Publisher: Wise Ink
Date of Publication: December 6th, 2016
Dates Read: December 11th – 13th, 2016
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.
My Rating: ★★★★☆
After some deliberation, I will be giving this a score of 3.5 / 5.
When I think of this book as a whole, I really did enjoy it. Josey’s writing was vivid and beautiful and pulled me into Portia’s story from the start. There were a lot of characters to remember, but they all had different personalities and contributed different things to this book. Their interactions and exchange of words definitely had me laughing.
I think one of my favourite aspects of this book is that there are a lot of powerful Women in it – in fact, most of them are powerful WoC, which is good to see on the page. Huzzah for girl power!
I also enjoyed watching Portia grow into her own powerful woman, though it did not happen right away. Portia is not perfect, and has her own struggles. Her journey through this book is never straight, and there are plenty of twists to throw her off course, but they also helped her character development, to the point where she is not the same person at the end that she at the beginning.
With all of these positives in mind, I did have a few concerns, as well.
This first part may be a little spoiler-y, but it is evident at the beginning that Portia and her sister don’t always get along so well. When I got to the end, I expected there to be some kind of make-up, some kind of banding together as twin sisters. Instead, however, they’re even further apart (spoiler: quite literally), and it seems as though the twinning bit will happen in the next book. Maybe I’m much too hopeful, but I kind of wish there had been more reconciliation between Portia and Alex in this book. I love reading stories about family members, and not getting that forgiveness or togetherness by the end was kind of sad.
In addition, there’s a long-winded explanation at one point, and I was pretty confused by it. I guess I could have re-read it, but this explanation spanned a few pages, and I was not up for re-reading that entire passage. I was also thrown off by some of the time changes, which I feel could have been marked better, because sometimes Portia would do things one after another, which, realistically, would have taken more time to do. You know what I mean?
Oh, and I wish there had been more time spent discussing Portia’s training, instead of seeing one lesson and discussing the rest only in passing. I feel like her training was important to her development, and it would have been nice to see it happen.
During Portia’s first days in Ancient Egypt, one of her first options for getting out is taken away from her very quickly. Honestly, I feel like the way in which this option was removed was too easy. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but I just wish there had been more time spent on option #1 and then having it crash and burn, which would have made losing that option hurt a little more.
And, yes, there was romance, and yes, it was maybe a little too insta-love and complicated. Don’t get me wrong, I think the romance was cute (my notes for this book say “awwww romance”), but it maybe happened a little too quickly, with not a lot of information.
At the end of the day, however, I liked this book and never felt the need to put it down. I’m looking forward to seeing where Josey takes the sequel!
Overall: While not perfect, it is a fun, beautifully written story that’s full of powerful women and lots of magic!