Wahid, an only child, goes out with his friends to a party for the first time in a long time. While driving his best friend Arif and his crush Maheen home, mythical djinns attack the car, flipping it over and killing Arif. When Wahid somehow kills a djinn, the creature takes Maheen’s soul in retribution.
Why this book?: I got the ebook for free, and it sounded amazing. Also, an urban fantasy book set in Pakistan? Yes please!!!
Fire Boy would have been an amazing book if the publisher hadn’t ruined it with the official summary. When you decide to pick up this book, avoid any provided summary if it goes further than the car crash. I ended up waiting the entire book for the events of the summary to happen, only to realize that the publisher provided summary literally summarizes the whole book, rather than just what a reader needs to know in order to get into the novel.
Other than that one problem, Fire Boy is an amazing, original urban fantasy novel that pretty much anyone would love. Not only does it include an awkward but determined protagonist, but there is the perfect amount of humor and horror written in. Despite the plot being slow to my tastes, I was kept up late with the culture and uniqueness of the setting.
Wahid is such a realistic character, with his awkwardness and determination and open inquisitiveness that made his such a believable character. He even has asthma! The same goes for Arif and Hazma, Wahid’s other friend, both of which I found just as enjoyable and honest. Shah was able to create such interesting and three-dimensional characters that one could fall in love with quickly. While Maheen is important to the story, she isn’t it in as much as she could have been. Right when Wahid starts to get to know her, the crash happens, and unravels everything.
Probably the strongest point in Fire Boy is the setting and the culture Shah wove in. I loved learning about Karachi and Islam, as well as all the legends and folklore that come with it. The basis of having djinn in the real world, as well as the heaven/hell idea and basically all of the folklore was so intricate and interesting. The culture enhanced the world Shah was attempting to build, making it more believable, especially to those of the religion or culture.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
Fire Boy was an extremely enjoyable read. The characters and culture added a distinctive feeling to the story, making this one-of-a-kind story an amazing find. Although I really disliked the pacing of the story, and the summary provided really ruined my expectations, I was still happily surprised and excited for the conclusion, Earth Boy.
Would I Recommend?
As someone not of the Pakistani and Islamic culture, I would recommend, although I would also suggest reading own voices reviews as well. I would recommend Aimal’s review, as it goes much more in-depth than mine above, as well as being own voices.
Trigger warning: gore, torture, murder, and mentioned (non-graphic) sexual assault.
Published: June 1st, 2016
Page Count: 256
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Horror
Synopsis: not provided due to basically ruining the story and overall being misleading.