Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed – Review by Anantha Rusum

Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie TaleBaba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fabulous little piece of treasure this book is!! We all grew up reading Alibaba and the forty thieves. And I never knew that there was a term called “steampunk” to describe a retelling of a fable or a story. I do not have any other word than “brilliant” for this book.
“Steampunk” means a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. So, anything which is magical or ancient in the original fable is replaced by a work of engineering. A Djinn, instead of being a magical entity is a machine, an intelligent robot.
Ali is in London taking apprenticeship from his Ustaad, until one day, a falcon, with mechanical wings, leaves a box on his window sill. Troubles ensue once the mysterious box is delivered. There are thefts and attacks. Soon after, he gets the news that his father has expired and his brother Kasim commands him to come back home to take up family business.
Ali’s journey back home is filled with danger and adventure. At every step, he finds he is always on the run. Someone is on his heels to steal the box. He finds himself drawn into the world of magic and ancient secrets.
Unable to decipher the box itself, he also faces sibling rivalry with his greedy brother, who does not want even a single penny bequeathed to his brother. Ali rents a separate home, and slowly one after another, the mystery unfolds and he finds himself in front of the cave and we all get to hear the famous magic words “Open Sesame”.
And then we all know the story. There is treasure, there are thieves and there is a Djinn trapped inside the cave. Ali gets the treasure, goes back home. Kasim gets greedy and gets killed. The servant girl, who happens to be the Djinn whom Ali saves, is smart enough to fool the thieves.
And everything ends on a happy note! It is a beautiful retelling of the fable and I loved every bit of it!
We find very few books like this and I hope to read more from this author!

View all my reviews

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *