Blog Tours, Book Reviews, muslim shelf space

Ayesha Dean – The Seville Secret by Melati Lum – ARC Review

Thank you to Melati Lum for sending me an eARC of her book in exchange for an honest review.
I am super excited to be part of this blog tour as I loved the first Ayesha Dean book and I can’t wait to read more of her adventures in the future! You can also read my review of the first book here

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Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Ayesha, Sara & Jess are back in an exciting new adventure, and this time they’re off to Spain! When a fellow passenger’s beloved grandpa strangely disappears, Ayesha and her friends gladly join in the search for the missing person. But as Ayesha delves further into the mystery, the more sinister the stakes become! Ayesha finds a link between the missing person and a seventeenth-century diary that contains clues to an ancient mystery. However, each step closer to discovery seems to pose greater chances of peril. Can Ayesha uncover the truth without putting herself and her friends in mortal danger?

This is the second book in the Ayesha Dean mystery series and I really loved this book even more than the first! I loved seeing how Ayesha, Sara and Jess develop from the first book and we got to see more of their interactions both while they’re solving the mystery and just hanging out together. I also loved this mystery even more than the Istanbul Intrigue. Spain is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time, especially to see the Islamic history there and this book has made me long for it even more!

This story is steeped in the Islamic history of Spain and I loved how Melati wove this history into the mystery that Ayesha and her friends need to solve. I can tell that it has been well researched. Even the way modern day Spain is described in the books. It’s so vivid from the tourist spots to the food and culture and everything, like her first book, was so well researched that all I wanted to do was drop everything and go and visit the places and eat the food!

I also loved that in this book we get to see more of Sara and Jess and their backgrounds. It made them more distinct and well rounded as characters outside of being Ayesha’s friends. It was so nice to see a group of girls who are such great friends and support and love each other yet still make jokes and have fun together.

I also want to mention Ayesha’s uncle, Dave, he is such a wonderful character and although we don’t see much of him, what we do see shows that Ayesha has a beautiful, loving relationship with him. In YA it’s not often we get to see parental figures having a great relationship with the protagonist.

The story itself was so interesting and intriguing that I didn’t want to put the book down and was reading well into the night. It was also much more darker at times than The Istanbul Intrigue which I liked seeing as solving a mystery, especially one which involves a missing person, can lead to dark secrets.

One of the things I love about these books is the way Ayesha’s faith in seamlessly woven into the story. She wears a hijab and prays and her faith is important to her yet she is just your average teenage girl who wants to be work in the police force and become a detective. It makes Muslim women “normal” rather than shown as “other” and I am so thankful for that.

Although this book is part of a series each book has it’s own complete arc so while the adventures build on each other they are completely separate stories and separate mysteries that Ayesha solves.

I highly recommend picking up this book especially if you enjoy mystery/detective books. And make sure you go check out the other posts on this blog tour!

Ayesha Dean – The Seville Secret releases today!

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