Haunting of Tram Car 015

, #0.3

eBook, 160 pages

English language

Published Feb. 18, 2019 by Tom Doherty Associates.

4 stars (5 reviews)

Cairo, 1912: The case started as a simple one for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities — handling a possessed tram car.

Soon, however, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef are exposed to a new side of Cairo stirring with suffragettes, secret societies, and sentient automatons in a race against time to protect the city from an encroaching danger that crosses the line between the magical and the mundane.

3 editions

Djinnpunk baby steps

3 stars

This novella is set after A Dead Djinn in Cairo, the novelette which introduced the Djinnpunk universe Clark would go on to flesh out in A Master of Djinn. It’s slower paced than the novel and you will find not only characters, but wholesale setting descriptions reused in the latter, but that doesn’t detract from either’s qualities as a new and truly original original voice in speculative fiction.

Review of 'Haunting of Tram Car 015' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Quite a lot of good stuff here! The depiction of an alternate Cairo (in the 1910s) where Egypt has become a world power thanks to some magical forces being unleashed some decades previous is atmospheric as heck. We really get a sense of all the sounds, sights, smells and tastes of the place.

The goal here seems to be the depiction of what a decolonized Egypt would look like at this critical juncture, but the story used to set up that backdrop is enjoyable. Depicting a pair of bureaucrats trying to deal with a the titular haunting (on a budget!) it moves briskly enough and is funny at the right moments. The climax hits with some more-than-welcome action.

Yeah, it is "steampunk fantasy" but you'll still enjoy it even if you aren't really into that sort of thing. The steampunk stuff isn't terribly important to the story.

This is a …

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5 stars
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4 stars
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4 stars