Author: Amber Lough
Publisher: Random House Children's
Publishing Date: July 22nd 2014
Genre: Historical Fantasy / Mythology
Series: Jinni Wars #1
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.
I really didn't know much about this book. The Summary sounds very intriguing but it doesn't give too much away. A book about genies, how fun. Something new and fresh for me. I am so glad I gave this book a try. I loved it. There was a bit of pacing issues for me at the very beginning but once it grabbed me it grabbed me. I adored the characters and I loved the story. It was pretty amazing.
Najwa, the jinni and Zayele the human, switch places. Human forces a wish from the jinnie and the wish of course doesn't go right and it all goes down hill from there. All but the romance of course. So Jinni and Humans are at war. They have been since Najwa and Zayele were babies. They have been raised to fear, hate and fight the other. Now they are living each other's lives in a place full of the race they fear the most. They both must pretend to be the other, leaving no room for questions from the ones they must fool. Not only are they a place where their enemies reside but they are forced to spend time on a somewhat intimate level with the enemy. And of course they come to find its not all what was said, there have been secrets, betrayals, and lies. Oh and don't forget that they each begin to fall for the enemy.
Oh how much I loved this book. It was a bit questionable for me in the beginning. The book started off on a bit of slow track for me. It did take me a bit to figure out who was who and what was going on.... it may have been an attention issues on my side because at some point I just couldn't stop and I couldn't focus on my job at hand. I was totally engrossed and in the end I was a bit breathless.
There is so much good about this book and so little not so good, I will start with the not so good to get it out of the way. The issues I had were very minor. Besides the slow start, I felt the beginning was a bit confusing with all the names thrown in and back stories given so quickly and not throughly at first. This could have been part of the plan because there is a slight mystery with the story and maybe if all was thrown out right away it wouldn't have been such a mystery. Anyways I felt just a bit lost. I also had a very slight and I mean slight issue with the transition between the two main characters, Najwa and Zayele. I didn't realize it switched at times. There seemed to have been times, like at the beginning of the chapter where the POV name was mentioned but in the middle of the chapter it seemed to change without warning. Now I had an audio, so maybe there was a clear difference in the actual book. So this was a bit annoying but not enough to lose me.
So that was the not so good now for the good... so much more good. I mentioned the POV transition issues and that may have been due to audio, I still think the audio was well worth it because I loved the narrator. She so brought the characters to life, her reading style, her accent, her tone, it made the story so authentic for me. I love it when the narrator does so well and brings the story to life. I was able to get totally lost in the book and find myself in the world of Najwa and Zayele.
Speaking of Najwa and Zayle... loved, loved, loved these characters. They both had their flaws but were both very amazing, strong, female leads. I loved Najwa the most. She was my favorite out of the two, especially in the begging. She was a curious jinni. She wanted to know so much more about the human world and the humans, she thought it was all so fascinating. Of course this led her to trouble and discovery which led her to live the human life for a while. She was brave through it and never gave up finding a way out of the wish. She also had no problems making friends with her enemy. She was very kind and genuine. Even though she was loyal to her jinni, she felt that there was another way other than war, but she fought along side her kind and did whatever they needed her to do.
Zayle was more the trouble maker. She was very independent, very selfish at times, not as loyal to her tribe as Najwa was to her people. Najwa was selfless and Zayle was quite the opposite in that aspect of her personality. Zayele was a fighter, never bit her tongue, and was pretty up front with who she was. What you saw was what you got. In the end she really grew on me. She has some pretty strong points too and she definitely redeemed herself in the end.
The story was just a good one. It had some strong friendships, a bit of romance, magic, adventure, and really awful evil bad guys. I found myself completely engulfed and on the edge of my seat. The romance wasn't the highlight of the story but it was there and it was sweet on both sides. A developing first love type of romance, devoted, unexpected, and strong.
I enjoyed this story very very much and can't wait for more. One thing I did appreciated fully, no cliffhanger. The book is left open ended but the story for this particular volume had resolution and that made me so very happy. for a bit wasn't sure and thought it was gonna end with me angry. Nope, I was a little teary eyed but not angry.
A wonder book with magic and mystery, fantasy and mythology, and just bit of historical flair.
Amber Lough lives in Syracuse, NY with an astrophysicist and their two kids, Future CEO and Future Comedian. She spent half her childhood in Japan and the Middle East, but majored in Russian because she likes a challenge. She quit her job in the Air Force to write stories about maybe-possible worlds in which no one speaks English or "common." Her Middle Eastern fantasy, THE FIRE WISH, is due from Random House Children's in Fall 2014.