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Djinn City

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital of Bangladesh. When he learns that his dead mother was a djinn — more commonly known as a genie — and that his drunken loutish father is a sitting emissary to the djinns (e.g. a magician), his whole world is turned inside out. Suddenly, and for reasons that totally ...more
Paperback, 413 pages
Published November 2017 by Unnamed Press (first published October 24th 2017)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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K.J. Charles
An absolute barnstormer of a read, set in Bangladesh. This looks on the surface like an urban fantasy novel--boy with weird father in crumbling mansion discovers strange supernatural world of djinn, moving into adventure quest. Except a) the plot diverges wildly from anything you expect, and b) it's not only a fantasy, it's simultaneously the darkest possible satire, of Bangladesh, humanity, and the effects of wealth and power. (Author's previous book, the excellent Escape from Baghdad!, is also ...more
Kristen Burns
3.5 Stars

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*

Djinns! So many djinns! YES!

A couple years ago I read some urban fantasy books about djinns and decided they just weren't for me. But I became interested in them again lately, so I decided to give this book a try, and apparently the problem was the books themselves, not djinns, because this version was super interesting!

The author clearly put a lot of thought into the djinn aspect, and that was
Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
I'm confused about this. Because it started off great, and it's incredibly imaginative, well-written, and laugh-out-loud funny. It takes the largely untapped lore of djinn and weaves something incredible out of it. Politics, djinn currency, airships, giant sea monsters, dragons, enchanted vases and glasses, and a decent amount of fascinating genetic science... the world-building gives Harry Potter some competition.

But as the novel progressed, I felt like it was doing too much. Instead of remaini
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Escape from Baghdad! was such a delight, I was so hopeful I'd like the authors second novel at least as much. There is a book buried within this one that could have been that book for me. I loved the character of Indelbed, who had such an innocent, self-deprecating nature - the perfect raw material to go through trials and become a heartfelt hero. He was the real beating heart of the book, and his story line was great. The Rais story line, on the other hand, was cartoony, with lots of action but ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Great fantasy book that doesn’t have a single elf dwarf goblin orc or troll in it. So refreshing. The ending however leads me to believe the author passed out and his agent sent it off for publishing without consulting the author or reading the manuscript.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love the worldbuilding and plot twists! Solid page turner of a novel. Though I enjoyed it, be warned that it ends on a major cliffhanger with no sequel in sight.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Special note: I was sent this book by Unnamed Press. I'm giving an honest review.

I have read a little bit of another djinn series (The Bartimaeus trilogy) before, which I enjoyed, so I was very excited about this book. It was interesting to see the difference between these books and their presentation of djinn mythology, such as who holds the power (djinn or humans).

Djinn City was very lyrically written (which I enjoyed and am very familiar with because of my mother's writing). It read like poe
Vanessa Price
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Did not finish at 30% through.

I hate giving up on books and I've only done it a few other times, but it took me almost TWO WEEKS to get not even half way through, and I just decided I didn't care anymore. My problem was mainly the excess of word vomit that was the world building. Very little happened in the story to the point that I read because the characters spent all their time describing the world and the very complicated politics in the world of the djinns. It was all pretty hard to digest,
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable read. It was funny, smart, and inventive. I liked the setting and the characters. I wasn't sure how a story about djinns or genies would go but I was very engaged in this story. The worldbuilding was clever and not too far-fetched or technical (ok, the section on genetics was more detailed than I would have liked so I skimmed it.)

The ending didn't go as I wanted but it was reasonable given everything that led up to it.

I would definitely read other books by this author. Hi
I loved this book - great story, great dark comedy tone and a vividly built world without losing sight of the plot. I liked how the fantastical elements of the story are woven into mundane Dhaka life. The harshness - of the characters and the environment - felt realistic. Also, this isn't just a story about Indelbed, but a whole host of characters and it's all the better for it. I do hope the writer publishes a sequel.

I really wanted to give this 5 stars but had to hold back because of a few iss
Bryan Wigmore
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Not often I give a book three stars but then put the author's other title straight on my "to read" list. The writing voice here is mostly lively, erudite and fun, there are some fascinating ideas, and the djinn and their society and history are very well worked out. At the same time, the djinn all seem rather ridiculous (which is a neat idea, but doesn't allow for much of the sense of awe that I like in fantasy), and all speak in much the same voice: the same voice as most of the humans, in fact ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
I LOVED this book. Until I got about 3/4 through. By the time I got almost to the end, it was a disaster, and I am quite unsatisfied with, not only the turn of events, but also how everything just seemed thrown together. Plot changes and character shifts because the story had to go some place in the author's mind?

I don't know. It's worth a read, I'm just let down.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found myself savouring each page, not wanting the book to end. A masterpiece. Brilliant. At times laugh out loud. Dark. Magical. The characters will stay with you after you put the book down. Now to wait for the sequel ..... sigh.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonky last 1/4- definitely just chopped off for a sequel

First 3/4 are amazing though

This book is long.  This book is dense.  Try to just breezily rush through this and you will miss things.  This book is also smart and sarcastic and snarky and everything else I love.

Indelbed is adorable.  He's from the embarrassing part of a prominent family.  He's pretty much being ignored by his alcoholic father who is in turn ignored by the extended family.  He's just going about his life the best he can hoping that maybe someday one of his aunts will notice that things are really not ok in
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018reads
Pretty much gonna read anything with djinns these days, thanks to the Djinni & the Golem. This one was fun — better than Alif the Unseen in a more rollicking adventure kind of way, not as good as Golem & the Djinni which is really literary.

But this was super fun (if shallow on the character development end), and: there will be sequels!
Paro  (Peekabook)
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When you think about YA fantasy novel. They all fall under the same type. Something terrible is going to happen to this world and then enters the hero to save the day. But what really makes this book different is that there is quite a few number of characters that play a big role throughout this whole book and don’t forget about the Djinns. This is one of the best science fiction and urban fantasy novel I have read in a long time. Saad Z Hossain is a wonderful story teller and the book was able ...more
Saad Hossain knocks it out of the park with this, his second novel, a worthy follow-up to the excellent Escape from Baghdad!. This is an epic win: a fun, unique fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of Tim Powers and China Miéville.

The enjoyably bonkers plot centres around Indelbed, a forlorn Bangladeshi kid growing up in the questionable care of his decrepit, drunk father. They live in a crumbling old house in the chaotic city of Dhaka - and Dhaka grows to be a character in its own right
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting and enjoyable book that builds a fascinating lore while telling a pretty good story. There's some humor, but I didn't find it as funny as a lot of reviewers apparently did. The biggest knock against this book is that it just ends. Like suddenly stops dead with no resolution. I'm assuming there's a sequel (I haven't been able to find definitive info one way or another), but that would have been nice to know going into it.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Thoroughly recommended.

I really enjoyed this read. A touch of China Miéville and Brandon Sanderson...yet 100% Saad Hossain. Top quality.

I give it a solid 4/5. And, yes, I took away one star for being a cliffhanger...and not being up front about it. Bad Publisher!
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Named as one of the Guardian’s best books of the year, Djinn City evokes the supernatural world of djinns who are permeated in the popular imagination either through the cartoons like Aladdin or television series like I Dream of Jeannie where genies are subservient to their human masters or through movies where they are characterized as evil, dark characters whose very existence is to afflict agony and torment humankind. In both the scenarios, their world circles around the human world. However, ...more
Vivek Anandh
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 400, fiction, owned
When can a fiction be called a success?
I have a simple answer for this. It succeeds only when it succeeds in obeying its own construction of the world. When a fictional work is written the author constructs an artificial world with each word that writes. That world is possessed of its own intrinsic qualities that are unique to it. It does not matter whether you call is a science fiction or not. Every fictional story has its own laws of physics that it must obey. In that world there can be no gra
Siddhi Palande
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We all have heard about Djinns in the folk lore or in horror films but it takes a lot to spine a fantasy around the lore. Saad Z. Hossain's Djinn City is such one-of-a-kind novel. It is published by Aleph Book Co. and is 456 pages long.

The novel begins with focusing on the character Indelbed's disappearance. He is kidnapped by Djinns because he is a half bred. He is trapped in a murder pit where roam dangerous flesh eating beasts. On the other side of the world, Indelbed's aunt, Juny, and his c
Ashwini Ganesh
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in super chaotic Dhaka with his father, Dr. Kaikobad. His father is the black sheep of their clan, the once illustrious Khan Rahman family. He is a drunkard and doesn’t allow his son to go to school, and worse, Indelbed knows nothing about his mother except the official cause of her early demise: ‘Death by Indelbed’. But when Dr. Kaikobad falls into a supernatural coma, his relatives confess that Indelbed’s mom was a djinn and his dad w
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars sounds like a moderate, middling review, but in this case, it means I have a sort of love-hate relationship with the story.

I found Djinn City instantly addicting, but I became frustrated with it increasingly as it went along. It's well-written, suspenseful, engrossing, and sometimes hilarious, with a diverse cast of interesting characters and interesting perspectives on social structures and family dynamics, but it gets very dark, much darker than I had bargained for, given the comic
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-novels
3.5 stars

Djinn City was a book with a solid beginning, fantastic middle, and lackluster end. I'm so disapointed that it didn't live up to all that was set up to be.

There was a lot to love about this book. I loved the writing this book. Hossain's writing style was convoluted at times (I did look up plenty of words while reading it) but the choice of pretentious diction created a charming tone reminiscent of Claire North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Every excessively fancy word used
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I rounded down from a 3.5 stars because of the number of issues I had with a book whose storyline I often found engaging.

About a young boy who is half-djinn, his family, and really, all of djinn-dom and the fate of the human race, I found myself hooked about halfway through the book. And then! The end of the book was so abrupt with so little resolution I can’t tell if the author couldn’t figure out how to finish the book, or if he was hoping to get to write a sequel (which was one of my critici
Sarah Haque
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, owned, thriller
It started off great. Khan Rahman family faces a disaster when one of the family members fell into a coma without any apparent reason. Dr. Kaikobad lived quite a lonely life anyway, with his son and butler at an old house at Wari.Some rumours are confirmed and their lives started to revolve around djinns.

The concept is new and it's not conventional paranormal stuff. It was more like a sci-fi in a cover of a fantasy, that's a heads up beforehand.

The plot and world building is remarkable in one
Lisa Ahn
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ali
I was looking forward to reading this as soon as I saw the cover, and it didn't disappoint. (view spoiler) ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Djinn City: Change page numbering 2 14 Mar 22, 2018 06:45AM  
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“I feel hollow. And skinless."
"That's the feeling of childhood falling away.”
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