Summary of “A Master of Djinn” by P. Djèlí Clark

What we enjoyed about the book:

  • Police procedure / mystery mixture well done
  • Steampunk cool, world building works, “does not go overboard”
  • Great diversity: racism, cultural appropriation covered as topics
  • Multilayered narrative, good plottwists
  • Setting great, previous novellas tie into the world/larger universe cool
  • Characters really cool, “I just love Fatma as a character, she’s just so stubborn”
  • Woman in a world of men cool
  • Siti is awesome
  • “I love H. the most”; strong personality, relatable
  • “I love U., he sounds like a great guy”
  • Characters very well done
  • Historical, not taking place in the present, wonderful
  • Critical view of colonialism, the Empire, great –> in the middle of things
  • Timeline cool, background of mysticism, fighting back, decolonialisation, different reactions in connection to the loss of power of colonialism
  • Queer rep. great, healthy relationship with realistic fights, “cute”
  • Star-crossed lovers (supernatural touch)
  • Cultural representation accurate, insults correct, everyday language fitting
  • inaccurate idea of pledging one’s service to a family; connection to the otherworld, scary, djinns creepy in Islam: “they can come to our world but we can’t come to theirs”
  • Fluffy djnn ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
  • Faster pacing at the end good
  • Hard-boiled detective with soft side but with great, diverse representation was nice
  • Humour great, slightly absurdist
  • Role that religion great, peaceful co-existance nice
  • Linguistic awareness great; “oh your English is really good”
  • Fashion bit great, fashion as a battle suit
  • “F. is such a cool person, I just wanna hang out with her”
  • Transformation into an angel a bit random
  • Bypassing the curse through clues was smart
  • Curse: forgetting about the seal was great, how they managed to remember it was great, nice investigation twist
  • Everybody actually came back, that was nice
  • Would make a great series, cinematography, would need to be made by Egyptians in Egypt but probably would not happen
  • Audiobook is great
  • F. policing the supernatural is hilarious
  • Mixture of genres great
  • Ending 100% wholesome
  • Queer acceptance nice
  • Djimn non-binary great, can take on various genders
  • Set in the past but all the futuristic bits fun, not typical 20th century, alternate history with magic
  • Feminist / empowerment content
  • F. fights a patriarchal world and fights for her place in it, battles sexism, “felt very natural”
  • Diplomacy great
  • German delegation / Kaiser hilarious

What we discussed:

  • Villain clear ver early on sadly
  • Pacing at the beginning off
  • “Jumping the shark” ending; steampunk mecha surprise attacking Kairo, all cool characters prepare for a final bossfight, deus ex machina villain, pacing off / too much at the ending
  • Lots of steampunk stereotypes and tropes; steampunk for of an aesthetic (style over substance?) and it holds true for this book
  • Too many details in one short book, maybe two books? –> not having known the novellas before
  • So many exclamation marks 😀
  • Plot sometimes unclear because of plethora of details
  • Pacing off in general, sometimes hard to stay immersed
  • Lots of swordfighting, bit ridiculous when there are guns, but it’s also cool
  • Police does very little paperwork, could have more interrogation / police procedure, H. is doing the paperwork for F.
  • Timeline quite condensed
  • Summit: not many Arabic countries mentioned, weird
  • More people from neighbouring countries needed, feels weird that they’re ignored
  • Transculturality could be expanded, more magical creatures could be explored
  • “I would love a spin off”
  • Villain part of the story became unrealistic comedy
  • “I’ll forgive you. She’s such a Karen” :D:D:D:D:D:D
  • “It would have been funny, had Fatma been the villain”


  • 4/5 “great read for a steampunk novel, well written, I hope there are going to be more sequel, investigation part great”
  • 4/5 fluffy djinns “I love that it was historical and intersectional even though parts could be improved, I hope there will be more books”
  • 4/5 ninja, despite the inaccuracies, really enjoyable, different cultures and religions depicted well
  • 4.5/5 in a basket “had a lot of fun, would love more”
  • 3.5/5 “good idea, fun, too much in one book, I love the characters”, –> “three fluffy djinns and half a puppy”
  • 4/5 “just had fun”
  • 4/5 bowler hats
  • 3/5 “I loved the world building and the aesthetics”, prodigy detective bit conventional

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