A Dead Djinn in Cairo


Written by P. Djeli Clark

Published by Tor Books, May 18, 2016

My star rating – 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. Find it on Goodreads

spoiler free graphic


This will be the first time that i’ve ever reviewed a short story and I honestly don’t know how to do it. It’s not really a review though, more of a statement of my thoughts which, to be honest, aren’t many since there weren’t that many pages! At only 41 pages, it felt more like a chapter than a whole story. Even though there weren’t many pages, what this story was able to do in that time was nothing short of remarkable!

First of all, the plot was totally engaging! A dead djinn was found and there were clues as to what happened, who did it, and a few other mysteries. We were introduced to many characters after each clue was found and brought all over Cairo. After each clue was found we weren’t allowed to even breathe before we were off on a new adventure and mystery.

The writing style was so strong too! Honestly, there was so much impact in such a small amount of time. It reminded me a lot of The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty in so many ways. First of all, the setting was the same (Cairo) but it was explained and described in much the same way. Also the story being of Djinn and monsters was similar as well.

Because the plot and the writing style were so amazing, I was a little annoyed that it was over! I wanted so much more!!! I wanted more suspense, more descriptions of the setting, more backstory of the djinn and the archangels…. there was just so much more that could have been said! I REALLY hope that this author writes a novella or full length novel because I would be all over it!

If you’re looking for a really quick read that will keep you on your toes, this is the one you need to pick up!

Until next time, happy reading!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sahi says:

    Have you read his other novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015? It’s set in the same Cairo but features a different detective. And Fatma is actually getting a full length novel but it doesn’t release till next year 😭😭😭


  2. cathepsut says:

    I also recommend The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington. It was a Nebula finalist in 2018. You can find it here: https://firesidefiction.com/the-secret-lives-of-the-nine-negro-teeth-of-george-washington


  3. I’ve heard amazing things about this story! Reviewing shorter works can be tough but I think you nailed it. 😀


  4. Lovely review! I’ve not heard of this book at all but it sounds good 😊


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