The Seal by J.F. Mehentee (Book 1 of the Baka Djinn Chronicles)

The SealThe Seal: Book 1 of the Baka Djinn Chronicles
by J F Mehentee


Published on the 10th of June

Published by Performance in Change Publishing

180 Pages

Purchase From | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK |

My rating: ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, P in C Publishing, via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 2.5

Synopsis from Netgalley:
The djinn are dying. Only a young woman wielding a deadly new magic can save them.

Kidnapped by a djinni, sixteen-year-old Roshan is forced to weave magic to steal empire secrets.

When Roshan witnesses the empire beheading daevas—djinn unable to weave magic—she questions everything she knows about the djinn. She agrees to help them search for the seal, a ring once used by King Solomon to rob the djinn of their powers.

Roshan soon discovers she can weave a new magic, a magic that creates and destroys with only thought. Terrified of the devastation she is capable of, can Roshan learn how to control the new magic in time to stop the empire and save the djinn?

The Seal is the first of a three-book fantasy series. If you like stories packed with ancient civilisations, mythological beasts and vengeful spirits, grab your copy of The Seal.

This book was pretty short, the paperback version comes in at around 180 pages according to Goodreads, so this is partly the reason behind my lower rating. For a relatively short book, it felt like it took way too long for me to get through it. I found that I would pick it up, and after a chapter or two put it back down because I just couldn’t be bothered, which for me isn’t the greatest. I feel this had a lot to do with the pacing and how convoluted the story came across. In this instance, I feel that a shorter page length only ended up hurting what could have been an absolutely fantastic story.

There was a lot of info-dumping for a good while in the beginning of this story, which is where I think it would have been more beneficial had the book been longer as this would have allowed the author to delve into the world building properly, even after finishing it, I’m still a bit confused on the meaning behind a lot of terms used. I realise now, after seeing another reader’s review on Netgalley, that there was apparently a glossary which explained a lot of the more ambiguous terms, however, I never came across this in my kindle version of the book; so if you do read this story and find you’re having a bit of trouble, please try and find this glossary as I think it will help a great deal.

The premise of this story was fantastic, and I feel that it could have been so much more than what this first instalment turned out to be. As I said above, having a longer page count would have helped a great deal as the story was very convoluted and I found that I wasn’t so much taking in or focusing on what was going on in the plot because I was still trying to wrap my head around the terms and the small amount we knew about the world. The author wrote as though we knew exactly what was going on, where I felt that I was dropped in the middle of something and left to fend for myself.

The characters showed great promise, but once again, due to such a small page count, they didn’t have a lot of chance to gain their own voice and endear themselves to me. I was interested in their stories and I’m hoping that these are explored more through the coming instalments, but I’m not feeling super keen to pick them up at this point, but who knows what can happen in the future.

The story had great promise, but just fell a little short in it’s execution, I am interested to see what happens to Roshan and everyone, and I have a soft spot for Zana, I’m just a bit torn because I feel like if the story had have been longer, it would have been SO much better.

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