Reviews for Blue Djinn of Babylon
Booklist Reviews 2006 March #2
Gr. 5-8. Featuring adolescents initiated into a magical society invisible to unwitting "mundanes," the Children of the Lamp series nods vigorously to Harry Potter. The difference from many of its competitors, though, is the finesse with which it does so--no less apparent here than in The Akhenatan Adventure (2005), which most children will want to read first. Kidnapped by the ruthless Blue Djinn to succeed her as djinnkind's ultimate arbiter of justice, newly fledged djinn Philippa has been imprisoned to prepare her for the unwanted job. As family and friends work to find a more suitable replacement, Philippa's twin, John, must rescue her from an underground palace, accessed through an American military base in Iraq--an up-to-the-minute element that fits oddly with the narrative's old-fashioned tone (at one point, John creeps about "Indian-style," and what 12-year-old New Yorker uses words like quite and indeed?). At the same time, though, the plot also feels more controlled than its predecessor, with greater limitations to the magic preventing the heroes' paths from seeming artificially smooth. ((Reviewed March 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
Fresh from attaining their djinn powers in [cf2]The Akhenaten Adventure[cf1], twins John and Philippa set out to return a valuable text to Ayesha, the Blue Djinn of Babylon. As in the first book, Kerr brings a wealth of invention and a solid grounding of research into djinn legends to his creation, giving the story and its deftly varied episodes a rich texture. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #2
Fresh from attaining their djinn powers in The Akhenaten Adventure (rev. 1/05), twelve-year-old twins John and Philippa Gaunt set out to return a valuable djinn text to Ayesha, the Blue Djinn of Babylon. Being beyond good and evil, Ayesha helps maintain the balance of luck in the universe, but she's looking for a replacement before she dies, and the mission is a ruse to kidnap Philippa and force her to take up the position. To rescue her, John travels to Iraq and thence to Iravotum, a djinn realm outside of time and space. As in the first book, Kerr brings a wealth of invention and a solid grounding of research into djinn legends to his creation, giving the story and its deftly varied episodes a rich texture. The supporting characters as well show an entertaining diversity. Capable writing and a well-shaped plot will reward fans returning to this series. An appendix contains rules for the djinn game Djinnverso. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2005 December #2
After their dangerous adventures in The Akhenaten Adventure (2004), djinn twins John and Philippa have promised their mother not to use their djinn powers without her permission. It's not so bad for Philippa, who can exercise her djinntellect playing Djinnverso (a dice game played without magic), but it's more difficult for John, who is being bullied at school. When Philippa is framed as a cheater at the Djinnverso Tournament, the twins are pulled into what appears to be a plot to rule the world. Alas, it's a double-cross. When the twins try to help, Philippa is kidnapped by the amoral, merciless arbiter of justice, the Blue Djinn of Babylon. The Blue Djinn wants an heir and intends to make Philippa heartless like herself. John and Philippa's adventures as they defeat the Blue Djinn are an odd combination of intrigue and overly goofy humor. Solidly entertaining despite jokes that try a little too hard. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 February #1
The sequel to the bestselling debut in the Children of the Lamp series, The Akhenaten Adventure (which puts "an entertaining spin on the genie-in-a-lantern mythos," according to PW) takes 12-year-old twins John and Philippa Gaunt, who discovered in the first book that they are descendents of a long line of djinni, from New York to Istanbul in The Blue Djinn of Babylon. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 March
Gr 5-8 -This sequel to The Akhenaten Adventure (Scholastic, 2005) stands completely on its own. John and Philippa Gaunt, 12-year-old twins, are descended from a long line of djinn and have magical powers. Philippa has been practicing a dice game of particular interest to their kind, and meets the Blue Djinn of Babylon when she is accused of cheating in the annual tournament. Unfortunately, she is wrongly convicted, and John finds out that someone has stolen the Solomon Grimoire , which contains incantations that give the user limitless power over all djinn. In order to convince the Blue Djinn of her innocence, and to protect everyone from misuse of the Grimoire , the twins set off for Istanbul to recover the book. What neither one knows is that they have been set up and are walking into a trap. Once it is sprung, it will take all of John's strength and intelligence to save Philippa; and she will need all of her cunning to survive. This wild ride has suspense and action, exotic locations, magic, and evil villains-all of the elements necessary for a good fantasy adventure. While some of the characters are two-dimensional, and some of the plot is a tad predictable, the main characters are totally believable in all their faults. Readers will also enjoy the original concept-that of the djinn society hidden among us. Give this book to readers looking for something different, maybe as an alternative to Jonathan Stroud's "Bartimaeus" trilogy (Hyperion).-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ [Page 224]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 February
In Kerr's second entry in the Children of the Lamp series, the Gaunt twins, Philippa and John, finally get an introduction to the world of the djinn culture and society that their mother rejected to live a normal life with her human husband. Much to their dismay, they find many of the other djinn to be disagreeable, if not downright wicked. The twins' intelligence, innocence, and desire to help others make them a target for jealousy, and schemes abound to get rid of them-permanently, if possible. Philippa is spirited away to a hidden castle where she will become the next Blue Djinn, the judge of all the djinn tribes, good and evil. Unfortunately being an all-powerful leader means becoming completely heartless, and Philippa must fight the forces trying to transform her into an emotionless creature of logic, even while John struggles to locate her and come to her rescue Although a stronger overall effort than The Akhenaten Adventure (Orchard, 2004/VOYA April 2004), this sequel is plot- rather than character-driven, and some readers might wish for a little more character development. The story gets off to a slow start, but the humor is just right, the captivating world of the djinn is faultlessly depicted and expanded, and Kerr balances the resolution with enough uncertainties to draw readers back for the next installment. This work is likely to win new fans as well as please those who enjoyed the previous book.-Catherine Gilmore-Clough 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.