Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.
But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?
She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.
Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.
As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.
Firstly, can we just appreciate how stunning that cover is? It’s the single reason I wanted to read the book in the first place, if I’m being honest.
The Blazing Star follows sixteen year-old Portia when she’s transported back to Ancient Egypt along with her twin sister, Alex, and Selene, an unwitting freshman, when she touches an ancient scarab during a history trip. In the midst of trying to find a way back home the three teens must avoid deadly monsters known as scorpions and try to uncover why they were sent back in the first place.
I’m going to be blunt; I did not like this book. If it wasn’t my inability to leave books half-read I probably would’ve DNFed this. Whilst I started off enjoying it, everything went down-hill once they’d been sent back to Ancient Egypt. There was little to no world-building, information and characters were being thrown at us in large chunks, which left me disoriented. Even after finishing the book I still don’t understand the magic system or what the deal with the scorpions is.
For approximately 60% of this book absolutely nothing is happening, which made getting through it unbearably slow. As the trio are split up when they’re first sent back, I expected the plot to pick up when they’re finally reunited but it’s completely lackluster.
There’s also a case of insta-love. Whilst I liked Prince Seti as a character, his romance with Portia made no sense to me. Their affection for one another comes out of nowhere. During their first meeting there’s not even an inkling of a blooming romance between the two so I was very confused when they were suddenly in love.
This doesn’t mean that this book has no redeemable qualities, so I do want to quickly mention some of the things I did like. I really enjoyed the fact that not only was the cast of characters made up of people of colour but almost all of our main characters were strong females. The writing, for the most part, was good and I appreciated the fact that Portia spoke distinctively different to the Ancient Egyptians. Too often in time-travel books author’s will make the characters speak like those native to the place they’ve traveled to which is unrealistic since our language has evolved over the centuries. I also found the modern comparisons Portia would make to what was going on in Egypt funny.
I’m not too sure if Josey is planning a sequel, the ending definitely hints at the possibility to one and there are so many unresolved questions that I think there needs to be one. Despite seeing potential in this book (series?) I don’t think I’d continue on unless there’s a drastic improvement with pacing and plot.