Djinn City

Saad Z. Hossain

Saad Z. Hossain returns with his signature blend of satire, dark comedy, and fantasy, using reinvented Islamic mythology to create a mirror world to our own—on the brink of disaster.

Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital Of Bangladesh. His father, Dr. Kaikobad, is the black sheep of their clan, the once illustrious Khan Rahman family. A drunken loutish widower, he refuses to allow Indelbed go to school, and the only thing Indelbed knows about his mother is the official cause of her early demise: "Death by Indelbed."

But When Dr. Kaikobad falls into a supernatural coma, Indelbed and his older cousin, the wise-cracking slacker Rais, learn that Indelbed's dad was in fact a magician—and a trusted emissary to the djinn world. And the Diinns, as it turns out, are displeased. A "hunt" has been announced, and ten year-old Indelbed is the prey. Still reeling from the fact that genies actually exist, Indelbed finds himself on the run. Soon, the boys are at the center of a great Diinn controversy, one tied to the continuing fallout from an ancient war, with ramifications for the future of life as we know it.

Saad Z. Hosscin updates the supernatural creatures of Arabian mythology—a superior but by no means perfect species pushed to the brink by the staggering ineptitude of the human race. Djinn Cityis a darkly comedic fanlasy adventure, and a stirring follow-up to Hossain's 2015 novel Escape from Baghdad!, which NPR called "a hilarious and searing indictment of the project we euphemistically call 'nation-building.'"

Praise for Djinn City

"A delightful fantasy adventure with a YA spirit, a PG rating, and a rich introduction to Arabian mythology."
Kirkus Reviews,

"Hossain’s rich, vivid, straightforward prose propels the story at a quick clip. Darkness looms on every page, yet he offsets the serious stakes with Joss Whedonesque quips... With man-eating wyrms, invisible airships, and eccentric genies, this fantasy-adventure will appeal to fans of The Golem and the Jinni (2013) and the Bartimaeus trilogy."

"Hossain blends picaresque fantasy, supernatural politics, and genetic science into a whirlwind of a imaginative, talented storyteller with a knack for both dark comedy and harrowing tragedy."
Publishers Weekly,

"Hossain’s story ripples with magic and just a dash of something twistedly angelic. It is populated by dragons in their most nascent forms, terrifying sea beasts, and flying machines; it is built up by fictionalized mythologies that weave their way through known origin stories and rumors, birthing something new and captivating. Its villains are complex and sometimes appealing; its heroes are delightfully flawed. Even its violent scenes have charm. Humor and intrigue ferry DJINN CITY toward its thrilling end. Expect rapt audiences to spend a good while frantically rubbing lamps to wish for one thing only: the speedy release of its sequel."
Foreword Reviews, Starred Review

"Bangladeshi author Saad Z Hossain’s DJINN CITY is set both in his home country and the realm of the Djinns. It’s a richly evocative adventure about a father and his half-Djinn son searching for one another – a sort of dark-fantasy Finding Nemo, as charming and funny as it is inventive and strange."
Adam Roberts, The Guardian

"DJINN CITY is a page turner; a story that immerses and keeps you up well past a sane hour."
John Venegas, Angel City Review