I'm always looking for "the" book that will sweep me off my feet and this takes much more than the typical romance. A good adventure book though is close enough to do the trick.
I've got to say that this is a very different book. I haven't read much books that revolved around jinns in "modern" society (but I've played Golden Sun ~kudos if you get this reference) so this concept was pretty unique to me. In my library I found this in the adult fiction section. I got the overall feeling as if the main characters were teenagers though. An age isn't mentioned at all (unless I completely overlooked it) so this is just a guess. That being said, I would have to say that this is a book for mature readers.
Maybe one reason is for the swear words that appear every now and again. Also along with possible mentions of rape. There isn't a scene that depicts this but the fear of rape is mentioned a lot. This book immerses us into a whole different culture. The names, the setting, and the overall environment is not similar to our own. We get to explore the mindsets along with the possible dangers a women in Middle Eastern countries could be exposed to if they're not careful. While we might not find the situation ideal, we get to see how the characters develop in this environment while getting away from the main antagonist, the Hand.
Alif, our main character, is a computer hacker of sorts. He keeps his clients off the grid using code and has been under the radar until he receives this ancient book. Alif finds out that the Hand is looking for the book for some reason, and people from the State (their government) are trying to find him. Usually when people from the State come then it usually mans that someone is in BIG trouble. The Hand works for the State and takes down hackers and sites that go against the State. Alif then goes out to find what's so special about this book he received and why the Hand of all people would want the book.
I like how Alif's character was depicted fairly true to character. He is someone who works behinds the scene so I was very happy to read that he wasn't abnormally athletic when he was running around. I felt as if Alif's reaction to the whole situation was very believable too. I enjoyed the struggles that he went through trying to get away from the state along with the disbelief that comes when he meets a jinn. I also like how his wits are there when he faces a situation (I have big expectations for someone who writes their own program with code).
I enjoyed this book though. The overall concept was fascinating and I've got to say that I was rooting for Alif all the way. He was literally the underdog.