October 10, 2019

Review: The Haunting of Tram Car 015

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Last year, P. Djeli Clark wrote the excellent novella "The Black God's Drums." This novella takes place in a different world, an alternate-history Cairo where alchemy is a real thing, magic works and djinns and various otherworldly beasties exist. This makes for several interesting worldbuilding concepts, including one where Egypt kicked the British out forty years before and there is a Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. Our two protagonists, Hamid Nasr and Onsi Youssef, are agents of said Ministry.

What starts out as a seemingly simple case--the haunting of a tram car by an unknown supernatural being--steadily escalates into a crisis. This story is well paced and tightly written, and the world is something I would like to explore further. Clark tells this story with a great deal of droll humor that had me laughing out loud more than once. Having said all this, I didn't like this as much as "The Black God's Drums." But it is worth your time.

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