29 August 2015

ARC Review: A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1), Liz Braswell

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A)

Title: A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale
Series: Twisted Tales #1
Author: Liz Braswell
Published: 01/09/2015, Disney Press
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley & Disney Press
Format: Ebook

Rating: 3/5
"What is Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney's Aladdin. When Jafar steals the Genie's Lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish. To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again."

A Whole New World is, you've guessed it, a retelling of Disney's Aladdin. However, the first 25% of the book is EXACTLY the same as the movie right down to the dialogue. And this was actually quite boring. But then instead of Aladdin keeping the lamp, Jafar takes it before Aladdin is shut in the Cave of Wonders. And then, to loosely quote the Genie, "camel dung hits the fan" leading the story into a completely different and darker direction, with quite a dystopian feel.

The events are mainly shown, like the movie, from Aladdin's perspective. However, we are also given added scenes from Jasmine's and Jafar's perspective particularly towards the climax. And, of course, the events up until; the 25% mark were more than predictable. But what you wouldn't expect was what would happen once Jafar had his hands on the lamp. I mean who expects flying zombies in Agrabah of all places. Although the ending is climactic, it may be predictable to those who have seen the movie. However, all plot lines did clean up nicely and there was nothing left unanswered.

The setting, Agrabah, is one that many of us are familiar with so of course the characters fit into the setting like a jigsaw. There would be no Agrabah without Aladdin or Jasmine. The characters were all fairly likeable, even the new ones, but to me they were not very rememberable.

I quite liked Jasmine. After Jafar takes over Agrabah, she turns into a Robin-Hood-like character, stealing from Jafar for the Street Rats. Her eyes are opened a lot more to the suffering of the Street Rats so she does become more compassionate too. However, I also found her to be quite stroppy and naive. It sometimes felt like she was constantly picking fights with Aladdin.

Aladdin, like in the movie, dreams of bettering his life. He wants to prove that he is more than just a Street Rat and he does become a leader in the rebellion showing exactly what he is capable of. Like in the movie, he has a very caring side and is also quite intelligent in his own way. However, I do wish we saw a bit more romance between Aladdin and Jasmine.

Jafar, of course, is just as evil as he is in the movie, perhaps even more so with his plan. The Genie is the one character that I think differs the most from his movie counterpart. Book Genie is far less happy-go-lucky and more serious and sad. His backstory is heartbreaking. However, I found the fates of Magic Carpet just so uncalled for. I've never been so upset over a carpet!

A Whole New World did sound much more awesome than it actually was. It's still a decent story, but it just didn't hit the spot for me. I would still suggest that fans of retelling and the movie should give it a go. I think I will read the next Twisted Tale, whatever it may be, as I'm just plain curious now.

COYER Scavenger Hunt #10: Read a book that retells a fairy tale.

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Feel free to leave a comment.


  1. I've heard so many differing opinions on this one, but the top one being that it is exactly like the Disney movie. I really don't like books that are exactly like other things, so I'm not sure if I'd like this one. I'm glad you did, though! And I do have an ARC so I will be reading at some point :) Great review!


    1. It is definitely worth a read but totally not everyone's cup of tea. The repetition does get a bit boring.

  2. The hype of this book is incredible! I'm sorry that it's a bit slow for your taste, but atleast you still liked it. :) Great review Lauren

    Donita @ My Random Book thoughts

    1. Yeah, I agree at least I didn't hate it and it was worth a read.


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