The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport
by Samit Basu
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 03 Oct 2023
Tor Publishing Group, Tordotcom
Highly anticipated in BookBub | Library Journal | Goodreads | Tor.com | We Are Bookish | The Portalist | The Fantasy Review | SFF Yeah!
“So much fun!”–Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author
From international bestseller Samit Basu, The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an exuberant new sci-fi adventure with heart that reads like a mash-up of “Aladdin” and Murderbot—with gloriously chaotic results
Shantiport was supposed to be a gateway to the stars. But the city is sinking, and its colonist rulers aren’t helping anyone but themselves.
Lina, a daughter of failed revolutionaries, has no desire to escape Shantiport. She loves her city and would do anything to save its people. This is, in fact, the plan for her life, made before she was even born.
Her brother, Bador, is a small monkey bot with a big attitude and bigger ambitions. He wants a chance to leave this dead-end planet and explore the universe on his own terms. But that would mean abandoning the family he loves—even if they do take him for granted.
When Shantiport's resident tech billionaire coerces Lina into retrieving a powerful artifact rumored to be able to reshape reality, forces from before their time begin coalescing around the siblings. And when you throw in a piece of sentient, off-world tech with the ability to grant three wishes into the mix… None of the city's powers will know what hit them.
Also by Samit Basu
The City Inside
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 73 members
An interesting environment, a compellingly unique POV, and a plot that increasingly tightens and heightens tension make this an entertaining read.
The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an exhilarating, fast-paced thrill ride that will have readers hooked from the very first page. Basu's skillful world-building and character development bring this vibrant story to life in a cinematic yet personal way. Whenever I had to reluctantly set the book down, thoughts of this captivating world and the witty Bador kept me eagerly anticipating what would happen next. For fans of Martha Wells and Becky Chambers, this novel raises thought-provoking questions about bot rights and community, reminiscent of All Systems Red and the Wayfarer's series. Bador and Lina, the unsung heroes of Shantiport, embark on a quest involving alien technology and their father's legacy, bringing together various threads to save their city. Will the world meet its end? Who is the enigmatic space hero Tanai, and what is his true mission? And could one of the siblings end up with a not-so-royal suitor? Basu's writing flows effortlessly, creating an enthralling martial arts action sequence in my mind, while the characters become some of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend this book for Reader's Advisory and library displays. It was an absolute pleasure to read.
I was very impressed with the world building and characters within this book! It was well written and paced to keep things developing without feeling like it was slow. My one issue would be a few things that happened or were settled too quickly, probably because of the chosen narrator. There’s some funny parts thanks to that narration though, and overall I think it was a good choice. 4.5 stars, rounded to 5 for Goodreads since it does deliver on everything it promises.
Note: arc provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for honest review
A brand-new, rollicking space adventure with heart that reads like a mash-up of Aladdin and Murderbot by international bestseller Samit Basu.
A perfect adventure story for fans of sci-fi and monkey robots. Definitely recommend!
The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport
A jawdropping rollercoaster ride from start to finish, _The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport_ is a high-octane romp through an isolated city on the brink of collapse in search of a piece of alien tech that could destroy—or save—the planet.
*The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport* has everything you could want in a sci-fi retelling of *Aladdin*. We get star-crossed lovers, buried treasures beautiful strangers from beyond the stars, and a parade the likes of which the city has never seen. Oh, and a scenery-destroying battle between a mech, a synthetic garbage kaiju, and a monkey-bot. If that’s your thing.
*Shantiport* is just so much *fun*, is what I’m getting at here
The story follows Bador, a little monkey-bot with big dreams, and his human sister Lina as they hunt for the titular jinn-bot and upend the city in the process. Bador is full of terrible, impulsive plans and is constantly frustrated by his human family’s unwillingness to give him enough information to make better ones, while Lina’s conviction that she knows the way forward is continuously tested. Moku, a story-bot they charge with recording their exploits, quickly finds himself unwilling to simply bob along in the wake of the siblings, and grows by leaps and bounds out of his initial programming to help them in any way he can.
I loved Shantiport (the city) at once. It’s a city on the edge, where a trade embargo has let criminal factions amass huge amounts of power while the Tiger Clan, the ostensible rulers, are more concerned with planning their own exodus before a rumored doom falls upon them. It’s populated by sentient robots of all shapes and sizes alongside variously augmented humans, and feels real and vibrant and _city sized_ from the very beginning.
The plot takes a number of twists and turns that are both shocking in the moment and obvious in hindsight, and ultimately left off with a good balance of satisfying conclusions and unanswered questions. There’s so much more I want to know about this universe, with its rumors of far-off utopias, galactic trading guilds, and wandering space heroes, but the ending still felt solid.
I would have liked to see a little more development of the characters and their relationships, as the romantic subplot fell a little flat for me, but if what you want is a plot-forward, fast paced adventure, _The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport_ will not disappoint.
I absolutely adored everything about this book. Shantiport is a believable future colony world with all of the problems that come from absolute power and shady money being bedfellows. As much as it speaks about the city and people of Shantiport, they remain elusive outside of specific areas needed to advance the narrative, giving us much the same experience as any tourist on one of Lina's tours. The book offers no easy answer to correcting the society's problems, instead offering commentary on our own and the steps we too must take to correct them. Ultimately, this story is one of growth, positive change, and the cost of generational expectations. Linda, Bador, and Maku are brilliant characters, perfectly flawed and complex enough to feel real. Basu's spectacular writing had me both cackling and entranced, ultimately leaving me satisfied and hopeful. This story is one of a far off place in a future we will never see. But it reminds us that Aladin does live in the here and now, in all of us. I'll absolutely be recommending this as one of the best titles to curl up with this fall!
'The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport' is a multi-layered novel about trying to save a city in a sci-fi setting with a folk tales tone. Samit Basu brings together a fast paced story with many twists, artificial intelligence with the concept of bot- rights and bright introspective characters trying to do the right thing with his usual witty writing.
The novel is from the perspective of a newly dug up story teller bot whose function is to follow and record a person's story. We see the jinn-bot try to understand the lead characters and people in general as the story progresses; when the characters seem one-dimensional sometimes, it's probably the bot still trying to characterize the people. And indeed, Basu tries to reason the focus on particular aspects of the leads towards the end.
The world-building, along with the writing really support the story's quest; the folk-tale aspects lacing the world liven up the more serious politics of people trying to change the way the cities are ruled. Basu's writing balances action and philosophy in the novel and it was great to see everyone reason through the best course of action.
The rating is 4 1/2 stars and rounded up to 5 as the book on the whole delivers what is promised.
[One star for the premise and the whole book; 3/4 star for the characters; 3/4 star for the story arc; One star for the writing; One star for the world-building - Four and a half stars on the whole.]
Thanks to NetGalley, Samit Basu and Tor publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Samit Basu's "The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport" takes readers on an electrifying adventure through a futuristic city where jinns and robots collide. Basu seamlessly blends elements of technology and magic, creating a dynamic urban fantasy world that brims with excitement. The fusion of jinns and robots adds a unique flavor to the story, immersing readers in a thrilling quest filled with twists and turns. The city of Shantiport comes alive with its vibrant streets and bustling atmosphere. The characters, from jinns to humans, are diverse and compelling, each with their own motivations and secrets. "The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport" is an action-packed ride, filled with pulse-pounding moments and unexpected humor. Basu's witty writing style adds a touch of whimsy to the narrative, making it a delightful and entertaining read. Basu skillfully weaves together cultural influences and mythology, creating a rich tapestry of storytelling that captivates the reader's imagination. The exploration of themes like identity and power adds depth to the narrative. "The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport" is a spellbinding blend of science fiction and fantasy, offering an unforgettable adventure that will leave readers yearning for more.
The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an exciting, nail-biting, fast-paced joy ride of a novel. From page one readers will want to immerse themselves in this vibrant world. Basu's expansive and cinematic, yet personal, world-building, and character developing skills made this story come alive in my mind. Whenever I was forced to put the book down, which I did only grudgingly, thoughts of this world, and especially the humorous and clever Bador, kept me distracted as I continued to imagine this world and what my new heroes could possibly do in the face of their all-powerful oppressors. For fans of Martha Wells and Becky Chambers this is a story that will echo some of the questions All Systems Red brings up around the rights of bots, paired with questions about community that are often at the forefront of Becky Chambers Wayfarer's series.
Bador and Lina are heroes of Shantiport, though many don't know of their existence. Until Moku shows up, alien technology that may or may not be part of their father's legacy. The siblings, each with their own questions, fears, and desires, must find the many strings and bring them together in order to save Shantiport. Is the end of the world approaching? Who is the space hero Tanai and what is his true mission? Will one of them end up marrying the not-prince!? The book was a pleasure to read - Basu's writing flows like the most beautiful yet chaotic martial arts action sequence in my brain and the characters take their places as some of my favorites.
The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport by Samit Basu is a thrilling sci-fi/fantasy adventure that blends elements of Aladdin and Murderbot with stunning results. Set in the city of Shantiport, a gateway to the stars that is sinking due to the negligence of its colonist rulers, the story follows Lina, a daughter of failed revolutionaries who is determined to save her city and its people. Along with her small monkey bot brother Bador, Lina becomes embroiled in a dangerous mission to retrieve a powerful artifact that has the ability to reshape reality. But when they encounter a sentient off-world tech with the power to grant three wishes, they must navigate a chaotic and dangerous world filled with unexpected twists and turns.
Basu's writing is a joy to read, filled with humor, heart, and plenty of action. The characters are well-developed and memorable, with Lina and Bador in particular standing out as complex and engaging protagonists. The world-building is top-notch, with the city of Shantiport coming to life in vivid detail, and the plot is fast-paced and unpredictable, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.
Overall, The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport is an excellent read for fans of sci-fi and fantasy, with plenty of humor, heart, and excitement to keep readers engaged from start to finish. Highly recommended.
I had enjoyed the previous books from Samit Basu and this was just as strong as the GameWorld Trilogy. This book was what I was looking for in the scifi genre and it had great elements going on. The characters were what I was looking for and were written perfectly, this was a great story going on. I can't wait to read more from Samit Basu.
"Bador’s convinced that Paneera’s kept henchpeople lying in wait for us. My own guess, confirmed thus far, is that Bador is the least of Paneera’s concerns, and the meeting is likelier to be a joke than anything more deadly, but when Bador asked me for an estimate and a strategy, I chose, wisely I believe, to say nothing."
Loved this! A fast paced action tale in an Asian-flavored slum setting. The POV is from an AI mandated to only record events, not interfere. It is gradually subverted by the braggadocious monkey construct Bador and his idealistic sister, Lina. The dialog was witty, the AI's observations funny, the action non-stop and the plot twists and turns kept me guessing. This would be a fabulous movie The cover blurb describing this as a mash-up of Murderbot and Aladdin is spot on. I highly recommend. I will be buying the hard cover and the audio book so that I can enjoy the story again in every format. Yes, I'm obsessed, what of it?
I loved this book, and I'd also love to read more in the world of Shantiport and Moku if I could.
There is a touch of the absurd in this book, or perhaps a lot of absurd. It's silly, and funny, and tense, and mysterious. I enjoyed the journey and the main characters, flaws and all. When books bill themselves as murderbot-ish I usually find that they fall flat (Murderbot from Martha Well's fantastic series is a gem), but there was genuinely something murderbot-esque about this, in a very good, and unique way - beyond the idea of bam here is a sarcastic death robot, or here is a human robot clone doing things - it had meaningful connections with people and other individuals, it was funny, it had villains, mysterious people, and sometimes robots that just don't know what's going on.
But it also had a richly described external world, a Jinn(bot) which was its own fun romp - especially if you have any familiarity with Jinn in Arabian mythology. And full of family drama, love, betrayal and more.
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the e-galley and letting me read this one early.
"The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport" is this outlandishly delightful interstellar adventure, yet it also bears the weight of significant themes: oligarchy, colonialism, environmental collapse, and the quest for freedom. Basu's storytelling is cool and gutsy. He's not afraid to dive headfirst into complex story-weaving and take a playful jab at well-worn SF and folklore clichés. The Aladin retelling aspect stealthily crept up on me, which was a pleasant surprise.
The character of Bador, the ambitious monkey bot with a larger-than-life persona, became my instant favorite. His zeal for exploring the universe and the dichotomy of his love for family truly resonated with me. He's a bot, but he's also Lina's brother.
However, my reading experience was a bit hindered by the choice of narrator: Moku, the story bot. It was indeed a creative move, something that felt novel and fresh. His introduction was BRILLIANT. Yet, this very uniqueness put a distance between me and the characters. Moku's narrative voice created a sort of bubble that kept me at arm's length from the characters' inner thoughts and feelings. I yearned for a deeper connection, a dive into their psyches, their motivations, their fears, and their hopes.
All things considered, "The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport" is a book I'd readily recommend. It's an exhilarating read with thought-provoking themes, memorable characters, and a compelling storyline. Just be ready for an unconventional narrative voice that might need a bit of getting used to.
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