Title: The Forbidden Wish
Written by Jessica Khoury
Read by Cassandra Campbell
Published by Razorbill
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
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She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...
When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
When I picked up The Forbidden Wish on Audible, I didn’t really know what to expect. Sure, I have heard GREAT things about this book on the blogosphere, but I really try not to get carried away by the hype. I was WONDERFULLY surprised by this here book of super AWESOMENESS!
Super awesomeness, you say?
Yes, I SAY! It is a retelling of Aladdin and I love the arc Jessica Khoury went with. This time, the jinni is female and her name is Zahra. She has secrets of her own as well as an ulterior motive in helping Aladdin. And oh boy, how I love her and Aladdin! I am totes #shipping them!
Okay, hold on, Aladdin and the Jinni? Is there even A princess?
There is! But before that, let me back up. Aladdin RESCUES Zahra from the Cave of Wonders (okay, it is NOT called THAT, but you get my point) by rubbing the lamp and not really wishing himself out of the devastation. Kind of like how Disney’s Aladdin genie rescue went. Minus the magic carpet, of course! I saw a few Disney parallels but it wasn’t too obvious (unless you actually memorized the whole Disney version, though).
There is a love/hate relationship going on between the two, initially. In fact, Aladdin wasn’t expecting the jinni to be a “girl” and Zahra was expecting to be judged. See, Zahra has been imprisoned in the lamp for 500 years (I forgot the actual years, kay?) BECAUSE of something that she did. View Spoiler »She actually caused WAR and killed her best friend in the process. « Hide Spoiler
Oooh, scandalous! What did she do?
I’m not going to spill the beans! But I will say that when Zahra was released from the lamp, she is now in a world where magic is outlawed and jinn are killed or captured. In disguise, she manages to help Aladdin infiltrate the palace because naturally, there is a rebellion brewing.
Aladdin’s mission is to kill the Grand Vizier, the person responsible for killing his parents. Zahra, because she has to, grants his wish and disguises Aladdin to everyone, even the princess.
Now, we’re talking, a PRINCESS!
Of course, Aladdin tries to trick the princess into marrying him so he can thwart the Grand Vizier’s plans. But there is a problem, Aladdin starts falling for Zahra!
And let’s not forget, Zahra is also starting to fall for Aladdin! I love how strong and vulnerable Zahra is. That despite being an all powerful jinni, she is also bound to Aladdin and the lamp because of the curse. Let’s not forget, she also has a bargain with the King of the Jinn, in exchange for her freedom.
Oh, the plot thickens!
We all know what the forbidden wish is, right? Zahra refuses to have someone wish her free because of what has happened before. We see glimpses of this in Zahra’s inner thoughts and conversations with someone called “Habiba.”
Needless to say, Jessica Khoury’s execution of the whole tale is phenomenal! I absolutely loved the romantic tension between Aladdin and Zahra. In fact, I didn’t know how the story would end! I mean, I knew that View Spoiler »Aladdin and Zahra would end up together but I didn’t know HOW they would defeat the King of the Jinn. « Hide Spoiler
So, this is a stand alone?
Yes, it is! Which is really, REALLY refreshing because I have been reading a lot of series books. However, I really want to get the Princess’ story! Okay, shoot me now, but I forgot the Princess’ name, but she is super bad-ass, with a coterie of bad-ass female guards!
Kick-ass females FTW!
I love me some kick-ass females, and The Forbidden Wish doesn’t skimp on them! I mean, the Princess’ personal guards alone are pretty AMAZING! As I’ve said, Zahra is pretty kick-ass herself.
And the romance?
Let’s just say that the plot doesn’t revolve around romance, but love. There is a difference, by the way.
Thoughts on the audio?
Perfectly narrated by Cassandra Campbell, The Forbidden Wish is filled with danger and adventure, uniquely told in Campbell’s accent.
This book is a MUST read! If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you hop to it!
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Have you read this book yet? What are you thoughts? Any #feels?! Did you ship Aladdin and Zahra? Please, I WANT to talk to someone about this!
Oh, and what do you think about stand alones?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: