The Fire Wish (The Jinni Wars #1) by Amber Lough
Published July 22nd 2014 by Random House Children's
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.
I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time. Jinni has quickly become one of my new favorite Young Adult troupes and The Fire Wish didn't disappoint in the least. I listened to the audio book. While they are pretty hit or miss this one was spot on. The narrator has the perfect complementary accent to set the scene. Between the the vivid descriptions of the lush setting and mystery surrounding the wish that took place, The Fire Wish was a perfect addition to my Jinn shelf.
Typically I am a very character driven reader but I could not really connect with either of the M.C.'s in this story. Told in alternating first person perspective, the voices of Najwa & Zayele come across loud and clear. I just found Najwa to be wet blanket and Zayele to be incredibly selfish. The imagery and setting itself is what kept me glued to my ear buds (as I said ...audio book). Najwa is a Jinni with extreme power yet she has a difficult time standing up for herself. Zayele will do anything she can to escape her arranged marriage so when she encounters Najwa she wishes herself home. The only problem is that it takes her back to Najwa's home and not her own. The girls look almost identical so now they must play the parts of each other and chaos quickly ensues since they are the brink of a war with the humans and the jinni. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of the girls, I have to admit that the character growth that was displayed was pure perfection. Many secrets come to light and the plot seems a bit murky for a minute but resolves itself into the perfect ending. I was shocked by many of the revelations that came to pass.
The magical system was also quite brilliant. There is a very set limitation on the Jinni's powers and that made things much more believable. The thought of someone being able to wish whatever they want all the time kinda cancels out all problems they could ever encounter so I was pleased to see that wasn't the case here. It was very well thought out. The story had almost A Prince and the Pauper type feel for a bit which was also entertaining as we got to glimpse inside the political workings of both worlds. I am thrilled to have the sequel The Blind wish to read immediately!
If you are a fan of vivid settings and the Jinn in general, I think this one may definitely be a go for you.