Review: A Whole New World – A Retelling of Aladdin

Posted August 31, 2015 in Reading, Review / 2 Comments

Review: A Whole New World – A Retelling of AladdinA Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales #1
Publisher: Disney Press (2015)
eARC (336 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Also by this author: Once Upon A Dream
Also in this series: Once Upon A Dream
Reading Challenges: 2015 Fairytale Retelling, Read 2015


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.

Find the book: Goodreads

My Review

I really wanted to love this book. It is a retelling of Aladdin and there aren’t very many of those. Like I said, I really wanted to love it.

The first third of the book pretty much followed the Disney movie. That was okay, the set-up for the story and all. The storylines diverged after Aladdin picked up the lamp in the Cave of Wonders. In the movie, Aladdin makes it out of the cave with the lamp. In the book, Jafar takes the lamp before Aladdin is all the way out of the cave. Then things get really different.

Once Jafar has the lamp, he makes his wishes (two to begin with) and basically takes over Agrabah. Think towards the end of the movie when Jafar steals the lamp from Aladdin. That is pretty much what happens.

There were characters we expected: Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, the sultan, Raja, and Jafar. There were also some new characters such as Morgiana and Duban. There was the sad lack of Iago who was one of my favorite characters in the movie.

There is a bit of insta-love here. (The beginning follows a Disney movie after all.) Aladdin thinks Jasmine is a spoiled rich girl. Aladdin finds out Jasmine is the princess and suddenly it is all “oh, she needs to marry a prince and I’m not a prince.” For Jasmine’s part, she doesn’t even know his name but can’t stop thinking about him.

I don’t really want to give away anything by saying too much. It was a good read but I don’t think I’ll be rereading it. It just wasn’t a book for me. If you read it, I hope you love it.

Catholic Connections

*Spoiler Alert*
In order to analyze the text and make these connections, there may be some spoilers.
Please do not continue reading unless you have already read the book
or you don’t mind if you read some spoilers.
*Spoiler Alert*

There is the fight against evil in this book. The evil is Jafar. The good isn’t entirely good. It isn’t comprised just of perfect, innocent people but mainly criminals and street rats. This is so much like the Church. The Church isn’t perfect and neither are her members but we are all working against the evil in the world.

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Fairytale Retelling Challenge (Aladdin)


I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title nor the content of this review.

Tagged as , , , ,

2 responses to “Review: A Whole New World – A Retelling of Aladdin

    • The almost direct quotes from the Disney movie were getting to me by the time it changed direction. I hope you really enjoy this read.
      Thanks for visiting!