Book Rewind Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (Disney Twisted Tales Originals Series)
What if the childhood stories you know and love went against the standard narrative you are used to? As a kid (and adult!) who loved Disney, I now love reading those same heroes and villains in retellings and novels inspired by the original material. The Disney Twisted Tales Series are those familiar stories, told retelling style, and generally highlight an alternate beginning, end, or dual storyline to bring some of the secondary characters into vital roles in the stories. Check out my ongoing series review to get caught up!
A Whole New World (Twisted Tales, #1)by Liz Braswell
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
on July 26, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?
Aladdin is a Street Rat. Like most, he’s just trying to survive another day in impoverished Agrabah.
Jasmine is a princess, one who is about to enter into an arranged marriage. All she wants is to escape her fate, to see what lies beyond the palace walls.
But everything changes when the sultan’s trusted adviser, Jafar, suddenly rises to power. With the help of an ancient lamp, Jafar attempts to break the laws of magic and gain control over love and death. Soon Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion to stop the power-mad ruler threatening to tear the kingdom apart.
This isn’t the story you already know. This is a story about power. About revolutionaries. About love. And about one moment changing everything.
A Whole New World begins with young Aladdin, his mother, and friends so you see more of Aladdin’s origin story and a little about his family. The story deviates a bit from familiar when Aladdin isn’t given his three wishes, instead goes to Jafar. As you can imagine, this alternate world is not such a fun situation for Jasmine to live in.
We spend time inside Jafar’s head, which is interesting. I love seeing what causes villains to be villainous (…or are they just misunderstood?) and, after all, we are all the villain of someone’s story. We get to see that Jafar is not some megalomaniac ruler but someone who just wants to be loved, which drives his actions.
I loved that Jasmin is a member of the resistance against Jafar! We have a strong woman in this story, not just the simpering character she is in parts of movie.
The best part of this Twisted Tale is Genie’s story. We get a background! The author utilized Jinn lore and explains he just wants to save his people and becomes cursed to now serve all these horrible, self-serving people. He is still the humorous character we know from the movie, but he is also sad and angry and has so much more depth than we originally saw him in the 90’s.