Hello dear reader(s) and welcome back to the blog. In today’s short & sweet instalment of Nessa reads books and writes reviews (NRBWR) I’m introducing you to P. Djeli Clark’s fascinating steampunk urban fantasy novelette A Dead Djinn in Cairo. Moreover, you can read it for free on Tor.com, so there’s absolutely no excuse for anyone not to read some untraditional fantasy!
I strongly believe that authors do the best job in introducing themselves. Although creating a short autobiography is almost always a pain in the posterior. 😀 Well to quote the author’s website
P. Djeli Clark is an Afro-Caribbean-American writer of speculative fiction. Raised on genres of fantasy, sci fi, horror and the supernatural, I felt a need for more diverse tales with more diverse characters drawn from more diverse sources. To that end, I put pen to pad and fingers to keyboard, seeking to Imagine, Dream and Create new realms to explore. Gathered here are my thoughts and glimpses into some of these worlds my writing reflects.
If the author’s name sounds familiar to you, he recently published an intriguing short story The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington which you can find here. I haven’t read it yet, it’s on the oh so long to-read list, but I’ve heard may great things about it.
But let’s get back to A Dead Djinn in Cairo which is set in an alternate Egypt of 1912. Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi (whose last name is a nod to the founder of Egypt’s Feminist Union – Huda el-Sha’arawi) of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities (what a mouthful! 😀 ) investigates an odd suicide case of a djinn. And the weird bollocks don’t stop there! It keeps getting stranger and stranger right until the last page!
Although A Dead Djinn in Cairo is a short fantasy work it packs a punch. In the 40 or so pages of this novelette you get a sense of the richness of this alternate Egypt populated by djinns, ghouls, angels and other beings. Furthermore, the characters manage to shine through leaving an imprint of their personalities and quirks. The plot itself is gripping, absorbing and holds your attention to the very end! And after that you cannot believe that you’ve read a short story, ‘cause it feels like you’ve read one hell of a book – the storyline is so well written, has so many things happening in such a short time, but you never feel overloaded by it.
All things considered you should definitely read A Dead Djinn in Cairo. It might not be the fantasy you’re used to, but it’s fascinating, gripping, funny, mysterious, quirky, funny and short. So you’ll read it in no-time! If you need some more encouragement to read it well it’ll definitely make your Monday a whole lot better! 😀 Until next time dear reader(s)!