Review: The Blazing Star – Imani Josey

Book cover: Portia gazes into the distance; her hair has Egyptian scenes in it

The Blazing Star combines time traveling 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 Good

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.

The Bad

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 traveling. 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.

3 stars

What’s your opinion on The Blazing Star?


14 thoughts on “Review: The Blazing Star – Imani Josey

  1. It’s always so great when disabilities of various sorts are just magically cured. ^^’ (If it was one. Never really know when it comes to eyesight. I wouldn’t call mine a disability but I guess it’s up to every person themselves?)

    The liquid veganism is kinda funny though. xD At least we know it didn’t smell like sausages!


    1. I wouldn’t call mine a disability either. Poor eyesight is a common health problem that many people have, so I guess most people don’t often categorise it as a disability. Also, my vision is good with glasses, so it’s not an obstacle in most things I do. I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.


      1. Yeah, it really depends I guess.
        Though whether someone would classify the character’s eyesight as a disability or not, it’s always a bit awkward if a potential problem just disappears. Did she have any other magical alterations to her body after travelling in time?


      2. Nope. They all were just able to use magic, but don’t think the body changed.

        About eyesight and disability. I always think about having hearing problems and sight problems. Hearing problems are usually seen as a disability, aren’t they?


  2. Is it bad that I know what she means by the smell of liquid veganism? That’s bad, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure that’s bad! XD


  3. It did sound like an interesting premise. I don’t think I’ve ever read time travel to Egypt, but why not? Sorry it didn’t live up to the basic idea.


  4. Yeesh, the quotes you provided make this book a definite “no” for me. I hate it when a cover is so beautiful and the story is not! I do like that the reader learns about the world/magic at the same pace as the character, though. That’s something I really appreciate in fantasy novels. Otherwise, I get lost and then I don’t keep reading.


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