Book: The Blazing Star (Untitled 1) by Imani Josey
Release Date: December 6th 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
The Blazing Star is a book I heard a lot about at the end of 2016 over on twitter and is the reason I decided to pick this book up. Also that gorgeous cover did help. The promise of time travel and Egypt got me even more exciting.
Yet the start held me back and made me feel weary of this book. It is a rather slow start in a high school setting with a bit of romance and sibling drama unfolding. I’m not here for that. The romance in any case. It made me wonder if I should have picked up this book. The whole Portia being not as talented as her twin sister was something I clearly skimmed over in this synopsis and played out a bit predictable.
But then we got to the actual time traveling part and we came to Egypt. This is where the book became interesting and engaging. Obviously with a setting like Egypt one can hardly go wrong. It is such a great place to let a (fantasy) adventure plot play out.
What I love next to the setting is how we have such strong female characters in a historical setting. Of course we have Portia, her twin and their new found ‘friend’ but even the other females that they meet throughout this book are incredibly strong and do not stand for being manipulated.
The plot in itself is perhaps not very surprising. Of course Portia discovers she has a magical talent. Of course they have a certain tie to this time period in Egypt. But regardless of that I see a lot of potential for deepening out of a more surprising and deepening plot. I think all the elements are certainly there. And hey, I was so swept up from the time travel moment that I didn’t quite catch that small twisty about that guy. So at least I was surprised once.
Or twice as I thought this was going to be a standalone until the last quarter or so where it became clear this was going to be the first book in a series. I’m certainly interested in reading on in this world. But, and I must stress this, the next books do have to step up a bit in plot and a bit of magical world building as well. Some things really do need to be explained more in the future books like the Scorpions.
Having said that, I really enjoyed reading this book and see potential for a good series.