Review: A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

Title: A Dead Djinn in Cairo
Author: P. Djèlí Clark
Series: Dead Djinn Universe #0.5
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: May 18, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Source: Purchased

Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 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.


Over the past little while I’ve heard a lot about this novella on some booktube channels I watch so I decided to pick it up and I’m glad I did. This was a really good novella.

I’m so impressed with what P. Djèlí Clark was able to do in only 45 pages. He set up the world for the future novels so well. It was concise and to the point. Nothing was dragged out too long. Everything had a place and purpose and I can’t wait to see more of this world and what he does with it.

While I don’t think Fatma was as fleshed out as the world, it’s fine with me. There’s only so much that can be done in 45 pages. I was intrigued with what we were given by Clark and I’m looking forward to learning more about Fatma and reading the rest of her adventures as an investigator and her potential romance.

I have to admit, mystery isn’t a genre I pick up much. It’s not my thing. But I will definitely read the other books in the Dead Djinn Universe. I think I’m going to adore this alternate Cairo and its creatures very much.

About P. Djèlí Clark:

P. Djèlí Clark likes creating fantastic, dangerous, and exciting worlds. Usually with heroines & heroes. Almost always with magic & monsters. His short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Lightspeed, and in print anthologies including Griots, Steamfunk, Myriad Lands and Hidden Youth.

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