Review written by Louise Segar
This is a new take on the Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty-Thieves – Ali’s family have a secret. When he receives a puzzle box from his father and a summons to return home he sets off on his journey. Ali Baba and the Clockwork Djinn costs around $3.12 for Kindle or $12.26 in paperback if you buy it from Amazon. The link to do so is at the bottom of the review.
The story follows Ali Baba who is working for Charles Babbage, the famed “Father of the Programmable Computer” in England. I like the fact that it merges real life characters with obviously fictional ones as it gives an air of realism to the overall story.
Ali is summoned home upon the death of his father when he receives a letter from a clockwork Falcon. His faith, determination and clockwork knowledge are tested. His journey is fraught with danger as he tackles thieves to get home. Thieves that hold secrets they wish to remain hidden in shadow.
It’s not easy to say what the target audience is with this story, but I would say that it’s suitable for anyone over the age of about ten. I’ve not read anything similar to this on sale so can’t compare. One thing I did notice is that the glossary at the end is very informative.
The story is well paced and keeps the reader interested. I found it to be well structured and informative. While there were no noticeable spelling errors, there were some sentences which didn’t make sense at all such as “He then took the copper bands and formed of them and the bronze a sheath for the sandals that would cushion his feet as he marked across the desert in his metal soled shoes.” I also found some sentences to be broken up with commas which weren’t necessary as I believe these changed the meaning of the sentence. Without wanting to reveal spoilers, it’s difficult to work out what has happened to a major character as they seem to simply not have had there story completed as though forgotten.
I have read many versions of this story and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I felt an affinity to the characters and their story. The added steampunk aspect was well done and I would give it a good mark for originality. It would certainly appeal to anyone who has an interest in the stories of Scheherazade, Sinbad and the like.
Steampunks will also be pleased with the clockwork elements as will the blossoming Clockpunk movement.
Arguably with one more read through by the author, any errors will be cleared up and you’ll be left with a thoroughly charming story.
Ratings (out of five)
Features – 4
Build quality – 4
Value for money – 4
Overall – 4
You can buy Ali Baba and the Clockwork Djinn at Amazon by following this link: Ali Baba and the Clockwork Djinn on Amazon