Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for gifting me an e-arc of this book.
The blurb for this book (taken from Waterstones) is:
The Sahar Peninsula lies just beyond the horizon, but it isn’t the easiest place to get to. No maps will take you there, nor can it be charted by gazing up at the stars, or down at a compass…
Twelve year old Amira has only ever known a life at sea with her sea-witch mothers. So when their ship is wrecked in a great storm, Amira is delighted to have an opportunity to explore land – accompanied by her best friend Namur – a jinn in cat form. Amira soon finds a boy who has a jinn like her, and learns that their spirit companions are connected to the mysterious storm that gets stronger each day.
When Namur goes missing Amira discovers she has to visit a magical place; a place where lost things can be found. But will Amira also discover her own destiny, and find out what it truly means to be a Moonchild?
My main expectations from reading the blurb was that I was getting a fantastical middle grade with mystery and adventure. I definitely think it delivered that as well as a story or friendship and family.
This story was so beautifully written, it was atmospheric and the descriptions were just as beautiful as the story. There are little ‘interruptions’ in the main story where we have short chapters where the narrator gives us little side stories or stories that the main character is telling and I really enjoyed that little break up and the placement of those stories within the main story.
I really liked how different the two main characters – Amira and Leo – are. Amira is very blunt and today could possibly be because she doesn’t have much interaction with lots of people, whereas Leo is almost opposite and I think they work together really well and it was lovely seeing their friendship bloom. Amira’s loyalty and determination to find and help her jinn, Namur, was admirable and the fact Leo put himself and his jinn at risk to help after such a short time knowing them just showed how strong a friendship they were building. One thing I adored was the normality of Amira having two mothers, especially with it being a middle grade and hopefully showing the reader, especially the younger readers, that it’s okay to have a family dynamic that doesn’t fit with the stereotypical nuclear family.