Author: Amber Lough
Published: July 22nd 2014 by Random House Children's
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 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 Give This ...
When I first read the description for this, I though "Jinni? That's brilliant!" Apparently, this might be the new hot topic in YA, but I don't care. I'll read it until I'm bored of it I'm sure.
I was really intrigued by the set up of this one. Jinni' and humans are at war with one another. I think this is serious, but it's hard to tell because it's so far removed from this book. I found that a little strange in the thought that this part of the story felt like an afterthought, added to give some sort of meaning to the conflict between the two. But, maybe our main characters are so far removed from the actual fighting, that it didn't feel real to even them. I liked the idea that at one time the two lived in harmony, even going so far as to helping each other. There's always that one person that screws it all up for stupid reasons.
I liked Najwa the most of our two young women. But at times she feels frightfully naive. How can she be training to be a spy but makes the stupid mistakes that she does? She's been trusted with such a big task that I think the forget how young she is. All the other jinni saw was a way to maybe gain the upper hand in the war because she could enter in the palace walls when no other jinni could. Zayele was interesting because she seems to care very little about trying to play Najwa. Granted she has no one to guide her in the task like Najwa does, but the thought never seems to cross her mind.
Reading back on all that, one might think that I didn't particularly enjoy the book. But, that's not the case. I enjoyed the story a lot and breezed right though it. I liked the lore behind the jinni and was completely fascinated by how they stored their memories. Even the instant romance between the characters didn't bother me to much (probably because I'm no use to it outside of contemporary YA). I really look forward to the next in the series!