Wilson, G. Willow and M.K. Perker. Cairo. 2007.

What happens when you mix a drug smuggler, an outlawed journalist, a soldier, and two disenfranchised teenagers from America? Oh, and did I mention the jinn and the magician? Ashraf unwittingly steals a hookah containing a jinn, and Nar will stop at nothing to get it back. Unfortunately, Ashraf already sold it to Shaheed, who quickly discovers the secret the hookah holds. Nar kidnaps Ali, Ashraf’s friend, and Kate, an aspiring American journalist, to motivate Ashraf to get the hookah back. He enlists Tova to help him recover the hookah within three days – or else his friends are dead.

This one was fun. Very fast-paced, and the magic and realism were balanced just right. My book was in black and white, I’m not sure if they printed it in color, but I kind of liked it in black and white. The characters talk a lot about moral issues and how not everything is in black and white, and it seemed fitting. The art reminded me a little of woodcuts. Plus, it’s nice to find a standalone and something that isn’t a series now!

– Kathleen