By Eytan Halaban
Inkwater Press, $15.95, 340 pages
The Perfect Wish puts a contemporary spin on a few old legends. Jimmy is an atypical 16 year old boy looking for adventure. His inspiration and guide for this trek is the Legend of Sheba, a book his grandfather, Arron, gave him. In order to finance his trip, Jimmy cons his school and the Make-A-Wish Foundation into sending him to Disneyland. One of a few disappointing aspects of the story is that Jimmy’s parents are too willing to believe their son and ultimately fail to properly intervene. They don’t even search for their son. Another issue was the use of Old English/Elizabethan English language for the Shebans/Levites more formal conversations. To this reviewer it seemed archaic, poorly utilized, and distracted from the story.
Eugene is a street con artist and thief that Jimmy meets in Addis Ababa and becomes his unlikely tour guide. Eugene’s initial intent is to steal what he can from Jimmy. Eugene’s lust for greed doesn’t abate but somewhere during their journey, he decides it’s better to be Jimmy’s friend in order to secure his own survival.
The Shebans and the Levites constantly refer to the Law as their rule and guide. This Law sounds a lot like the Code of Hammurabi and Mosaic Law. However, the Sheban/Levite Law is mainly concerned with issues of decorum and their cave, Mamgorot.
This might be a good book for young teenagers. One concern for parents might be the occasional use of swear words. Overall, it is nice contemporary tale combining the legends of Sheba, Solomon, and the Ancient East.
Reviewed by Jon Sanetel