Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 99
Trouble in the jinn world
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
The world of jinn isn’t as common as other magical settings so the story feels newish. Jinn in other books grant wishes and seem to have great magical powers but their abilities are limited in this book. There are seven jinn gods this time and Farrah’s father is one of them, along with being the presiding judge in the jinn supreme court. Jinn are not supposed to associate with humans so Farrah’s existence as a half-jinn means she’s going to have a lot of trouble rescuing her father. It will also mean big trouble for her father if the other jinn gods find out. Gods in middle-grade novels are often pompous and self-centered and that tradition continues.
Farrah suffers from feelings of inadequacy when it comes to her father due to his demands for excellence and following rules. She’s supremely confident about hiking and climbing but his comments still cause her to falter. However, she only gets to see him once a year so she misses having a normal relationship with her father. The decision to meet once a year is his choice and her mother and grandparents think that’s one time too many. Farrah wonders if they’re aware her father is a jinn king and she’s surprised and hurt when she begins to unravel the truth. Discovering she has a half-brother confuses matters as he doesn’t hide his disdain and anger toward her. Her family life is complicated but Farrah learns that she’s not the only one with parent issues.
As with most books, the main character is part of a trio trying to fulfill some kind of mission. Farrah is joined by a jinn boy named Idris who she accidentally frees from the magical ring. Then, she discovers her half-brother Yaseen, and her dysfunctional group is complete. Idris helps Farrah out of obligation and Yaseen reluctantly helps because he wants to rescue his father. Yaseen’s been taught that humans are worthless so he aids Farrah because he doesn’t think she is capable of saving their father. Idris and Yaseen don’t like each other either so developing any sense of teamwork seems impossible. Although Farrah is hard on herself, she has faith in others which ultimately helps in the end.
What didn’t work as well:
It’s surprising that Farrah doesn’t confide in her best friend or ask for her help early in the book. Arzu is like a sister to Farrah so why doesn’t Farrah ask for her assistance and advice, especially in matters involving family? Arzu provides valuable contributions later in the story despite being a worthless, full-blooded human.
The final verdict:
The book presents a creative world of jinn featuring a story with adventure, family, and friendship. Including Persian cultural details adds flavoring while Farrah’s confusing emotions will develop empathy in readers. Overall, I recommend you give this book a shot.
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