The Blazing Star combines time travelling and Ancient Egypt. I thought this was a fascinating premise. It’s an #ownvoices book.
Portia, the overlooked twin, time travels to Ancient Egypt with two other people and tries to get back in to her time. She discovers her links to Egypt and that she is being stalked by scorpions.
The world-building was well-written. The descriptions of Ancient Egypt and the temples were super. The story was very slow in describing heka (magic). Thus, I had the feeling I was learning about it at the same pace as Portia. The passages about the different hair styles were beautiful.
The ending scene was amazing. I thought that it was constructed really well, and it left the reader wanting to know more.
Portia’s twin has glasses. Cue me being interested in finding out how she copes without having glasses in Ancient Egypt. What happens when the MC asks her why she doesn’t have glasses anymore – turns out she doesn’t need them in Ancient Egypt. How fascinating, poor eyesight can be solved by time travelling. Seriously though, I thought this was going to be an interesting storyline and I found this very disappointing.
Portia didn’t question much about Ancient Egypt. She seemed to know everything right away, and this was rather confusing. How did she not need to question certain things about her surroundings? Why did she just know the names of the seasons?
I didn’t enjoy the writing at all. The phrases were very over-the-top and flowery. Some examples: “hoisted me up like a princess bride (or pirate wench)”, “help a cup whose contents smelled like liquid veganism” (what does this even mean?), “She’d also changed into a jade sheath to become an Ancient Egyptian Tinkerbell”.
There was an insta-love storyline and I didn’t really understand how they fell in love, seeing as they barely knew or saw each other.
I don’t like the cover that much. Portia looks too confident and sure of herself, and this is not how I think she is at all. Also, the person on the cover looks a lot older than a highschooler.
All in all
I really wanted to like this book, and as I mentioned there were some things that I did like about it. However, all in all, it just wasn’t that captivating and the writing wasn’t for me at all. I was very disappointed in the handling of the glasses issue. I won’t be reading the next book.
Trigger warnings: violence, colourism.
What’s your opinion on The Blazing Star?