What the heck is it about? Here’s the Goodreads summary:
In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.
When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I picked this one up because of my undying love for Ms. Marvel and the writing in the comics, and this didn’t disappoint!
The prose is beautiful and the characters are compelling, even if I got frustrated with the choices Alif makes (but hey, his mistakes drive the narrative!) The mix of magic and technology is seamless and really fun. And this one actually has a m/f romantic subplot that doesn’t have me rolling my eyes every five seconds!
A great read, but it takes a bit to get into the action. What really had me hooked were the complex characters I couldn’t help but fall in love with!