Cairo by G. Willow Wilson
Release Date: February 13th 2009
Publisher: Paw Prints
In bustling modern-day Cairo, the lives of a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a young activist, an Israeli soldier, and a genie are interwoven as they navigate the city's streets and spiritual underworld to find a stolen hooka sought by a wrathful gangster-magician.
The Short of It: All in all, I liked this GN. The story was intriguing and fast paced and the illustrations well done. I was even surprised that it held my attention during a second read through! I had only meant to skim it to refresh my memory on what had happened and instead ended up reading the entire thing again.
Story: The story is what really won me over. I love the mythical/fantasy aspect with the Jinn, underworlds, and mysterious boxes. During my second read I was quite impressed with how the story flowed and weaved together. There are truly three story lines going on at once and the way they switched back and forth and then came together was virtually seamless. I do miss the extra words and deeper emotions that a novel allows, but I finished the book feeling like I knew all six of the main characters. I cheered as they took on the bad guys and was sad when tragedy struck; I even smiled a little seeing that most got the happy ending they deserved. There were a couple of confusing moments that I didn’t get until the second read-through, but all in all Wilson delivered an excellent story.
Illustrations: I’ve gone back and looked at the illustrations several times now, trying to form a good opinion about them. At first I was going to state that they were all black and white illustrations with little detail. However, I realize that’s not the case for all the panels. There are some, especially when entering a new setting, where the illustrations are quite detailed. There were several things, like pictures on the wall, that I missed the first time that really made me smile. And, honestly, when there is a lack of detail, the illustrations/actions pop more off the page than they would have if they were burdened with lots of little details. Overall, I enjoyed Perker’s style and thought he did an excellent job of bringing the characters and story to life.
Librarian Mode: This is going to appeal easily to fantasy or actions lovers. It will go over better with the boys, but I think it’ll still hold enough interest for some of the girls, too. Those who enjoy Holly Black’s Good Neighbor series will most likely enjoy this one as well.