Elder Epoch

by Zamil Akhtar

After reading Conqueror’s Blood I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading the Gunmetal Gods Saga. But I picked up Elder Epoch anyway and I’m glad I did. It puts the characters back in the center of the cosmos horror action where they belong.

The story was already complex, and in this book it grows even more so, reshuffling the powers of the world and adding threats from beyond the veil.

Akhtar calls it cosmic horror. I’d say it’s potion brewed from the Crusades, the Book of Revelation, and Lovecraft, with a fair few other influence seasoning the cauldron.

I guess I’ll keep reading.

Gunmetal Gods

by Zamil Akhtar

An epic fantasy twist on the Crusades, with masked magi, angels right out of Revelation (think lots of extra eyes and wings), and a healthy dose of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones.

I didn’t devour it, but I really enjoyed it and I’m starting the second book in the series right … now.

The Golem and the Jinni

by Helene Wecker

A Jewish golem and a Syrian jinni become friends in New York City.

I didn’t feel invested in any of the main characters, which made this book tough going. And I was taken by surprise by the plot twists that started coming more than two thirds through the book–because they came completely out of nowhere.

I thought it was just OK.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015

by P. Djèlí Clark

Suffragettes, secret societies, sentient automatons, and … a haunted tram car in an alternate 1910s Cairo. Takes place just before Master of Djinn and functions as an introduction to Fatma el-Sha’arawi, the dapper agent at the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. I love everything I’ve read from P. Djèlí Clark so far, and this is no exception.

The City of Brass

by S. A. Chakraborty

Cairo con artist turns out to have actual powers and summons an enigmatic djinn warrior who takes her on an epic quest to Daevabad, the City of Brass and the center of the djinn world. It’s one of those books that seems to be just getting started all the way to the end. And I often got annoyed with the characters’ decisions. But I also definitely enjoyed it.