It’s my stop with MTMC Tours to talk about The Falling Star (#2) by Imani Josey!
You might remember my review earlier this year for The Blazing Star (book 1 in the series!) and now it’s time to talk about the most gorgeous sequel 🥰 Side note: don’t the covers look stunning together? The review below does not contain any big spoilers, in case you haven’t read book one!
Diving back into this series was an adventure. It picks off right where book one leaves off — Alex is laid low with heka sickness and wakes up in an unfamiliar place. She ends up caught up with the Hykos and is roped into being a tutor to the royal children. I really loved this part, because you get to see Alex working hard to get back home and find Portia, but also stretching her skills as she is embroiled in palace politics and has to keep a classroom of children focused. (Also you get to meet Itet and her little baby crocodile, Bek!! They literally call him “For now, he is a lizard with a sour disposition.” This cracked me up. 😂
The plot is really intricate and fast-paced, but also PACKED. There are a lot of subplots and characters, people with double identities, and big plot twist reveals. The love and detail that goes into the descriptions makes you feel right there in ancient times and I enjoyed that we saw more settings and experiences.
But the thing that really had my heart was Portia and Alex 🥺💛Their relationship has been complex from book one, with Portia being all reckless fire who felt ignored in favour of Alex’s genius. While Alex is reserved and logical, the one who wants to choose safety and holds herself back. I also felt her palpable grief of missing her mother, and how Alex wanted to protect Portia the whole time but ended up pushing her away a lot. They are POWER together and I loved watching them flourish — though there’s plenty of angst!!
Overall it’s a dazzling, complex and plot-packed story, definitely a series not to miss!
Thanks to MTMC Tours for having me! And head over to my instagram for the INTL giveaway!
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria White only wants to go home, a wish that would be easier to pull off if home weren’t thousands of years in the future and halfway across the world.
Since her twin sister, Portia, touched an artifact during their history class, she’s been stuck in ancient Egypt surrounded by the unknown: knife-wielding priestesses, soul-consuming Scorpions, and a destiny so terrifying she fled Egypt’s capital city.
Alex has been hiding in plain sight and putting her academic skills to use as a royal tutor in the Nile Delta, an area on the brink of war. When tensions rise between clashing monarchies, everything Alex left behind—the magic that is her birthright, the danger of the Scorpions—is arriving at her door, as well as a major secret.
She’ll have to decide if she will flee again or take a stand and face her future in the past.
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. The Blazing Star was her debut novel; it is followed by its sequel The Falling Star. Find her at Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter
Hi Imani! It’s lovely to have you back at Paper Fury to talk about The Falling Star! But first can you introduce us to your The Blazing Star series?
Of course! The Blazing Star series is my love letter to magic, agency, history, and power. It’s the series I needed as a little girl and it’s what I always wanted to write. Portia and Alex are destined to save the world, and that’s fun and adventurous, but they’re also complicated and layered. I want the readers to go on quite an adventure as they watch them grow from modern girls to badass sorceresses.
A lot changed from writing book one to writing book two. Personally, I changed! I got married, had a baby, and then got pregnant with my second. Professionally, I dove into craft. I began to teach creative writing, edit on the side, and had short stories published. This all made me see storytelling in book 2 completely differently. I wanted to show my development. I am so proud of what came from that experience!
Write the words. You can’t edit what’s not there. I used to spout “write every day.” I don’t prescribe to that anymore, but I do believe in getting the ugly words down as best you can so that you can eventually get to the beautiful ones.
Steven Meyer-Rassow is the creative force behind both covers. He’s well pretty damn fantastic! We worked together on the direction for The Blazing Star and The Falling Star, but after that, he really made magic. I believe in letting professionals be professional and he knocked it out of the park. We wanted to showcase #Blackgirlmagic and give the main characters agency. Tamyka Jones is the amazing model on both covers. She really captures both girls seamlessly. When the first cover dropped in 2016, the response was insane. It was the closest thing I’d ever experienced to going viral. Back then, there weren’t a lot of Black girls on covers, especially on fantasy covers. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of the magic we made!
A secret, you say… hmm… I’m working on book 3 in the series, which should wrap everything up with a nice, neat bow, as well as a story about when I was a professional cheerleader. That’s all I can say for now!
You’ve definitely nailed that! Seeing these sisters grow and come into their powers and learn to understand each other is such an amazing journey. Always a pleasure to chat with you, Imani, and congratulations on another beautiful novel!
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