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June, 2016: Fantasy > The Golem and the Jinni/Wecker - 3 stars

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments This novel, set at the turn of the century in New York City, really could have used a stronger editorial hand. Interestingly, it brings together two mythological beings - - a Golem (woman made of clay) from mystical Judaism and the Jinni (like a genie, born of fire) from Arabic lore. Both the Golem and the Jinni end up in New York, both manage to find helpful, caring people that enable them to navigate their surroundings, and both have bad insomnia that ultimately leads them to one another.

On the good side, the book builds steadily, and I found the final fifth pretty gripping and the struggles of the Golem and the Jinni (especially the Jinni) escalate to the point where the reader is most certainly cheering them on and hoping for a good outcome for both. So the author is successful in humanizing both.

On the negative side, the book seemed to really drag on and on in the middle section. There's a lot of walking around New York and while the setting is described well and creates a great atmosphere . . .it's just too much and slowed the book down for me. In addition, there's an antagonist and while the Golem and the Jinni became believable to me, despite their fantastical origins, the antagonist remained a caricature, his motivations driven by an imaginative backstory that the reader must be able to suspend disbelief to truly enjoy. That's why I just don't read fantasy much, because I'm pretty cynical and find it hard not to look at these kind of plot constructs through a very critical lens.

All in all, I think this book is one that I came out feeling neutral about . . .didn't dislike it, didn't love it, and if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't read it, but on the flip side, it is technically well done, and I can see why some readers loved it so much.


message 2: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6289 comments I'm still plodding along with this one. I started it on June 23 and 11 days later I'm still reading. I've got about 150 pages to go still, and I feel like I'll be reading forever.

Parts of it really draw me in and then ... I'm yanked out of that story to a different thread and lose interest. S I G H

Wish my library had this in audio ... I think I'd be done by now.


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments Maybe one of us should have read this first and informed the other! Or I should have just listened to Linda who warned me.


message 4: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments She did warn you, didn't she? I conned you! I'm sorry!


message 5: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments Anita wrote: "No you didn't Susie! There was probably a gut feeling I had about it that kept me from reading it for a really long time, even though I purchased it ages ago. We will blame the fantasy tag!"

I did warn you when I read it, I knew in my gut you would not like it. Knowing you for going on 9 years does that.


message 6: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments Ha ha, way back when??? That's probably why I never read it . . .I need to write these warnings down for goodness sake.


message 7: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I have a vision of you hearing a Lost in Space style warning for any fantasy title that is recommended!!! I feel the same about this month's tag, although I am enjoying When Breath Becomes Air.


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