Jinn-Bot of Shantiport

416 pages

English language

Published Oct. 3, 2023 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom, Tordotcom.

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4 stars (4 reviews)

From international bestseller Samit Basu, The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an exuberant new sci-fi adventure with heart that reads like a mash-up of Aladdin and Murderbot—with gloriously chaotic results

Shantiport was supposed to be a gateway to the stars. But the city is sinking, and its colonist rulers aren’t helping anyone but themselves.

Lina, a daughter of failed revolutionaries, has no desire to escape Shantiport. She loves her city and would do anything to save its people. This is, in fact, the plan for her life, made before she was even born.

Her brother, Bador, is a small monkey bot with a big attitude and bigger ambitions. He wants a chance to leave this dead-end planet and explore the universe on his own terms. But that would mean abandoning the family he loves—even if they do take him for granted.

When Shantiport's resident tech billionaire coerces Lina into retrieving a …

2 editions

Jinn-Bot of Shantiport

4 stars

Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an exuberant action-filled science fiction novel with Aladdin and ~Murderbot vibes[*]. The narrator here is Moku the flying bot, who in service to squabbling siblings Lina and Bador, the other two main characters. Bador is the monkey bot brother with dreams of escape to space and of bot liberation, while carrying a lot of anger at how his family treats him for not being human. Lina's the daughter of failed revolutionaries who works hard to avoid surveillance and has her own ideas of how to make the city better. And that's all before the lamp granting wishes shows up.

This book reminded me a lot of Suzanne Palmer's Finder book; both are set in a city with warring factions, there's some weird alien technology, and both are stories filled with banter and action. They are not the same story by any stretch, but there's a lot …

A solid, fun, imaginative and enjoyable book

5 stars

Samit Basu doesn’t lack humour and imagination, which make this story very enjoyable. His previous books have mixed cultural and political elements of Indian life with fantasy and science fiction, enriching old westerner tropes and bringing new life to genres that have for too long been only explored by white dudes.

The heart of the story is the question: if you were living in a world menaced by sea rise and dominated by ultra rich factions, and if you found a magic lamp with a genie, what would you ask them? Of course you’d have first to find said magic lamp, and fight your way to keep it when the whole power structure wants it too. Luckily in this scenario you’d be a mischievous monkey robot with delusions of grandeur…

Review of 'Jinn-Bot of Shantiport' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I struggled with what to rate this, but I’m going to land at a 3.5 rounded down. For me it was too long and would’ve definitely gotten a better rating if the story were trimmed or sped up a bit.

This is a story narrated by a bot, Moku, that is increasingly finding itself involved in the lives of Bador and Lina, a bot and human respectively. Bador and Lina are siblings that have different goals but love each other. Bador and Moku in particular have a lot of growth over the course of the story.

The characters and the relationships worked really well for me. I found them compelling, and they dealt with hurt and pain in ways that felt authentic.

It takes a turn at the halfway point that didn’t work as well for me. Things get more wild and crazy and chaotic. I had less of a …

avatar for torstein

rated it

4 stars