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Synopsis: Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? 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.

Me: Well this one was different! First a disclaimer: I haven’t read 1001 Nights (it’s on the 1001 books to read before your die challenge I’m about to start) so I don’t know how much of the original story was used in the Disney film Aladdin. This book actually says on the front cover Disney A Whole New World. It doesn’t say anywhere whether it’s endorsed though.

The first 50 pages of this book are taken straight out of the Disney film so much so that key quotes are used and at certain points you’re tempted to burst into song. All the key characters are there and you start to wonder just what you’re reading. Then…instead of Aladdin ending up with the lamp he is trapped underground and Jafar unleashes the Genie with terrifying results. His first two wishes tie in with the film; become the sultan and be am all powerful sorcerer. He tried for the hand of Princess Jasmine but fails as per the film.

She escapes, teams up with Aladdin and becomes a revolutionary. It’s a dark tale, much darker than you except reading the start of the book and knowing the film. Ghouls, be-headings, mutilations of well loved characters; death and destruction all round as Jafar cements his position as the complete bad guy.

It’s slow in the middle but picks up towards the end and the final battle scenes. I expected the ending to follow the film with Jafar becoming a genie but there’s a twist to that that to say would be a big spoiler but we do get our happy ever after just in a different way. But again it’s dark and unexpected if you’re unable to let go of the film. And you have to let go of the film going into it, be prepared to take your mind to knew places where not everyone is a cuddly children’s character. Love and the good guys win in the end  – that’s not something to worry about but it is twisted. I loved it. I liked the alternate version and I can’t wait to read the next one