Wednesday 26 August 2020

Book Review: The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P Djèlí Clarke

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm gobbbling up PDC's writings at the moment like they are a sweet tray of chocolates with cream to dip them in.

This is a novella length story set in his incredible fantastical steampunk , djinn filled world of an alternative 1912 Cairo. I love the blend of East and West, of detective drama and spirit world fantasy, of folklore and myth, "boilerplate eunuchs"and alternative sociopolitical histories.

In this story we meet more agents of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, Hamad Nasr a man trying to be a modern man, and his youthful rookie sidekick Onsi as they deal with the haunting of the title.

I love the way PDC brings related everyday things into this world - budget problems within the department, Suffragettes, the rookie reciting the legislation to everyone's boredom yet in the end his skills shine through and the older inspector warms to his new buddy, and the bug of detectives everywhere, paperwork.

Along with his short story A Dead Djinn in Cairo this is a tour de force in world building which I am so pleased it looks like he is going to continue with in A Master of Djinn set for release in 2021. PDC definitely has an eye for the ridiculous, the comic, and for telling a great story, a master of balance. I hope this world continues to grow. A rollicking read.

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