I received an ARC of this book.
3 out of 5 stars.
Parker, his cousin Theo, and their schoolmate Reese manage to uncover a genie and do what any sensible children would do: order him to conjure every possible cool thing imaginable. The adventure turns sour when they discover they are not the only ones interested in Djinn, and there are other magical beings out there who are not so patient and kind as theirs.
This is a standard children’s fantasy. It is nothing to be blown away by, but it is not disappointing either. There is adventure, magic, and a bit of emotion. Some of the writing at the beginning is more than usually clever, but it seems to disappear under the press of action later on. The main characters consist of a troublemaker, a prodigy, and a shy average guy, so most readers will find something to empathize with. The first part of the story is interspersed with diary entries recording the history and creation of the Djinn, which I actually enjoyed more than the story itself. It was neat seeing a creation myth for a creature that is usually just taken to be a given.
The story evolves quickly, with not a lot of character development or world-building going on. It is mainly descriptions of action, with a bit of emotion tied to the home-lives of the characters. Some of the writing is unusually funny, but not constantly throughout. This is going to be a great book for kids that want to fly through a book where something is constantly happening. It does not make you cry, or make you think, but it does entertain. Great summer read or read for a reluctant reader who finds emotions or scenery boring.