Review: The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

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Title: The Blazing Star
Author: Imani Josey
Pub. Date: December 2016
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Rating: ⭐⭐

Description:

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 Review

Okay, I’ve been struggling with this review. My thoughts are all over the place and nothing is really coherent and solid (even after thinking about it for a few weeks now). This was a DNF for me at around 60% and it’s not because the book was bad because it wasn’t.

I just didn’t see it going anywhere and it was a very slow read for me. Which is saying a lot, because The Blazing Star was strong in the beginning . . . we’re introduced to the bad-ass Portia and her twin sister Alex who is a genius, and the first few chapters cover their dynamic with one another and Portia’s jealousy toward her sister. But once Portia went back to Egypt, it just s l o w e d down.

Then it felt like it was just one repeating event after another, and just “getting by” until something big happened, and nothing happened. There were a few moments of something happening but nothing worthwhile. Maybe I was expecting more action or just needed to keep reading, but it just wasn’t doing it for me.

It’s a shame, too, because there was an entire cast of female POC characters. Portia knew how to handle herself – even if she was snarky and some of it was uncalled for or came up in inappropriate situations – so I could see her as a great heroine. Even before they went to Egypt, she helped Selene even after her twin sister told her not to and she was feeling ill.

Also, as a white woman . . . I feel a little awkward saying this, because it might be something I’m reading into, but Selene’s character was described as having dark black skin and then treated a slave while in Egypt. I know that in today’s society, that darker black skin is considered unattractive, etc., and that makes me worry if that was intentional somehow.

I was hoping The Blazing Star was going to be much better than it actually was, and I wish I could’ve finished it. It might not be my cup of tea, but I’m sure it’ll speak to many others.

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