Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, #1
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Length: Novel (384 pages)
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
When I saw the blurb for A Whole New World, I thought, wow, that’s an interesting idea. About a quarter of the way through the book I realized this was basically officially sanctioned Aladdin Fan Fiction. Yeah, I’m not too swift. I should have figured that out from the blurb.
In any case, A Whole New World answers the question of what would have happened if Jafar had stolen the Genie’s lamp from the Cave of Wonders as soon as Aladdin had snatched it.
This story begins when Aladdin is little and gives us a glimpse of his childhood conditions, his mother, what shaped his character later in life. From there we launch into essentially a book version of the movie right up until the Cave of Wonders. After that point the story is completely different. There are nods to the movie mostly in the genie’s character, but he’s not the wisecracking guy. In this he’s basically all mope and no dope.
Aladdin is a fully realized character complete with backstory and friends we don’t meet in the movie. Jasmine hasn’t changed much from the Disney iteration but in the trials this story introduces, the author takes her to the next empowered female level. She’s no shrinking violet and could arguably have handled the whole plot all by herself. Even Raja plays a role. All of it is believable (except maybe the tiger being basically another person).
The book is targeted to a YA audience, but I felt like it read more like a middle grade book than YA…at least in word choice and character interaction. Though there are plenty of dark moments complete with zombies and a civil war/battle against the palace that make some of the subject matter lean toward YA.
Though I didn’t dislike the book, I can’t rave about it. What I like about Disney movies are the happily ever after love stories. While this has that, the characters have to go through far more tribulations than your run of the mill Disney princess experiences. This book is more about Aladdin and Jasmine maturing and growing as people and fighting for their city than it is about falling in love. And since they had me in the Disney mindset, I found myself disappointed.
Challenge updates:I've never read this author before, so this counts toward the New to You! challenge.
Here are the counts:
New To Me - 12