A Whole New World ★☆☆☆☆

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I was admittedly intrigued by a dark Disney tale. A Whole New World is the reimagined story of Aladdin from Liz Braswell, as part of Disney’s new Twisted Tales. Each book answers a big question: What is one key moment from the story was changed? In this edition of Aladdin, Jafar gets the lamp as soon as Aladdin exits the Cave of Wonders, leaving Aladdin in the cave without a magical way out.

Jafar still has the same wishes: become sultan, be all powerful sorcerer. At first, Jafar seems like a great alternative, the Street Rats are well fed, gold rains from the sky, but then Jafar’s insantiy comes out and Agrabah lives in fear.

My opinion? Great idea–poor execution.

I really struggled to remain attentive to A Whole New World. The first twenty percent of it is literally just the movie almost word for word, maybe a little extra characterization but not by much.

My main displeasure with this was the dialog. The dry, arid, desert-like dialog. Somehow appropriate considering the setting and yet, not interesting to read. It felt forced, only existing to move the story forward and give the reader some facts, but also mostly consisting of discussion of already known facts, thereby only regurgitating information to the reader.

I was never fully sucked into this, as you may have guessed already, and I was really excited to get this book open once I had read its description. I mean–what if Jafar had gotten the lamp? According to Braswell he would do exactly what he did when he got the lamp at the end of the movie, only earlier.

The characterization in the early parts of the book is is taken straight from the movie but everything after Jafar gets the lamp is a poor imitation. Genie doesn’t feel like Genie, Jasmine wanes between weak and strong, and Aladdin seems to flip flop on charisma.

A Whole New World is lacking a whole new edge.

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