of their names. There was a lot of action, though. I especially liked the train scene towards the beginning after she escapes Dustwalk.

coffee divider 2

Towards the end, things did start to pick up. Characters development became more front-lined and there were some wow I can’t believe that happened moments. Something I’m kind of disappointed in was a character we meet towards the end who I really wanted to know about… and he died.

And the secret surrounding Amani was so very obvious. Despite all of my griping, I really want to know what happens next because I did have a good time reading this. 


2 thoughts on “Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton || Underwhelmed with a dash of excitement?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s