Review: Jinn Nation
Title: Jinn Nation
Author: Caroline Barnard-Smith
Review Source: The Author Caroline Barnard-Smith
Back of Book Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
Once, the vampire Dylan had feared nothing and no one. He'd rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.
Finding himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn - a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.
First of all, I have never heard of Jinn before, so right off the bat I was really intrigued, I was also excited that Jinn Nation was (mostly) not like the typical vampire novel.
Since I had never heard of Jinn, I looked them up because I figured if I had never heard of them before, others might not have as well. So, here is the definition by Alan G. Hefner on the website Encyclopedia Mythica
“In Arabian and Muslim folklore jinns are ugly and evil demons having supernatural powers which they can bestow on persons having powers to call them up. In the Western world they are called genies.
Legend has it that King Solomon possessed a ring, probably a diamond, with which he called up jinns to help his armies in battle. The concept that this king employed the help of jinns may have originated from 1 Kings 6:7, "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought there, so there was neither hammer nor axe nor and tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."
In Islam, jinns are fiery spirits (Qur'an 15:27) particularly associated with the desert. While they are disruptive of human life, they are considered worthy of being saved. A person dying in a state of great sin may be changed into a jinni in the period of a barzakh, separation or barrier.
The highest of the jinns is Iblis, formerly called Azazel, the prince of darkness, or the Devil. The jinns were thought by some to be spirits that are lower than angels because they are made of fire and are not immortal. They can take on human and animal shapes to influence men to do good or evil. They are quick to punish those indebted to them who do not follow their many rules.
In the "Arabian Nights" jinns or genies came from Aladdin's Lamp.
There are several myths concerning the home of the jinns. According to Persian mythology some of them live in a place called Jinnistan. Others say jinns live with other supernatural beings in the Kaf, mystical emerald mountains surrounding the earth.”
The Jinn in Jinn Nation are similar but their characteristics and origin are slightly different. I like that Barnard-Smith took the idea of the jinn and changed it to be unique to her story. I also love it when an author can introduce me to new and fascinating facts.
The world Barnard-Smith has created in Jinn Nation is one where the vampires, all but one, are extinct. Dylan, the last of his kind has to find a way to feel like he belongs and he stumbles into the Jinn, humans who have become monsters who eat the organs of other humans and are almost as strong as the vampire himself. In his need to belong he becomes enmeshed into the Jinn community to his detriment. Because of the pain caused by the Jinn he finds Christa, a woman who can read minds and control people, vampires, and jinn.
Dylan is your typical vampire, decadent, violent, filled with hunger, and quite emotional (in his case the main emotion is loneliness.) Christa is somewhat of an enigma. She can know everything about everyone around her because she can literally take the info she wants right out of someone’s head but she is very tight lipped about herself, much to Dylan’s annoyance. Christa is nearly as cold and violent as Dylan. She helps him find victims and then helps clean up the bodies. She watches him kill people without even flinching. I found that aspect particularly creepy. I liked every other aspect about her except that; she is a strong woman who can take care of herself but the fact that she seemed to have no regard for human life (she does change at the end) turned me off.
There is a lot of suspense and mystery surrounding Christa. You want to know how she got these powers and about her past. Another source of mystery is that there seems to be a prophecy about Christa so there are witches that start coming out of the woodwork trying to get her to help save the world. Christa is very distrustful of them and the idea that her powers are a gift. She just wants to get rid of them and does not want to be the one who has to save the world. In this respect she kind of acts like a spoiled child.
Jinn Nation was very well written with a lovely writing style that flows so well. It is a unique and original story brining new mythologies to the sort of stale paranormal genre.
I give it a ****