Aladdin-meets-steampunk in this brand-new retelling from K.M. Robinson All wishes require sacrifice…are you willing to pay the price? Cyra spent the last seven years being trained to steal an airship in a brutal competition that leaves the victor with millions. Last year, she won. Aladdin spent the past year fighting to get enough money to take his mother away from Horallen after his father was murdered. Now, his evil Uncle Kacper wants to force him into the competition and straight to his death inside the Collection Cave. When Aladdin discovers a genie said to have been banished a century ago, the competition becomes even deadlier, and he knows he can’t trust the girl who snuck into the competition this year...but Cyra might not survive his ruthlessness either in a game where only the lion’s heart can win. All wishes require sacrifice, and someone is going to pay the price for the Stourbridge. Perfect for fans of Ready Player One, Cinder, Mortal Engines, and Etiquette and Espionage.
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The setting is fascinating and complex, the world building rich and thoughtful. Robinson fully realizes the steampunk setting in every part of the story, from the clothing to the machines and even medical aspects. Anyone wanting to be fully immersed into a world will not be disappointed here.
The plot avoids predictability while remaining consistent and understandable. Once the story gets going, the pacing keeps the reader hooked and constantly wanting more.
The Aladdin retelling angle is robust enough to make sense, but not overdone, ideal for fairy tale adaptations.
But what I really loved was the romance angle. Though it is far from the focus of the story, the slow burn romantic build up is expertly executed and entirely swoon worthy.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The level of detail in the beginning of the story goes beyond a typical young adult writing style. Though the world building is undeniably well-explained, the pacing could have been much improved at the outset with a little less explaining, with some of the excess detail thrown in later and some left out entirely.
The side characters lack a certain depth, and the ease with which the main characters trust them is never fully explained. As an example, a character Cyra barely likes at one point is later trusted with a secret and a mission, though no relationship development occurs in the meantime.
The Final Verdict:
Lions and Lamps will fully immerse you in a steampunk adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and makes you swoon in the process.