A 12-year-old genie longs to live outside her lamp.
Eden, the latest heir in a centuries-old succession of genies, lives in a small gold lamp with her two guardians and is allowed to leave only temporarily to grant three wishes to the human who finds the lamp. Genie rules specify that after a genie has granted 999 wishes, she is free to live on Earth, but Eden doesn’t want to wait that long. In a defiant moment, Eden escapes the lamp and surfaces in California. Her escape sets in motion the Electric—a cabal of power-hungry former genies who wish to possess the lamp for their own purposes. Crowl’s imaginative storyline rings with both perception and humor as Eden makes her way on Earth (telling new friends she is from Sweden) and puts a twist on major events in history (it turns out that most were the result of wishes granted by genies). Crowl’s female-empowerment tone—all the genies are female, and the president of the United States is a former genie herself—is, however, subtly undermined by her frequent descriptions of the Hollywood-like stereotypical beauty of the genies. Eden eventually does the right thing, even if it isn’t what she wants, but then, in an ending that comes off too pat, she gets what she wants, too.
Imaginative but uneven. (Fantasy. 8-12)