Goodreads: She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…
When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
I’m sad to say this Aladdin retelling has no magic carpet ride. 😛
Other than having a character named Aladdin, and Zahra being trapped inside a bottle in a Cave of Wonder-esque place where Aladdin finds her (after putting on some magical ring he stole), and one of Aladdin’s wishes asking to be a prince, there really are no other similarities to the story most of us grew up with.
I felt like the plot in the first half of the book kind of dragged on. I kept waiting for there to be more focus on Aladdin, and for Zahra to do the task she was asked to do. There was eventually some romance, but it was super instalovey and came out of nowhere.
As much as I love the idea of a female jinni falling in love with her master, I really missed the hilarious Robin Williams genie in the story. After a while, I kind of wanted Aladdin to fall in love with Caspida. I really liked Caspida and her Watchmaidens. The Watchmaidens are a girl gang and I want an entire book about them.
The second half of the book definitely makes up for the slow-paced first half, and wraps the story up nicely.
I’m a fan of dual points of view and think this book would have been a 5-star read had there been alternating chapters from Aladdin’s perspective.