ARC Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Title: A Whole New World
Author: Liz Braswell
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.

I have loved Aladdin since I was a kid and was really excited to read this new perspective of the story. I thought it would be really interesting to see Jafar in a different, bigger, role. I was sadly disappointed.

The first quarter of this book is exactly the same as the Disney movie. The same scenes; the same dialogue. Things then take a different course of action: Jafar is the first to summon the genie, and uses his wishes to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He becomes the new Sultan and intends to force Jasmine into marrying him.

Despite the fact the big twist is about Jafar, he is almost like a background character. It felt like he was barely in it because all the focus was on Aladdin and Jasmine. He is just a basic villain being evil for the sake of being evil. There is no complexity to him, we don't learn more about why he wanted the things he did or why he did such terrible things.

There is little characterisation of the other characters too. There are so many additional characters that they kind of just blended together because the time isn't taken to really explore them in a lot of detail.

I did like the genie. He's not as funny as he is in Aladdin but he was still an enjoyable character. I was also happy with the presence of Abu and Rajah who are as likeable as ever.

Overall, a disappointing read but I'll still keep an eye out for the future Twisted Tales books.


  1. Almost everyone who has read this has been let down by it. I really wanted to read it but after the reviews I'm glad that I wasn't approved on Netgalley.
    Hopefully future books in the series will be done better :(
    Great review though!

    1. I know :( it's a shame as I thought it was a really interesting idea.
      Hopefully the others will be better! I'm intrigued to see how other classic stories are twisted :)
      Thank you!

  2. I have heard some good and bad things about this book. The synopsis seems interesting, since it is a twist on Aladdin in which Jafar gets the lamp first. It is unfortunate that Jafar is just a basic villian. I always enjoy a villian with a good backstory. Nice review. Hopefully you enjoy your next book more.
    ~Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies

    1. The synopsis really grabbed me too. I love all things Disney so I was really excited to read this new spin on the story. I like a villain with a bit of complexity to them and a good backstory too. Hopefully the others will be better! :)

  3. Sorry you didn't like this one, Nicola :( I was planning to pick it up myself because DISNEYY but I'm not so sure anymore. If you're looking for a great fairytale retelling, I'd recommend The Lunar Chronicles!!

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

    1. I LOVE Disney and that's what really grabbed my attention for this one. The original Aladdin is just so much better. Thanks for the recommendation! I haven't read that series yet but definitely plan to! :)