Haunting of Tram Car 015 Review

Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark is a short steampunk fantasy novella based in ancient Cairo, Egypt. I’ve got to admit that I wasn’t much attracted to the premise of the story but it was listed on a list of top fantasy reads of the year so I figured why not. As a novella, the commitment is short and on a positive note, it gets to introduce me to a new author whom I’ve never heard of before. I thought this was a fun read. The author writes in a clear and very easy to understand manner and that always gets bonus points from me.

What stood out to me most is how the author is able to fit so much detail of the world in such a small amount of pages. We get a glimpse of the culture of the city, food, fashion and even folklore tales. There’s not much rambling from the characters and everything felt like it happened for a reason with little fillers in between. I liked that he also added some political elements to the story.

My one wish is that the author would one day write a prequel of some sort to tell about how Egypt became to be as it is in the story. He briefly goes over the history of how it happened but I would love to see him write a dedicated book on this. Hopefully if he does it will be longer than a short novella. Nonetheless, while I wasn’t completely blown away by Haunting of Tram Car 015, it got me acquainted with the author and made me actually want to discover more of his work. He’s definitely someone I’m putting on my to-watch list.

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