Thursday, June 17, 2010


Cairo Cairo by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Got this book on the recommendation of Neil Gaiman (he tweeted about it, I think), and since we're going to Cairo next year, I *really* had to get it!

First off, the dust jacket is really cool, but the actual cover is beautiful!! It's embossed with the stylized title and the skyline from the cover, bordered by an intricate, delicate pattern. All done in purple glitter. VERY nice!

The story is set in modern day Cairo, and involves the more-than-coincidental entwining of the lives of a hashish smuggler, a woman in the Israeli army, an Egyptian journalist, an American would-be suicide bomber - and a Jinn. It's a fascinating combination of an action thriller with Egyptian/Arab mythology. While the fact that all these people get mixed up together seems a bit far fetched, if you believe the Jinn, there are no coincidences! So just go along for the ride and you'll see the under-Nile, a battle with Satan (Shaitan), drug smugglers and more. But woven through the entire book is the theme of forgiveness, coexistence, and love - a theme which is sorely needed in the Middle East. I wish I could believe that such goodness really does exist over there. Surely it must!

Any graphic novel review should include mention of the artwork, as a graphic novel is not just a book with pictures - the pictures are part of the narrative, and actually help to tell the story. I thought the depictions of Cario street-life were very interesting and full of detail, and the depiction of the demons and Satan were very well done. And, oh my, the Jinn is *quite* handsome! I just wish it had been in color, as I imagine it would be so very rich!

Overall, a very fine graphic novel with a rip-roaring story and wonderful artwork!

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