Mini Reviews: A Dead Djinn in Cairo and The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark

book review

While hunting through my shiny new Scribd account, I stumbled upon P. Djèlí Clark’s Cairo novellas and was intrigued. I queued up the audiobooks and ended up absolutely loving these gorgeous fantasy tales! As these were quite short, today I’m bringing you mini reviews of these two books.

 

A Dead Djinn in Cairo

51WGMEmXx6L

Publisher: Tor Dot Com

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Egypt, 1912. In an alternate Cairo infused with the otherworldly, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine. What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and plot that could unravel time itself.

 

Calling A Dead Djinn in Cairo a novella is a little misleading — it’s more the length of a short story or novelette. Clocking in at about 46 pages, this short piece of fiction packs a punch with an amazing lead character, intriguing world building, and a fantasy mystery story. It’s a little too short to really get a good grasp on the world building behind Clarke’s Cairo, however he still gives the reader enough to paint a gorgeous picture and make them (desperately) want more. Fatma is a marvelous heroine with heaps of character and quirks — I’d absolutely read a whole series of books about her.

Part historical fantasy, party mystery, A Dead Djinn in Cairo made me desperately want more. I think I’d have been seriously disappointed if I wasn’t aware of a second book set in this world. I hope we get many more books in this series!

 

The Haunting of Tram Car 015

9781250294807

Publisher: Tor Dot Com

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 returns to the alternate Cairo of Clark’s short fiction, where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.

I went into The Haunting of Tram Car 015 with some caution, as I knew that we weren’t going to be following the marvelous Fatma. However, I was delighted to find that I still adored this book and the grumbling veteran cop/overly eager rookie duo!

This book is much more of a classic novella length, and therefore we got to see much more of the world, especially the modern culture of Cairo versus the traditional beliefs and folklore. I loved the way that this book managed to blend the two, reminding me much of the enchanting opening pages of City of Brass, one of my absolute favourite books. The rich world that Clark continues to build on the pages is so mesmerising and his characters continue to be absolutely marvelous. I don’t want to say too much here, as this is also a mystery story, but I loved the plotting and outcome of this story.

 

Want to try these books out for yourself? You can find them at the following sites (affiliate links):

Book Depository | Blackwells

Have you read these two novellas? What did you think? Are they in your TBR? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: A Dead Djinn in Cairo and The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark

  1. I need to read this soon. I read The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and loved it. Also The Black God’s Drums. Clark is a great storyteller and this alternate Cairo was so interesting and I wanted to be there and experience it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s