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Sunday, July 6, 2014

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ARC Review: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough

The Jinni Wars #1
Amber Lough
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

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.

Advanced copy provided by Random House Children's via Netgalley for review – thanks!

The mere concept of jinni was what attracted my attention to take a look at The Fire Wish. The idea of a girl making a wish on a jinni – in the process of stripping away said jinni's choices – to change her path of being a princess to the caliph's son, was what made me decide to request The Fire Wish from Netgalley. There's a war that's been brewing, there's magic, and there are jinns... which haven't made much of an appearance in YA these days – what could go wrong?

Not much, thankfully, in the case of Amber Lough's debut novel. The Fire Wish is written in 2 POVs – Zayele and Najwa. Out of the 2, I found Najwa's side of the story to be much interesting and page turning over Zayele's, and though Zayele eventually wins me over near 75% of the story, I still have a preference over Najwa.

For most of the book, Najwa tends to be the stronger of the two girls. All of her life she's lived as a jinn and training to be part of the Eyes of Iblis, which is sort of like the CIA – just less discreet. At least, until Zayele catches her while traveling to the caliph's palace in Baghdad, and makes a wish on her to get out of marrying the caliph's younger son. As a result, both Najwa and Zayele switches places – Najwa in Zayele's place as wished upon and Zayele in Najwa's place, which isn't what Zayele wanted. Always amusing to see lives being switched – there must be something wrong with me.

Najwa is my favorite because she actually tries to blend in as Zayele. Zayele doesn't really seem to try, and it's obvious from the start that she would be the first of the two to get caught, so it wasn't surprising when it finally did happen. But it does make a little difference that Najwa had some help to blend in as Zayele and Zayele didn't until she actually gets caught. Zayele focuses more on trying to get out of being Najwa and getting home, which leads her into big trouble later. Fortunately, Zayele does do a heroic job of untangling the mess she made, but I'm not going to reveal how she manages to win me over (psst: it's a spoiler). ^_^

The Fire Wish is a great start to a series – the jinni culture is a delight to learn about while reading the story, and the world is a place that I feel I would enjoy visiting. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out.

4.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.