Review: The Blazing Star

I am so torn about this book… From the very first moment I laid my eyes on its cover I desperately wanted to love it! But, as things turned out, I didn’t. It’s not that I hated or didn’t enjoy it, but it did not live up to my – admittingly too high- expectations.

Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.

But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?

She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.

Great.

Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.

As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.

The premise of the story is sooo good; three girls time-travelling to ancient Egypt!! The summary promises adventure, self-discovery, sisterhood, excitement. And to be fair, it does not fail to deliver them. It could, however, be so much more; t could be much more adventurous, much more exciting. I felt like there was something missing , something that I can’t quite put my finger on. I understand though, that this is a debut novel and I am expecting its sequel to be really good!

One of the things that I loved the most about the story was its setting in ancient Egypt. I absolutely adore the civilization, and I loved the positive representation that came with this choice of setting; black people, and especially black women, were in the spotlight.

What made the story for me were the dynamics that developed between the characters. I usually prefer character-driven over plot-driven books, because most of the time, having a well-developed plot full of twists, leaves no room for character development. Blazing Star is an exception; even though it is a heavily plot-driven book, its characters were – for me- much more compelling than the actual events. Every bond was individually developed and explored just enough to leave you craving for more.

Another part I am not used to loving in books, but ended up loving in this one, was the romance. It was natural, it was well-written, it wasn’t insta love. The characters actually had chemistry, were a delight to read about and I actually loved them individually as much as I loved them together. So, I am curious to see how this is going to develop and turn out.

Overall, the Blazing Star was a really good book. I went into it with expectations too high and this is why I did not enjoy it as much as I would’ve otherwise, but I could never regret reading it and I am looking forward to its sequel!

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