ARC Review: The Blazing Star

The Blazing StarThe Blazing Star by Imani Josey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: December 6, 2016

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.

If you love Egyptian mythology, time travel and secret plots, you will like this book. The plot revolves around Portia and her twin, Alex, who, along with a classmate, are summoned to ancient Egypt via an enchanted necklace. There, the girls learn the secrets of their lives, their powers and a nefarious plot that is threatening the Horus Throne. When Portia first lands in Egypt, she is separated from the other two girls in this land that doesn’t make much sense to her. She meets this soldier who helps her get to the temple of Isis, where she then finds a place among the priestesses, and eventually her classmate and her sister. They are looking for a way back to their time but their path is blocked by the power struggle brewing.

The first half builds on a good premise, setting up the mythology that is revealed at the mid-way point. But the second half is where it sort of falls apart. There seemed to be too many characters to keep track of, and even the addition of Seti seemed superfluous and only to add forced romance to the plot. Also, I found the timeline of the book confusing – on some occasions only a day is supposed to pass, but it seems like a week has, and is also plagued a bit by plotholes. Additionally, though it has a novel setting and a POC heroine, it falls back on tired tropes like: prince-in-disguise, the arranged marriage, heroine being powerful but without control or ability except when the plot demands it, and so on. Overall, the book had potential but I expected more from it and do so from the sequel.

Received a free galley from Wise Ink Creative Publishing via Netgalley.

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