Year Of Publication: 10th April 2016
Publisher: Melby Rose Publishing
Pages: 242 (Paperback)
My rating: 4/5
Ayesha Dean – The Istanbul Intrigue is Melati Lum’s debut novel.
In the book we accompany Ayesha -who’s fresh out of high school and decides to go on a trip from Australia to Istanbul with her friends Jess and Sara.Accompanying them is Ayesha’s guardian Uncle Dave and Sara’s father who are attending a conference in Istanbul.
While sightseeing they chance upon a quaint bookshop selling antique books.There they discover a mysterious note alluding to the location of the 100 year old missing manuscripts of Ibn-Arabi.
Paired with her martial arts and sleuthing skills Ayesha and her two friends set off on an adventure full of mystery and intrigue.
If you liked reading the Nancy Drew series as a child you’ll enjoy reading this book!
I really loved how multi-cultural and diverse the cast of this book is. Very rarely do I come across books that have a female Muslim lead who isn’t the stereotypical oppressed Muslim chick.
It was refreshing to read about Ayesha and her family dynamics – her Australian father accepted Islam in his twenties and married her Indonesian mother.When Ayesha Dean was a baby her parents passed away and she was raised by her Uncle Dave and Aunt Lily;who while not religious themselves brought up Ayesha a Muslim according to her parents wish.
I really liked reading the scenic descriptions of Istanbul and about the historical figure Ibn-Arabi. Sadly I found myself getting distracted easily between chapters.I think it was probably due to the fact that this book is aimed at pre-teens and these days I’m pretty used to reading twisted/complex fast-paced plots and this was a bit slow for my liking. Even though the plot was pretty well outlined I believe it was easy to predict what was going to happen down the road.Thankfully the plot got pretty fast-paced near the end and was able to keep my interest piqued.
I definitely recommend this book for pre-teens and adult readers who want to read a relatively light-hearted book full of cultural and religious diversity with a mystery at its center and a kick-ass female Muslim lead!
I look forward to reading more books by Mealti Lum in the future- hopefully Ayesha Dean might become a series someday *fingers crossed*.
*I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.