SYNOPSIS: An alternate version of Disney’s Aladdin in which Abu doesn’t steal the lamp back from Jafar at the Cave of Wonders.
This is the first book in the A Twisted Tale series and boy is it twisted. I was caught off guard by a few gruesome deaths, but I guess I should’ve seen that coming with Jafar being in charge and all. There were also times when I couldn’t take things seriously because Braswell really overused ellipses. If the book was read outloud then it would work really well to make the character’s dialogue sound natural and lifelike, but on the page it was just a tad ridiculous. Other than those two things I thought Braswell created a very dramatic and creepy alternate universe for Aladdin and did a great job in keeping true to the characterizations in the movie. I think that what would have really helped things more would if there were Jafar POV chapters and more Jasmine POV chapters. The first 80 pages of the book were basically what happens in the movie, but there were added expansions onto what Jasmine is feeling that I really enjoyed and wanted a lot more of. I really liked the new characters of Morgiana and Duban, street rats that Aladdin grew up with. They really added something to this desolate world that Braswell created and it was nice to get some backstory on Aladdin’s life prior to what we already know. I also enjoyed that although this story goes in a completely different direction, there are little references and moments that mirror events in the movie. It really helped to tie together the fact that although this is a new version, some things never change (although I kind of missed Iago’s sassy comments and I missed the movie ending). There is also a nice backstory that is included for the Genie and I wished that we got to see more of him. He developed a really sweet friendship with Jasmine rather than Aladdin and his presence was missed during some moments. Overall I thought this was a really interesting alternative to a story that we know and love. Sure there are some things that can be improved upon, but I still was interested in seeing how everything came together. I’m excited to see how Braswell twists Sleeping Beauty in Once Upon a Dream!