cover image Djinn City

Djinn City

Saad Z. Hossain. Unnamed, $16 trade paper (446p) ISBN 978-1-944700-06-5

In his second novel, Hossain (Escape from Baghdad!) blends picaresque fantasy, supernatural politics, and genetic science into a whirlwind of a tale that centers on two sons of the Khan Rahman clan, a distinguished Bangladeshi family with a secret magical past. Indelbed is the only son of the alcoholic, widowed black sheep of the family, Dr. Kaikobad; his older cousin Rais is the slacker son of an ambassador and his formidable wife. A magical attack on Kaikobad forces Indelbed and Rais into the murderous, litigious affairs of the powerful, nearly-immortal djinns. The boys’ fates and those of the population around the Bay of Bengal depend on their survival and on the secret history of djinns and humans. Hossain is an imaginative, talented storyteller with a knack for both dark comedy and harrowing tragedy. He is prone to revealing a great deal of information through lengthy character monologues, but that tendency detracts only a little from the richly imagined world of his story, of which the cliffhanger ending promises more to come. (Oct.)