Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni is another one of the Nebula nominated books for this year, and one I enjoyed reading tremendously.  Chava is a golem, named by the rabbi who realizes her nature when he finds her in New York City.  Ahmad is a jinni, trapped in human form by a wizard.  Neither name fits them well.  But there they are, in New York, trying to make their way in situations they didn't intend to be in. 

According to the author, this book took seven years to write.  It certainly marinated fully in that time.  The book is well written, with plenty of action and excitement.  But what's really interesting about it are the characters--the Golem and the Jinni have personalities driven by their natures--of Earth and of Fire.  These characteristics animate them throughout the book, making them feel very real and true to themselves.  They do end up in a relationship, but it's not an easy one.  And when they confront evil they do it in a way that feels authentic to them.

I would say this is an easy read, and in the very best way--the ideas go straight into your head without a fight for understanding, yet Wecker has a lot to say about human nature through these two.  Go read it and have some fun.

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