(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.
When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.
Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.
But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]
Wish for Me is a really hard book to describe. On one hand, you’ve got a fantasy element: a djinn. On the other hand, the djinn in question, Irving, leaves in a steampunk world where he tinkers with gadgets like a steam-powered motorcycle and an adorable mechanical bat with artificial intelligence. So I guess the best way to describe this book is genie steampunk. How you describe it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, but it does explain why I was so thrown for a little bit when the different elements were introduced.
Glory is not your typical heroine, believe me. She’s covered in tattoos, is independent, knows her mind and isn’t really afraid to speak up unless it comes to feelings. And she’s got curves! That’s a really far cry from a lot of heroines and it was a really, really refreshing change to read about someone who was reasonably self-assured. Glory certainly has her vulnerabilities and flaws but it’s not like she’s one of those annoying shrinking violets. Irving on the other hand, is very mysterious and sometimes mischievous but once he cares for someone, he’s not afraid to show it. Even though humankind has done so many horrible things to djinns like him, he still learns to see Glory as one person rather than hold her responsible for what’s happened in the past with other humans. They’re both very different people and personalities so when they realize they’re becoming attracted to each other, things get complicated pretty quickly. I could go on and on about their attraction but I don’t want to spoil too much here.
The plot was actually quite fast paced, which I was not really expecting at the beginning. In the beginning there’s a lot of set up and interpersonal tension but not really much in the way of physical action. But that changes pretty quickly as Glory learns that Irving is hiding things from her and may be endangering her because of that. When she makes a wish accidentally at dinner and they’re both hunted by a completely new enemy that isn’t the usual djinn hunters, things get exciting pretty quickly. While the book is not all action there are lots of action scenes like that and they’re so well written. They give you an excellent balance of dialogue, description and action and so the scenes are all the more intense.
The world-building was amazing. I haven’t actually read many genie/djinn stories but the ones I have generally have been quite similar. That’s not true with Wish for Me. You have a hierarchy within djinns, a royal family, different nations of djinns, etc. It’s all very complicated but A. Star introduces the different elements slowly so you can catch up pretty easily. It’s clear from the start that she put a lot of thought into building her world and it shows through in the quality of the writing. The strong world-building makes an excellent backdrop for all of the action and the amazing characters. It also allows for quite a few plot twists when things get going.
So overall, I absolutely loved Wish for Me. It has great characters, lots of action and romance and is set in a wonderfully well thought out fantasy world. Not only that, it solves a lot of questions raised at the beginning of the book while still managing to end on one powerful cliffhanger. I’m very excited to see what happens in the next book.
I give this book 5/5 stars.