Series: Twisted Tales #1
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 1st 2015
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: 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.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Disney Press and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I first heard of this book, the 5 year old in my did crazy happy dances. What could be better than a Disney movie retelling where the bad guy wins? So I was ecstatic to read this book.
The idea of the book is great. Although not one of my favorite Disney movies, I always loved Genie (Robin Williams, may he rest in peace, was amazing in this role). And although he was twisted and mean, Iago was my favorite pet sidekick, along with Abu. Though Iago was funnier in my eyes.
Because the book was focused on what if Jafar had gotten the lamp, we don't get to see much of Iago or the Genie. We get to see how life for the Street Rats was, how they go from being just the poorest of the poor to being the bravest of the brave. We see a darker Agrabah and I really enjoyed that. Usually the fairytales we get to read/see nowadays are lighter than this book, so it was a good change to see a darker story. There were some details that I didn't see coming, mostly relating to some characters and how they reacted to magic. I also liked some of the stories that were new to the story, like a little bit of Genie's backstory, or the beginning of the book, with Aladdin as a kid. I also liked the little moments that tied the book to the movie.
There were a few things that I was hoping would be different. For instance, there's an insta-love element that I feel could have been avoided. In the movie it was acceptable, because there is a limited time frame that filmmakers have to put together a good story. But in a book setting, I feel like the love story of Jasmine and Aladdin could have been built a little bit more. I also would've wanted to see a little bit of growth in the characters. There were new characters used in this book, some of which were great and did feel a little changed by the end of the book. But the well-known characters could have had a little bit more growth in them by the end of the story.
A Whole New World was an interesting take on the story of the magic lamp and Aladdin. I've sometimes wanted to know how the story would look like if the bad guy won, so it was good to see a story like this. I'm curious what stories will be retold in the future.