The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renee Ahdieh
Expected Publication Date: May 12, 2015
This is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. King Khalid kills all his brides by dawn. When Shazi’s best friend dies by dawn, she vows to avenge her death by becoming Khalid’s bride and killing him.
That Was Good, Dang
- It was written well. Ahdieh managed to create some mystery surrounding Shazi and her father. The dialogues were witty.
Dang, That’s Too Bad
I had some major issues with this book. I wanted to like it and I kept reading it hoping it would get better but…
- Writing. I said earlier that it was written well and it was for the most part. My problem was that all the characters had the same voice. Shazi, Despina, Rahim, Tariq, and Jalal all had the same quick witted sense of humor. It was difficult to tell the difference between the characters. That’s a MAJOR problem that I couldn’t get over it. Ahdieh is a debut author and she’s a good writer but her editor should tell her to write different characters.
- Love Story. I’m not familiar with the original story but that shouldn’t matter. Shazi hates the king because he killed her best friend. She intends to kill but she inevitably falls in love but she falls in love might quick. They have sex twice and she’s in love. Khalid must have the bomb penis because if my best friend was killed by someone; I doubt I’d fall in love after a month-COME ON! It’s not that I didn’t buy the love between Shazi and Khalid, I did and I was rooting for them but it should have taken longer.
- Nothing Happens. Sure there are some close calls with Shazi’s life and their venture into town and the preverbal grand ball at the end but the stuff that happens between these events are minute. It’s a lot of talking and I don’t mind a slow moving plot if the story or the dialogue is good but as I mentioned above; everyone has the same voice. There was a good storyline with Shazi’s father but nothing was answered because he will probably play a big role in book 2. I felt like that was a big let down. I wish there was one small reveal with the father.
- The Problem with the Boring Story. There was a major plot reveal in the preface. It’s the one where the audience knows the truth but the main character doesn’t. When this is done correctly, the audience/reader should be on the edge of their seat the entire book. We should be yelling at the protag because she’s wrong and she’s making a big mistake but she doesn’t know it. This book, however, didn’t do it correctly. We have to suffer through Shazi inability to make a decision and do anything of significance. She just keeps going back and forth-should I have killed the king at this time? Do I love him? He’s evil, no he’s misunderstood. MAKE A DECISION ALREADY, DAMMIT! She doesn’t do anything but tell stories-OMG!
The story would have been better if it was the type of plot where the reader nor the protag knows the truth.
- That Cover. It looks like the publishers are still doing that thing where they try to hide the brown skinned girl/boy on the cover. Either show her face or don’t put a person on the cover at all.
I was rooting for this story so badly because Middle Eastern teens are all but non-existent in YA literature. The writing in terms of the words written on the page were passable but the writing in terms of story development was lacking.
I will recommend it to my teens because I think they will like it and we need diverse characters.