A Whole New World, A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell Book Review
What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?
When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.
What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.
A whole new world, a twisted tale of the Disney classic we all know and love.
“Don’t let life’s unfairness, don’t let how poor you are decide who you are. You choose who you will be.”
What happens in A Whole New World, a Twisted Tale?
We all know the story of Aladdin but have you ever wondered how the story would have played out if Jafar had got the magic lamp instead? Now you can find out! This book initially is the Disney film, written down. In fact for the first 25% or so it is almost word for word but I actually liked that. It made me feel closer to the characters because I already “know” them, if that makes sense? After that though, the twist… my god the twist. Jafar gets the lamp and all hell breaks loose. Your beloved characters are not safe and nothing is the same. I absolutely loved it!
There are not many new characters for anyone who is familiar with the Disney story.
Obviously we have Aladdin, a loveable street rat who dreams of a better life where he is rich and lives in a palace. He lives and travels with his best monkey friend, Abu and though he is a thief he has ideals and morals. What I loved about his character in this book is how his backstory was explored. We read about his mother and father and what happened to them as well as other friends from the quarter of the street rats and how he ended up living alone and separating from them.
Next we have princess Jasmine who in the original story was brave and strong and in this retelling she is no different. If anything she is stronger. With Jafar taking over Agrabah, Jasmine must hide away with the street rats and gain the love, trust and following of her kingdom in order to launch an assault against Jafar whilst also battling her own dark thoughts and temptations.
Jafar was an absolute stand-out character for me. He is portrayed so well as an absolute mad-man and I just found him so unpredictable there was no guessing what he was going to do next or how far he would go in his pursuit of what he wanted.
The disappointing character for me was the genie. I don’t know what it was about him but I suppose he was just missing that spark, that humour and cheekiness that he has in the movie version. Fans of the genie won’t like the way he is written but you just have to bear in mind that it is a different story to the one we all know and love and isn’t that the point after all?
The world is basically the same as the movie version so there is nothing new or surprising for readers here. Agrabah is a dessert city under the rule of a sultan who doesn’t really know much about his people or their plight. The world is expanded upon slightly but introducing the “quarter of the street rats” and their hideout which I found to be an interesting addition full of intriguing characters.
I was so worried that the ending was going to be the same as the Disney version and that Jafar would end up trapped in the lamp again but I was pleasantly surprised. The ending was completely different and the repercussions of the actions to characters all take the end Jafar’s reign are surprising and interesting. I didn’t see it coming and overall I felt the book ended really well.
For some reason this book gets some really bad reviews and honestly, I really loved it. The writing style is definitely aimed at a young adult audience which makes it very easy to read. The pacing is good and it’s a fun, fast and entertaining read. A solid 4 stars from me.