Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1)The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I reviewed a book, and what better book to break the silence with than this one? I’d heard good things about The Golem and the Jinni before I read it. Nothing specific: just that it was something I should check out when I could. I knew it was about . . . a golem . . . and a jinni, but that was about it.

And really, that’s all you need to know. It’s set in New York City in the 1800s and traces the life and adventures of the titular non-humans.

Is it fantasy? Sure. But it’s a pretty limited fantasy. There’s magic, but it’s mostly relegated to the background. In other words, if you’re not a typical fan of fantasy, don’t let that dissuade you from this book. On the other hand, there’s enough fantasy there so that if you typically *only* read fantasy, you still have a fair shot of really liking the novel as well.

At its heart, however, the book is about characters. It takes its time exploring who’s doing what and why. Don’t get me wrong: the plot is a good one, and the book really picked up speed toward the end, but the reason the plot works so well is that by the time we get to where the action takes over, we really care about all the main characters on the stage. We know them. We understand them. And (better yet) they’re consistent throughout. You don’t get any characters making decisions just to fit the plot.

It’s well written from start to finish, and I recommend it heartily to just about anyone. Thought provoking and attention grabbing. It’s rare you get both in the same package.

Check it out.

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