• Selena | Beauty's Library

A Whole New World Review

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?


Rating: 3/5

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?

I will say, I didn’t love this twisted tale. I can’t really pinpoint the why. It just wasn’t a good one for me. I didn’t fully enjoy it as I did with As Old As Time - you can check out my review of As Old As Time here. The more I think about it, the harder it is to put my thoughts down.


This retelling of Aladdin is definitely dark and definitely twisted. Unlike with As Old As Time, I didn’t feel as invested in the characters, which may be due to the fact As Old As Time is based on my favorite fairytale and I’ve never been a major fan of Aladdin. It’s not that I don’t like Aladdin, it was just never my favorite. I’m a big Disney nerd all around. I will watch basically any Disney movie.


A Whole New World starts off in a similar manner to As Old As Time where the first 10-20% of the book follows the original Disney storyline. With almost the exact same lines and events as the movies. Then at a certain point, there’s a major twist. As Old As Time twisted at the moment, Belle is about to touch the rose, this one occurs when Aladdin is in the Cave of Wonders. This major twist for Aladdin at least feels like this is an alternate dimension. Whereas we’re used to seeing Abu steal the lamp back after Aladdin gives it to Jafar. This one instead, Abu doesn’t have a chance to steal it back. Thus Aladdin having the lamp and becoming friends with Genie never happens.


This major twist for Aladdin at least feels like this is an alternate dimension.

Since this is the twist, I can’t help but be a little thrown based on the main point of this story’s summary and what’s literally written on the cover. This book states “What if Aladdin never found the lamp?” This is simply not the case, he did in fact find the lamp. He just didn’t keep it. Though I have honestly no clue what I would have said instead of this question of “what if,” I just wish it was something else.


The majority of the middle felt stretched thin like the author was trying to make the book longer. For me personally, the middle was just slow. The first third of the book was quick to read, and the final third was also quick, I was able to plow through it in just a couple hours. It was just that middle section, I felt so bored. I started to skin through some of the parts because I just was not interested in the spiel.


As for the ending, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I honestly thought it was going to be similar to the movie where they trick Jafar into wishing to become a genie himself. They kept hinting at that throughout the book, that genie was more powerful than Jafar. So I was genuinely surprised by what Jafar’s final wish actually was.


I was genuinely surprised by what Jafar’s final wish actually was.

Overall, I didn’t love this twisted tale, as I already mentioned. Though I did enjoy it to an extent as being a big Disney nerd, so I don’t think I would have ever hated it. A Whole New World is definitely a twisted tale. It takes Aladdin and places it one a dark and sinister path filled with evil magic and zombies. I’m surprised I didn’t like it more than I did. Considering I really enjoyed As Old As Time because that’s my favorite Disney movie if your favorite or one of your favorites is Aladdin, I think you’ll really this one. Keep reading for more of my thoughts on A Whole New World.

Warning Spoilers :) - for As Old As Time as well.


The darkness feels similar to As Old As Time with how the asylum keeper tortured all the magical creatures. Though I don’t remember such grim details in that one like with this one. The details of how people died were so sinister for a Disney fairytale. Especially when Jafar turned that poor man’s head all the way around so he was facing backward… I can’t get that image out of my head.


In the end, I thought Jafar’s final wish was genuinely good for the future of Agrabah. At least now Aladdin and Jasmine won’t argue on what the fate of that evil book should be. I agreed with Aladdin that it should have been destroyed. No one should have that kind of power.


I was a little disturbed by how Jasmine acted at the end, attempting to become a sorceress herself. If it wasn’t for Aladdin she would have become one. I didn’t like that Jasmine even thought about taking Jafar’s powers. It really made me dislike her character in this retelling.


I felt bad for the Genie, his whole story and background was genuinely sad and depressing. I liked that Aladdin was that tiny thought of how he saw them possibly being great friends. It was like he was glimpsing what could have been like he was seeing the timeline where Aladdin had the lamp. I think that’s one thing I wished this story had more of, more Genie. I missed the Genie.

Keep an eye out for more of my reviews on these Twisted Tales! You can check out my review of As Old As Time here!