In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients — dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups — from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif — the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind.
The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God”, as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.
When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
©2012 G. Willow Wilson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I am a time-traveler from Vega, with the secret to youth. I write, narrate, and am Assistant Editor @PodCastle_org.
I expected to enjoy this book as I am already a fan of GWW, but I was pleased with the broad scope of this story. It was fun, funny, action packed, smart, techy, fantasy, with tons of social commentary.
Lovely fun ride.
An urban fantasy taking place in the middle east, which may feel like a different world for western readers. Computer hacker inadvertently get involved with mystics, government censors and involves the Arab spring. At the heart it's a coming of age and romance story. Good introduction into middle eastern culture and themes. If you're use to western fantasy it's worth a read for something different.
Too much minute description of everything, from walls, to floors, to every creatures, to clothing, while the story drags and drags and drags.
Probably not. If this is his typical style, I probably could not get through another book.
Don't know...but his attempts to give every character a different voice failed miserably. He was awful.
Can't think of any.
Tagged a fantasy—and rightfully so, but for those believing they don’t like fantasy I encourage you to suspend a modicum of belief in order to enjoy a wonderful adventure that informs us about culture, religion, philosophy, politics, and technology.
Absolutely! It is more than just an entertaining story. It is a window into a culture that we often see in two dimensions through the filter of governmental and extremist actions.
Alif and the girl next door of course.
Sanjiv's performance was spot on. He is an excellent linguist capable of many varied accents. He had studied the text and was spot on with his reading, building to climaxes and softening to a whisper at all the write times.
I found this listen entertaining though not engrossing. The author presumes that things are understood without explanation. I find it questionable the abilities of the actions by those in the book. The book highlights the good though of the Muslim and Islam people, something lately misunderstood.
I was hoping for a rich picture of the middle east, interesting characters, and some fun fantasy. Instead, the characters are barely developed and the creatures are so unimaginatively written (lots of faceless blobs), that I couldn't bring myself to care about them.
The biggest disappointment was the ridiculous idea of a guy writing code so quickly, mindlessly and amazing that it simply melts computers. The explanations of how and why things work are way beyond the normal suspension of disbelief that the reader expects in a fantasy novel.
Lastly, it was more an advertisement for Islam than I expected. I felt like the author's agenda was to show how this religion is so wonderful. I don't mind reading religious fiction, but I want to know about it ahead of time. If you want a good book that includes the Djinn, I would send you elsewhere—The Golem and the Jinni is far more developed and interesting.
The reader's exaggerated performance of the supernatural characters was distracting and terribly annoying. He also made the American convert sound like a witless idiot, when her character was plainly not written that way.
I was very disappointed, and more than a little irritated.
This book is a very entertaining adventure story that also gives a great picture of some serious issues, from repression in today's Arabian peninsula to the hubris of technology geeks who think that computers can solve life's basic dilemmas.
The story started out fun but quickly became an excuse to try to sell the Koran and many of the Muslim traditions and so became tedious. The author is a American who converted to Islam, which is cool, but a novel about genie's (Jinn), a different take on the Thousand and One Nights, and such is ruined by trying to sell what most westerner's are to "stupid" to see the wisdom of... she implies more than once. The author is obviously very smart, has a magic way with her words, and her passion for her adopted faith is clear but instead of "selling" her faith she turned off this reader who wasn't looking for her version of those Jesus freak pamphlets you find in public restrooms. The only thing I take away from this book is how intellegent, well educated, smart people can sell themselves on silliness by faith whether it be Muslim, Scientologist, Mormon, believing in one God when they believe in three, and so on and so on. It seems the more one has to use their faith to ignore science, patch together contradictions, forget facts, and accept nonsense... the holier they feel. Strange.
Anyway the reader is good but the narrative probably has colored my judgement when in another context he might be 4 stars but don't know.
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