A Review: A Whole New World – Liz Braswell

The first in a new series titled ‘A Twisted Tale’, A Whole New World is a re-telling of Disney film Aladdin. It’s a fun take that re-imagines the stories that everyone knows and loves.

I believe most of us know the story of, or have seen the movie of Aladdin – yet in this version, Aladdin does not keep the lamp – Jafar does and in doing so, all of Agrabah is at his mercy.

There are no spoilers ahead!

First of all, I didn’t really have any expectations going into this book, I knew the was the first of two published and one oncoming, and I knew they were official Disney publications. The other two books in the series so far being the released Once Upon A Dream (Sleeping Beauty – review up soon!) and soon to be released Tale As Old As Time (Beauty and the Beast).

I rather enjoyed this book, it was actually far darker than I expected for a book that could definitely be classed as children’s or middle grade (or something along those lines in America, please correct me if I’m wrong). It had near adult themes of class, dictatorship, and prejudice. It was honestly a lot more honest than I ever would’ve expected.

I enjoyed the twist – the repercussions of the bad guy getting the lamp, the situations and scenarios leading up to this were all mirrored from the film we love, yet every scene is a little more fleshed out, as is possible with a book. Seeing it in this sense really pushed the story further, enabling the reader to gain a new perspective.
I’m sure a few of you had imagined, with many a Disney film, what would happen if the bad guy got what they plotted for? Well, this is how we find out and discover what our heroes do next. It’s refreshing.
My favourite part of this book was seeing the characters properly develop, especially Jasmine, from the sometimes naive Princess, with no true knowledge of the kingdom she was one day to rule, to this hardened, incredibly empathic, intelligent leader – in my humble opinion, she was easily the best-written character.

Thankfully, none of the characters left what we would call canon – how we believe they would act. They just adapt to the twisted tale.
Furthermore, I am a big fan of the characters added into the story, especially Morgiana. They all had well-rounded, well thought out back-stories and I truly wish they had appeared in the movies (despite knowing this is not at all possible as the movie is as old as I am!).

At times the story could easily be deemed as plodding along, and seemingly struggled with its stretch to cater for a large audience (Disney is beloved by all), however, overall it is quite the enjoyable read – not too long and easily do-able in two/three sittings.
I would happily recommend this for a quick little fix/ or if you love Disney.

Have you read any of the Twisted Tale books? What are your thoughts?



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