John and Philippa Gaunt have inherited djinn powers from their mother, who has herself forsworn them to live a normal (though privileged) life. Offered the choice of djinn or human life, they embrace the exciting life of wielding supernatural powers. The upside: powers and a life span of 500 years; the downside, the danger of being trapped in a bottle or lamp, obliged to do the will of the person who releases them, possibly an evil djinn.
John and Philippa travel to Egypt for their initiation, and straightaway discover that there is a great danger to the world. 70 djinn, sealed up since the time of Akhenaten, are being sought, and will serve good or evil, depending on who releases them, and Iblis of the evil Ifrit tribe is on their trail. This is a fresh way for youngsters to gain magic powers in a different culture, with necessary constraints: granting wishes uses some of their life force so their powers must be sparingly used, and wishes have unexpected consequences. This is an exciting read. However, names of minor Egyptian characters seem to be puns rather than genuine, for example Huamai (Who am I?) and his son Toeragh; and would an Egyptian call his son Baksheesh? I also react against the luxury background with use of brand names like Jimmy Choos and Turnbull & Asser! Let me also recommend two well-established series where teenagers acquire magic powers and face the consequent risks: ‘Angels Unlimited’ by Annie Dalton, now up to its eighth book; and the ‘Wizardry’ saga by American Diane Duane, which has reached its seventh book and I believe seeks a British publisher.