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Interesting ideas and great potential, but poor execution
on 18 February 2004
'Jinn' is Delaney's first novel, and sadly it shows. Although it offers several nice twists on the 'supernatural killer in the modern world' theme and bodes well for the author's future works, the book's many problems prevent it from being the entertaining horror thriller it should have been.
For a start, the book is simply too long - it weighs in at 625 pages, when the story could easily have been told in 400 or less. Added to the pacing problems caused by the length are those brought about through poor editing and repetition. Several exposition sections are repeated unecessarily, while some key points are skipped over or missed entirely, only to be refered to later. Similarly, characters and locations are only described on their second or third appearance, adding to the disjointed feeling of the narrative. Switches of perspective from character to character and from third- to first-person and back again are likewise poorly handled. Particularly jarring is the repeated use of the phrase 'Then in happened' during the extended action sequence that forms the climax of the book.
To be fair to Delaney, most (if not all) of these failings really should have been caught by his editor. Nonetheless, as it stands, 'Jinn' marks Delaney as a new author worth watching, but not as a great read in itself.