I really went back and forth on The Fire Wish. The good and the bad mixed to…totally confuse me.
Book Review: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
Title & Author: The Fire Wish (Jinni Wars) by Amber Lough
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Magic, Jinnis
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Series: The Jinni Wars #1
Publisher: Random House Children’s
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.”
I’m Jinni in a Cavern, Baby
90s music references for the win!
I was drawn to The Fire Wish immediately. I don’t think I’ve read read about jinni’s in YA literature at all! So, I was really excited to read an author’s take on the popular Arabic myth.
So, unlike what I was led to believe by the cartoon Aladdin (my only real encounter), jinn live underground in caverns are are beings of fire and air. They do have wish powers, but it’s a bit vague from this story how that all works – and something I really wanted more of in the story.
When the human girl Zayele and the jinni Najwa cross paths – and accidentally switch places – the whole of Baghdad might be in jeopardy.
Things I liked about The Fire Wish:
- Exotic desert setting
- Sneaky plot twist (I’ll never tell!)
- Dual POVs
- Double romance and no triangles
- More to be explained
There’s a lot to like about this book. My last point is something I was both happy and frustrated with. I like when there’s unsolved mysteries at the end of a first book, but…I don’t want there to be too many because then I wish there was more included initially.
I also appreciated that both Zayele and Najwa had such distinct voices and there was tons to like about them both. I tend to be partial toward one narrator over another, so it was nice to like them both fairly equally.
My dislikes were:
- Dense political drama
- Climax lacked a punch
- Magic is unexplained
Again, that last point was odd. There wasn’t that much magic that actually took place. It was limited, and I was dying to see what more the jinn could really do.
It’s tough because things ended up evening out (pros vs cons), so I had a lot of mixed feelings after I was finished reading. The great things were really great and the less than great things bummed me out.
The jury’s mixed on this one. I loved the exotic setting and the interesting new fantasy beastie, but I wished there had been more detail about jinn magic and history. If you’re a fan of YA fantasy, I say give it a shot. The two main characters and the hope for more in the next book might be enough to put The Fire Wish on your TBR.