Monday, December 12, 2016

ARC Review: The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

Title: The Blazing Star
Written by: Imani Josey
Published: December 6, 2016 by Wise Ink
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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. 


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

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

Oh man, I really wanted to love this book. It sounded so unique and right up my alley which is why I picked up a copy from Netgalley. But unfortunately it really didn't work for me.

The thing I liked most about it was the world building. There are not many books set in Ancient Egypt and it is a time period that I have always found intriguing so I was really excited to read a book set there and then. And honestly, that was amazing. You can tell the author did her research. There was so much to learn about the culture and mythology and so much to see with the location and setting. That is one of the things I love about historical fiction and it is what I enjoyed most about this book. Ancient Egypt definitely came alive here.

But there was a very heavy focus on the world of the book and that was to the detriment of the plot and pacing. As far as the pacing goes, this should have been a fast read. I mean it's not very long. The finished copy is less than 300 pages and the ARC is closer to 250. But it took me 10 days to read it. And I didn't stop. I read every day but I just couldn't GR into it. The beginning had a ton of exposition and the plot just didn't kick in until way later than I like. And then when we got to the ending there was just a ton of falling action. The pacing just didn't work for me as a plot driven reader.

I think my biggest frustration with this book, however, was the plot development. Even now as I finish the book I'm not sure what the hell even happened. What was the plot of this book? Was it the political stuff? Maybe. There was so plotting and scheming for the throne. Was it the fantasy elements? Probably not, but there was a bit of a focus on the magic. How about the coming-of-age character development? Maybe. That was a part of it. I think maybe this was just a case of more is less. There were a lot of different elements that never totally solidified for me and that is a lot of the reason why I didn't enjoy the plot of this book.

As far as the characters of this book though, they were fine. I liked the main character of Portia enough but she didn't blow me away. I could totally connect with her in the beginning as she wanted to distance herself from her twin and become her own person while still feeling like she wasn't good enough. I think that if there was more of that with the plot I would have liked her and maybe even the book a little more. Some of the bigger secondary characters like Alwx and Selene were interesting as well but they didn't make a big enough impression. But honestly, no one made a very big impression. There were a ton of characters here and there was so much connection between them that I kept forgetting who knew who and why. And that pulled me out of the book as much as anything else.

On the whole this book definitely didn't work for me. It had a great world and a good main character but the focus was too broad and the plot development just didn't hook me. I was really looking forward to this book and unfortunately it just wasn't my kind of read.

I give The Blazing Star by Imani Josey 6 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Bypass. This is by no means a bad book. It definitely has some good reviews and I think if it finds the right reader it will be a hit. I am not the right reader though. If you are the kind of reader that is okay with a lush setting and slimmer plot than maybe check this one out.

Have you read The Blazing Star? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I have seen so many mixed reviews for this book that I just don't know what to do! I love the idea of time travel to Ancient Egypt but I also want a really amazing plot! :/ I may just wait until I'm able to (hopefully) get an audiobook. Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. It might be better on audio. The world is really interesting and I think sometimes that works well on audio. But yeah, for the time being I would maybe pass on this one.

  2. Darn! I had my eye on this one, but it doesn't sound like it would be for me either. Sorry it wasn't everything you were hoping for!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Sorry, Nicole. I was totally bummed about it. But like I said, it's not a bad book, it's just not one that worked for me.

  3. Awww, I'm sad to hear about this! It sounds like a cool book, and it's an #ownvoices book which is awesome! The world building does sound very cool but that's disappointing that the plot and pacing just didn't measure up. Great review, though! :)