Title: The Blazing Star
Author: Imani Josey
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Inclusion of Diversity: Features African-American protagonists
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult
Page Count: 239
e-ARC provided to me via Rich in Variety Blog Tours
“Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.
But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?
She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.
Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.
As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.”
- “His words ran together, muffling as if underwater. Enunciate, I wanted to tell him—we had that kind of relationship—but my mouth was the driest sand. My heart raced as needling ripples spread across my palm, tiny pinpricks followed by pulsating heat. My classmates watched Mr. Pomey, oblivious to my discomfort as the scarab’s shine amplified to painful brilliance, its blue like gleaming waves crashing overtop each other. And in this blazing sheen the tiny figures on the scarab, the ancient hieroglyphs, became comprehensible script. To my beloved, the blessings of Amun, I read, as that uncomfortable heat ignited me from the inside out.”
- “The sound cutting through the quiet may as well have been thunder crashing in a summer storm. Still within hearing distance, the soldier immediately stopped. His hand found the hilt of his sword as he looked about him. “Who’s out there?” he called. “By Ma’at, I won’t harm you if you are peaceful.” I sat in the mud for a moment, holding the sides of my head to steady it. My fingers massaged my temples before running through my hair. Thick texture greeted my hands, my short hair having reverted to its springy coils. I’d laid in the mud and dampness too long. So much for my press, I thought.”
- “Sikara’s index finger moved across my skin. Her touch was lighter than expected but still sent a painful shiver through me. I yelped and withdrew my hand before we locked eyes. The gaze that met mine was stunning, prettier than even my twin’s. Gold specks glowed through her dark irises like hungry embers in ash, and she regarded me with raw fascination. I held her stare, watching those embers crackle. “Heka,” she said, more calmly than before. “Tasherit, please.” Tasherit bowed gracefully and slipped out of the room. When she’d gone, I once again became that bruised melon in the market—though perhaps now a unique bruised melon. Sikara stepped away from me, returning to the business at her table. “Only heka achieves what you did,” she said.”
About the Author
Imani Josey is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. In her previous life, she was a cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Her one-act play, Grace, was produced by Pegasus Players Theatre Chicago after winning the 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. In recent years, she has turned her sights to long-form fiction. She now spends the majority of her time working on backstory, teaching dance fitness classes, and cuddling with her American bulldog, Thor.
The Blazing Star is her debut novel.