1 out of 4 stars
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Unbeknownst to humans, a group of supernatural beings called Jinns govern our lives. Each Jinn is responsible for the human assigned to them. Equipped with a vision that enables them to study their charges, they can intervene and alter the course of their lives. The Chronicles of the Jinn and their Charges follow the life stories of Milo and Amira, two humans aided by the Jinn Maelendil. Two separate yet parallel storylines narrate the incidents on the land of Kebsuda and the life history of a distressed youth named Jameson. The author, Iohannes Spartustica, divides the entire book into eight sections.
The greatest asset of the novel was the worldbuilding. Spartustica imagined a world with multiple realms and visualized each minute detail of this world with vivid clarity. The book used the Jinns’ perspectives to recount the stories, offering us a bird’s-eye view of the events transpiring simultaneously in different realms. In an unconventional approach, the author incorporated elements from various religions and created a medley. The book also highlighted how the religious and cultural backdrops affected the characters and their beliefs.
Unfortunately, those were the only positive aspects of the novel. Although the Jinn Maelendil proved to be the common thread linking the four storylines, the connection was obscure and incomprehensible. Spartustica felt compelled to report every mundane incident in the lives of Milo, Amira, and Jameson, thus making the read extremely tedious.
The first chapter was enough to deter the potential readers with its elaborate classification of the hierarchy of Jinns. Instead of droning on for pages, the author could have used a simple glossary for easier understanding. Nevertheless, I decided to continue, hoping the actual plot would be more exciting. However, dull writing, numerous grammatical errors, and poorly constructed sentences disappointed me. At times, the author seemed to have directly published the primary notes as a book without any effort to convert it into a flowing story. It also suggested a lack of professional editing.
Excessive and unnecessary descriptions made me struggle. For example, after naming the town where the future events would transpire, Spartustica promptly launched into a thorough discussion of its history and socio-political scenario before recounting the names of all forty families living there. Then he announced the timeline and started describing the famous TV shows, books, and plays from that era. To discover the hidden storyline among the jumble proved too problematic.
Similar instances of incongruity frequently plagued the novel. Spartustica would describe a wedding in Milo’s family, taking care to note where each family member sat during the ceremony. After a span of about thirty pages, the author would again regale the readers with a thorough description of his family tree. Then after a couple of pages discussing TV shows and literary classics from the nineties, Spartustica would finally describe Milo’s grandparents and their contemporaries. For some reason, the author also decided to forsake dialogues. Pages after pages of indirect speech coupled with inconsistent writing made the reading monotonous.
Considering these points, I decided to rate the book 1 out of 4 stars. I would not recommend it to anyone. Despite its enormous scope, a severe lack of good storytelling made this giant tome uninteresting.
The Chronicles of the Jinn and their Charges
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