UMM BILAL READS: THE DUCKTRINORS 

Author: Papatia Feauxzar

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

Year: 2015

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Papatia as with all her works dared to be different with this one. This book is the first of its kind that I have come across. I cannot place it in any one genre.  It is a sci-fi, YA lit with a deen twist. And Yes! It has clones, teleporters, robots and flying horses. References were made to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry as old school pop stars (Lol!)

The story is set around Hanifa. She and her family are in a new city where religion is banned and secularism is wide-spread. Those who choose to keep at their religion have to practice in hiding. Hanifa finds herself in a new school and like Papatia dares to be different. She is young, courageous, determined and ambitious. She has her eyes on the price and would do anything to achieve her goal – to lead an expedition to tarsus in Turkey to find the people of the cave (Yes! the ones mentioned in Surah Al-Kahf).

I was really impressed by the print and the page quality, plus the font is just perfect. Apart from some of the names that are a mouthful😁, the language is crisp and flow is great.

What stood out for me;

♡Papatia did not try to make Hanifa into a perfect sinless muslimah. She was so easy to identify with and connect to.

♡Oh! The subtle hint of romance.

♡The cliffhanger – Yes! This is only book 1.

The book is unlike anything else. It is a mix of drama, suspense, spy thriller, and dash of romance. I would recommend this book to teenagers or adults who enjoy sci-fi or YA lit.

Dearest Papatia: your imagination is…. MashaAllah.

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UMM BILAL READS: STEADFAST

Author: Papatia Feauxzar

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing 

Year: 2015

Steadfast is a collection of six short stories. It makes for an easy and light read. 

– Fixed Up

– Change of Shoes

– The Nanny

– Respect the Letters

– Freedom Fighters

– Zengi Girls

The stories touch everything we can identify with in this time – Islam, love, reverts, patience, racial equality, gender identity, feminism, witchcraft, marriage and its issues. I liked some stories more than others but was hooked by all of them. I found The Nanny a tad scary and surreal 😂. My favourite was Freedom fighters. I did a review of it too. 

One thing I noticed as I read the stories was I could identify bits and pieces of the author in her work. She is bold and dares to be different. She writes about what people are scared to talk about. She obviously loves love and believes muslim women need not shy away from having fun in the bedroom. Sometimes though I think she tries to hard but I can understand that her story lines are usually in uncharted waters.

I would recommend this to any mature adult. Everyone would find something they can connect to in the collection.

Well done Papatia.  

Umm Bilal Reads: The Lost Kingdom by Amira Ayad

I first came across the work of Amira Ayad when I read her book, “Healing, body and soul”. I was a pharmacist in training and was just amazed that a pharmacist could write that up. MashaAllah. Then followed “The true secret”. One I still fall back to when I need to get my goals in sight. I was pretty surprised when I came across this work of fiction and just thought, “let’s see how she swings this one”. Well, she did swing well. Continue reading