Audio Book Review: The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book: The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, narrated by Ariana Delawari

Published May 2015 by Listening Library|Length: 10 hours, 38 minutes

Where I Got It: I got the audio book via Audible.com

Series: The Wrath & The Dawn #1

Genre: YA Fantasy/Re-Telling

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch…she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

I really liked The Wrath And The Dawn!  I’ve had it for a while, but finally got around to listening to it.

I really liked Sharzhad.  She was so conflicted about her feelings for the king and getting revenge for her best friend, especially as she got to know him, and why he took so many brides.  It was really predictable that she’d start to fall for him, and that she would have conflicted feelings about her mission, so to speak.

I didn’t like either choice, but I’d rather her be with the king, because I did not care for the guy she left behind when she volunteered to become his bride.  Her childhood friend/love was whiny and annoying in the little we see of him. I felt like he didn’t care about what SHE wanted, and he wasn’t willing to hear her out.  I do get why he reacted the way he did, but it also really bothered me.  I’m not sure if it’s because we know things he doesn’t, or if I saw more of the king and feel a little more sympathetic towards him, but I was not a fan of this other guy. Who, by the way, isn’t memorable enough for me to actually remember his name.

It was interesting that she was the one he kept alive, at great cost to him.  I’m not sure what I was expecting in terms of why he was killing his brides, but it does make sense, and I liked it more than I thought it would.

I LOVED the narration!  Ariana Delawari is one of my favorite narrators, even though this is only the 2nd book I’ve listened to that she’s narrated.  I specifically switched over to the audio book because of her.  She really captured who Sharzhad is a a character, and I can’t imagine anyone else narrating this series.

4 stars.  I really liked The Wrath And The Dawn, and I really recommend the audio book.  I can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series.

Book Review: Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel Of The Sands CoverBook Review: Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Published March 2016 by Viking Books For Young Readers|320 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Rebel Of The Sands #1

Genre: YA

Blog Graphic-What It's About

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I liked Rebel Of The Sands!  Not as much as I thought, but I still liked it.

I do like that it’s a fantasy that’s set in the Middle East instead of Europe.  You really get the sense that Amani is in a place that barren and dusty, and I did get a Western feel from the book.  Maybe it’s the shoot-outs and the fact that Amani feels more like a cowgirl than a girl who wants to leave Dustwalk.  It really is a mix of Middle Eastern fantasy meets Western, but decidedly more Western than anything else, and for most of the book, I tended to forget the setting.

It had the potential to be a lot more unique.  I thought there would be more magic and magical horses and dijnn, and they don’t show up until later on the book, so it’s not really the fantasy I expected.  I wish they were more obvious early on in the book, and that it was more defined, because it really wasn’t in this book.  Maybe that’s why it read more as a Western than a fantasy.  It did make me feel distanced from the characters, and I spent a good part of the book waiting for something interesting to happen, because things are pretty slow for a lot of the book.  There’s a lot of traveling once Amani leaves Dustwalk.

It seemed like the first half of the book was paced pretty well, even if it seems like things moved slowly, but after that, it feels like things were rushed and not really developed.  Which is weird, because that’s sort of when the book gets good.

I did like the ending, though!  It didn’t end on a cliffhanger, which was actually nice, because it ends with the idea that there are bigger things happening in Amani’s world than what we see.  It was open-ended in a way, and you don’t know exactly where things are headed but you know there’s something going down.

I’ll probably read the next book just to see what happens, but I won’t be rushing to read it either.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I did like the magic in Rebel In The Sands, but it felt more like a Western with hints of fantasy instead of an actual fantasy.