Series: The Jinni Wars #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Random House (7.22.2014)
eARC, 320 pages
A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . .
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
This is a hard review to write, because this book didn’t really do anything for me either way. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it. It was just….meh. It wasn’t bad – it held my interest well enough and wasn’t a struggle to read – but it wasn’t really that great, either. You know the kind of book that’s alright when you read it, but you don’t retain anything from it and you will probably forget about it within a few weeks? Yeah, that was this book for me.
I found the concept to be extremely intriguing. I enjoyed the Jinni world and all of the magic involved in wishes. I like the idea of two identical girls’ roles being switched. Honestly though, the awesome premise is probably the only thing that saved this book for me.
I was very bothered by the romance in this book. I found the relationships between Najwa and Kamal and Zayele and Atish to be rather rushed. Najwa decided she was in love with Kamal after having only a few interactions with him. Atish decided he suddenly had feelings for “Najwa” (Zayele), even though there’d been nothing there before. *sighs* That was what killed it for me.
I also had trouble telling the girls apart sometimes. There were quite a few times where I forgot who I was reading, despite the girls being in different settings. I didn’t feel like any of the characters had any real dimension, and they all sort of blended together. I couldn’t connect to any of them.
However, I may still give the second book a try later on down the road because I did really enjoy the Jinni world!
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5