Welcome to Oh My Fairy Tales where I review the original stories that Disney movies were inspired by and Disney movie related books. Today’s review is on A Whole New World by Liz Braswell part of the A Twisted Tale series. The first part of this review will be spoiler free then I will go into some of my spoiler thoughts. I will mark when that change will happen so do not worry! Now on to the review.
Now before going into this book I heard a lot of bad things mainly that a good portion of the book is exactly like animated film Aladdin. Once reading it I can say that yes, about the first 100 pages are mostly like the film including some of the lines come straight from the movie. That said I did not mind that fact. Since the point of the book is to see what will happen if Aladdin did not get the lamp it makes sense that it will be the same until Aladdin gets to the Cave of Wonders. Even though those first 100 pages were like the movie Braswell added things that did not happen in the movie which I thought were nice touches.
When it came to the Genie I loved that Braswell gave him a back story and that Genie’s are actually called Djinn and we got a glimpse into the Djinn history. I wish that we had gotten a little more on that because I found the bit that was revealed really interesting. I also liked the one fact that was revealed about Jafar that can possibly explain why he is evil and why he did everything that he did. I loved that Jasmine had a bigger role in this book and that she wanted a change in Agrabah. What I liked about Aladdin is that we got a little more of his family life and how he came to be and his views on being a thief. As well as how Aladdin got Abu (because how does a street rat get a monkey). I also liked that it is questioned how the Cave of Wonders came to be and the possible cause of why it exists. I also thought it was nice that some elements of the movie were including after the plot twist.
The entire book in general I thought it was a decent book. I did not hate it but I did not love it. This was not a page turner for me but I was able to finish it; it kept me interested enough to want to know how it all worked out in the end. The plot twist and the rebellion that occurred was well done but I just wanted a little more to make it amazing. I also thought that there were a good amount of funny lines which I enjoyed. While reading there were a few times that I did get a bit confused as to what was happening because I felt that things were not really explained. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. I am hoping that for the second book in the series Once Upon a Dream improves from this book. I say give the book a shot there was a lot of the book that I did enjoy. Comment down below if A Whole New World is on your TBR list. Just be careful not to read any of the spoilers.
Spoilers start now
Here I will just elaborate more on some of the points I made in the spoiler free section.
First 100 pages begin like the movie but I liked that…
- We got to meet Aladdin’s mother in the prologue.
- We learn more about the area called the street rats.
- Jasmine learns about how Agrabah really is and that she did not know how her people lived.
- How Razoul came up the ranks and that he was not that bad of a Guard he was just doing his job.
The Genie: I thought it was interesting that…
- he was married
- there was an entire race of Djinn (Genies) but because of certain events they all died and Genie is the only one left. I wish we got to learn more about what happened to the Djinn.
Jafar: Interesting points
- His mother abandoned him which could explain why he is so evil.
- He is searching for love and believes that power will get him that.
- Thinks that magic is the answer to all problems.
“…Magic is the only way to change a corrupt, broken system. Magic is the only true power in the world. And you have none.” (pg.260)
The Cave of Wonders
- “Had this happened…before? Was the treasure buried not because of some mad old Sultan who wanted his wealth to die with him, but because someone nearly destroyed the world by bringing too much gold into it?…maybe it was all hidden to protect people from the power of wishes.” (pg.177) . I thought it was an interesting point to add since all the coins that Jafar handed out made them pretty much worth nothing because there were too many. Which caused prices for even the smallest things to go up. Talk about inflation!
Elements of the movie after the plot twist
- The hourglass
- The kiss distraction between Jafar and Jasmine.
It was nice that these were included with a slight twist.
- Jafar wants to break the laws of magic. I loved that Jafar wanted to break the laws of magic which are bringing people back from the dead, killing people, and making someone fall in love with you. I honestly thought that he was not going to succeed with any of that. To my surprise he accomplished bringing people back from the dead. Also not only did he want to rule Agrabah by breaking these rules he also wanted to rule the world.
- I was a little confused about this but I believe that Jafar had to kill Iago to be able to find the person able to go into the Cave of Wonders. This was an interesting new twist to add to the story. It made me think of Once Upon A Time and the episode “The thing you love most”, which is one of the things the Evil Queen needed to cast the curse.
“The only time he managed to foresee anything, it involved complicated blood magic-and the sacrifice of the one dearest to him” (pg.273)
- Jafar’s third wish was new and a wow moment I did not see coming. The wish is when Jafar dies all magic dies with him. This was a good twist because since Jafar thought that magic was the answer to everything it was like him punishing everyone since he thinks that without magic no one will be happy no one will survive so even being dead he will still be hurting people.
- Jasmine sacrificed herself to not have anymore deaths when it looked like they were not going to beat Jafar. I also did not think that Jasmine would actually attempt to kill Jafar. I thought she would just break the staff but to my surprise she actually learned a spell that would kill him and she almost did until Aladdin convinced her that was not the right thing to do.
Best line by the Genie “ The camel dung is about to hit the fan” (pg.347)
Comment down below your favorite line in this book and your thoughts in general.
Until next time book nerds,