5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel and brother Alexis Siegel | Review

Publisher: Random House BFYR
Release Date: May 2, 2017 (out now!)
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: 5 Worlds #1
The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there's more to themselves and more to their worlds than meets the eye...

The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.

A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.

Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

The Sand Warrior is the first book in the 5 Worlds series, and going in I had very high expectations. Maybe too high? But, I couldn't help it! It's being promoted as Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender and some of my favorite graphic novelists (Kazu Kibuishi, Noelle Stevenson) wrote blurbs for it.

The whole Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender I see that, but The Sand Warrior didn't quite hit that epicness Star Wars and Avatar has. However, I do believe that the series could in future installments, not just with this book.

Hands down, my favorite part of The Sand Warrior is the art. I got an advanced reader's copy so most of the art in it is black and white, but the one chapter where everything was in color was beautiful--actually, even though the other pages were black and white the gorgeous art still shone through. The art reminds me a little bit of Kazu Kibuishi's art in his Amulet series, but softer and less angled. Anyway, the art is GORGEOUS and consistent throughout the book and the style and color really matches the story and characters.

Via 5 Worlds on Tumblr. Click on the image to go to the website to preview more of the art. 
My biggest issue with The Sand Warrior is the story itself. The first third of the story was very confusing. We were just thrown into the world and I naturally scrambled to try to figure things out and everything weren't gelling. Then, we got more information bit by bit as the story progressed and by the end I have a general idea of the world and all the different people and cultures. I did like the combination of ancient magic, plant magic, and futuristic technology the 5 Worlds have going on.

Another thing that knocked down my rating for this book was the fact that problems the characters run across sometimes were solved just a little too easily, or a character could spend pages denying something and then quickly does a 180 within a couple panels. This is especially true for Oona's character, which moved the plot along but it also left me skeptical.  

As for the characters, I really enjoyed the main trio--Oona, An Tzu, and Jax Amboy. They all have very interesting backstories, and it was strongly hinted that there's more about them and their past that even the characters themselves don't know about and I am very interested in finding out more. There was even a twist about Jax that I didn't guess until the reveal, which was great because I was able to figure out most of the plot twists way before they became super obvious.

Overall, The Sand Warrior was a fun, quick read. It didn't quite live up to my admittedly high expectations, but I was entertained by it and I absolutely LOVED the art. I strongly believe that the future books will be so much more epic now that much of the world has been introduced. 

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