by Imani Josey
Series: The Blazing Star #1
Published on December 6, 2016 by Wise Ink
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
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Time travel is tricky.
Generally, I’m not a fan of it because it tends to be used as an excuse to explain a new fantastical world to the protagonist. Lots of info dumps and whatnot. But I had hopes for The Blazing Star with the promise of Ancient Egypt as a setting.
Unfortunately, while the story had potential to be great, it fell a bit flat for me.
Let’s start with the world. Cool. Different setting than usual. But I didn’t feel it. I guess I wanted more of the Ancient Egypt vibe that seemed to be missing. If you’re going to set a book in a different setting like that I want to be there and I wasn’t. It was superfluous, just a way to give the story something different.
And it wasn’t even used! Like, the characters travel back in time and to a completely different part of the world and they act like it’s normal! There was so much potential there to cause problems for them and they’re just chill about it.
To be honest, I was more interested and invested in the story at the beginning than I was when the setting shifted.
Portia was alright as far as characters go. The more I read the more she got on my nerves and I stopped caring about her. I liked Alex better after a bit but neither struck a chord with me.
Honestly, I don’t think the Ancient Egypt setting really helped the story. I would have liked to read about Portia coming into her own in our world because that’s the part of the story that I thought did well. Afterwards I just wanted to skim the rest.
The Blazing Star sounded like it would be a blast to read but just lacked that extra something to keep me interested beyond the first bit.