My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Review: A Master of Djinn

A Master of Djinn A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first full novel after two (2) preceding short stories/novellas, the book stands on it's own very well, starting strong with the introduction of the murder mystery and the principle protagonist in the first few chapters. I was immediately intrigued by the world building, which had just enough of the exotic (mix of magic, tech and religion) to keep my interest in exploring further. We get genies, angels, [Egyptian] gods, clockwork machines and robots in which we get the traditional "who done it" mystery. Add to that an amazing ability to "set the scene" with just enough description to make it interesting with being an info-dump, and I could totally see myself in that world. The main character was a likable investigator with a sardonic sense of humor that I enjoyed. The writing was concise and easy to read ... until we get to a typical (and completely ridiculous) "there must be some mistake 'cause I drink alone" trope after getting a new partner that spun me up to speed fairly quickly and dropped the book out of consideration as a favorite. Sloppy story craft and totally specious when compared to the straightforward common sense I found as the rest of the story unfolded. I know that's not fair, but now the little things frequently found in advance [uncorrected galley] copies that I could have ignored really started to irritate me (e.g. ... "like lovers in in the late of night" ... "who'd nearly bought New Orleans to its knees"). Although the writing got back on track fairly quickly, it combined with a chaotic jumble for the final resolution that was particularly disappointing ... although not quite top shelf, it is definitely worth a read.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#AMasterOfDjinn #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.