The Blazing Star Paperback – 6 Dec 2016
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About the Author
Imani Josey is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. In her previous life, she was a cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Her one-act play, Grace, was produced by Pegasus Players Theatre Chicago after winning the 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. In recent years, she has turned her sights to long-form fiction. She now spends the majority of her time working on backstory, teaching dance fitness classes, and cuddling with her American bulldog, Thor. The Blazing Star is her debut novel.
Top customer reviews
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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 centre 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 realise 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.The first 30/40 pages of this book were quite slow and
The first 30/40 pages of this book were quite slow and almost made me give up on it. But then I realised that I can't really judge a book by the first 30 pages and anyway, I'm here to review the entirety of the book, not just a little bit of it. So I carried on, and I'm so glad that I did. Ancient Egypt sounds amazing. I love how Josey portrayed this time in history and how she was so good at the cultural appropriation. She described the clothing that they wore, the Gods that they believed in, and the superstitions that surrounded the Egyptians of that time.
I could relate to Portia in so many ways. Even though I am not a twin, I know what it feels like to live in someone's shadow and constantly compare your achievements to someone else's, so Alex tended to really annoy me. It was no fault of her own, she wasn't annoying on purpose, I just felt what Portia felt. But when they got sent to Ancient Egypt, that's when Alex actually started to annoy me because of her actions. She was desperate to get back home and I understand that I really do, but you're in ANCIENT EGYPT! TAKE IT ALL IN! LIVE IT! BREATHE IT! Because how many times can one experience that type of history first hand? She was lucky to be able to partake in the Egyptian lifestyle and she just seemed so ungrateful of everything that the High Priestess did for her.
“You have kept me from a dishonourable death," he said. "It would be my honour to do the same for you."
I smiled at the odd compliment.
"Look!" he said. "I have cured her sour disposition. My debt is almost repaid.”
― Imani Josey, The Blazing Star
I think I just loved the magic of it all. It just felt like I was there with Portia experiencing this magnificent world. For a debut novel, Josey wrote with such beauty. There was such gorgeous imagery of Egypt and the temples in which the characters lived. I just think that the descriptions were absolutely breathtaking, it's almost like I travelled down the River of Time!
There is a little bit of romance in this book, but not enough for me to add this book into the romance category. This book focused on how Portia's character developed on her own and not how she kept comparing herself to her twin. We follow Portia in her fight for survival, knowledge and acceptance within the Egyptian society and I absolutely loved her friendships with some of the characters.
I need for there to be a sequel. That ending just demanded to carry on and be developed and I really hope that Josey decides to write one (or two!) more books because that would just be brilliant!
Overall, this is a book that centres around a lot of female characters trying to do good in the world. The Blazing Star is everything that I would want a book set in Ancient Egypt to be, and even though the beginning was quite slow, I am so glad that I carried on reading as this turned out to be a fantastic book!
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The Blazing Star was a well-researched and enjoyable book. The Blazing Star is definitely a breath of fresh air in YA – it is an original story with a unique setting so it is one I’d would recommend for those looking for a historical time travelling fantasy with a diverse setting. The setting was atmospheric and one of the best aspect of The Blazing Star – the myth, culture, and religion was really interesting and rich.
However, the reason it got a lower rating was largely due to its very sluggish pace. The second half picked up a little bit. I also felt like characterisation was lacking compared to the world building. Portia herself had some decent character growth, I felt like the secondary character were not as well developed. The same can be said for the relationships. Being a twin myself I was looking forward to Alex and Portia’s relationship but it did not really resonate with me. Portia’s relationship with Meremptah also suffered from insta-love, but it was actually cute and they had a good chemistry but I am glad it wasn’t at the forefront of the story. There was a lot of girls supporting girls, so that was also a positive.
Overall, an original and diverse read with a rich and atmospheric setting – would definitely recommend
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