Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she's just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she's learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. Mentored by her mother and her Zar "sisters,"
Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all.
In debut author Goldstein's genre-bending cross between urban fantasy and dystopia, genies secretly live among the human population, but they must keep their true nature secret or be punished by the despotic Afrit. Sixteen-year-old Azra hates her destiny as a jinn, forced to grant wishes and obey the Afrit's rules. Moreover, she is haunted by the death of her human best friend in a childhood accident a crucial piece of backstory that lacks depth and power. As Azra and her jinn sisterhood come into their powers and begin granting wishes, Azra finds herself enmeshed in the lives of two boys: her deceased friend's brother, Henry, and Nate, an intimidatingly attractive, secretly sweet lifeguard. When Henry finds out about Azra's identity, life gets even more complicated. Azra's resentment of her situation is vivid and realistic, but it can border on whiny, and secondary characters are largely underdeveloped. Unfortunately, the plot tends toward the clich , as Azra discovers that she has more power than most jinn and that there are secrets in her heritage. Ages 12 up.