Djinn city A novel

Saad Z. Hossain

Book - 2017

Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital Of Bangladesh. His father, Dr. Kaikobad, is the black sheep of their clan, the once illustrious Khan Rahman family. A drunken loutish widower, he refuses to allow Indelbed go to school, and the only thing Indelbed knows about his mother is the official cause of her early demise: "Death by Indelbed." But When Dr. Kaikobad falls into a supernatural coma, Indelbed and his older cousin, the wise-cracking slacker Rais, learn that Indelbed's dad was in fact a magician--and a trusted emissary to the Djinn (or genie) world. And the Djinns, as it turns out, are displeased. A "hunt" has been announced, and ten year-old... Indelbed is the prey. Still reeling from the fact that genies actually exist, Indelbed finds himself on the run. Soon, the boys are at the center of a great Diinn controversy, one tied to the continuing fallout from an ancient war, with ramifications for the future of life as we know it.

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Fantasy fiction
Los Angeles, CA : The Unnamed Press [2017]
Main Author
Saad Z. Hossain (author)
Physical Description
413 pages ; 23 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

When Indelbed's alcoholic father falls into a supernatural stupor, Indelbed discovers that his late mother was a djinn; his father, a magician. Since Indelbed's hybrid bloodline threatens djinn culture, a powerful being banishes him to a pit, where he feeds off larvae, practices magic, and eventually evolves into a third form of mystical creature. Meanwhile, as Rais searches for his missing cousin, he becomes an emissary between the two worlds, inserting himself in djinn politics with the guidance of his shrewd mother and ambitious ex-girlfriend. Hossain's rich, vivid, straightforward prose propels the story at a quick clip. Darkness looms on every page, yet he offsets the serious stakes with Joss Whedonesque quips. Although a war could erupt at any second, the crux of the story revolves around Indelbed. His fiery transformation suggests that if you submit a sweet child to nothing but suffering, he will learn he must destroy in order to survive. With man-eating wyrms, invisible airships, and eccentric genies, this fantasy-adventure will appeal to fans of The Golem and the Jinni (2013) and the Bartimaeus trilogy.--Hyzy, Biz Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In his second novel, Hossain (Escape from Baghdad!) blends picaresque fantasy, supernatural politics, and genetic science into a whirlwind of a tale that centers on two sons of the Khan Rahman clan, a distinguished Bangladeshi family with a secret magical past. Indelbed is the only son of the alcoholic, widowed black sheep of the family, Dr. Kaikobad; his older cousin Rais is the slacker son of an ambassador and his formidable wife. A magical attack on Kaikobad forces Indelbed and Rais into the murderous, litigious affairs of the powerful, nearly-immortal djinns. The boys' fates and those of the population around the Bay of Bengal depend on their survival and on the secret history of djinns and humans. Hossain is an imaginative, talented storyteller with a knack for both dark comedy and harrowing tragedy. He is prone to revealing a great deal of information through lengthy character monologues, but that tendency detracts only a little from the richly imagined world of his story, of which the cliffhanger ending promises more to come. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

On the basis of this (literally as well as figuratively) fantastic novel, Bangladeshi author Hossain (Escape from Baghdad) is a comer. Ten-year-old Indelbed lives like an orphan, ignored by his father, Dr. Kaikobad, in a crumbling mansion in Bangladesh. Whenever he asks his drink-sodden parent how his mother died, the Doctor answers, "Death by Indelbed." When his father falls into a supernaturally induced coma, Indelbed discovers that the Doctor is an important magician, brokering transactions between men and djinn. Something about Indelbed displeases the djinn: they declare a "hunt" with Indelbed the prey. So many, and so fantastic, things happen then that it's hard to keep track in this fast-paced novel of supernatural and natural hijinks. It spans more than ten years, with rock wyrms and an incipient dragon, a mage with no legs, and one character, a djinn, who is a large school of fish. (Think "collective consciousness.") No other author writes exactly like Hossain, but lovers of China Mieville's Kraken may recognize the terrain. Verdict An outrageous hodgepodge of adventure and humor, this novel should appeal widely to lovers of the fantastic and of Middle Eastern and South Asian literature.-David Keymer, Cleveland © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A boy in Bangladesh with an unusual heritage finds himself enmeshed in a secret society of supernatural creatures.Hossain's debut (Escape from Baghdad!, 2015) was a delicious mashup of pulpy adventure novel and sarcastic war satire, so why not follow it up with a supernatural adventure steeped in Eastern lore? It begins with a boy discovering his true calling. Ten-year-old Indelbed is a smart youngster living under the shadow of his eccentric father, Dr. Kaikobad. Dad keeps his son in the dark about most things, including school and the fate of his mother, whose death certificate says only "Death by Indelbed." But when Dr. Kaikobad falls into an "occultocephalus coma"the beginning of much jargon-laced worldbuildingIndelbed's family is forced to confess that his mother was a djinn, a supernatural creature in Islamic culture anglicized to "genie." His older cousin Rais is not impressed: "And you guys all believe in magic? Like Harry Potter-type magic?" he says to another cousin, the Ambassador, who tells them the news. It turns out Indelbed is a half-breed, now the subject of a hunt by a violent splinter group of djinn. After his father's lawyer, Siyer Dargo Dargoman, sells Indelbed to psychopathic djinn Matteras, he winds up in a "murder pit" with exiled Ifrit Givaras, who has the unenviable task of teaching Indelbed the ways of the djinn and keeping him safe from the carnivorous rock worms that roam the pit. "You came here a frightened little boy," says Givaras. "I have indeed made you a monster. You said you wanted to survive. This is the price. There are no knights in shining armor in this world, boy. When fighting monsters, what else can you do but become one?" What follows is an epic fantasy adventure with spellcasting duels, steampunk-ish vehicles alongside flying carpets, and a battle of wills between virtual gods and a hero with the heart of a dragon.A delightful fantasy adventure with a YA spirit, a PG rating, and a rich introduction to Arabian mythology. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.