Catfishing Caitlyn

Fiction - Literary
233 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Catfishing Caitlyn is a riveting literary novel by Omar Imady. Caitlyn is an intelligent woman who just finished her Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history at Yale University. She has a voracious appetite for knowledge, women, and challenges. Not particularly looking for a job, she prefers to do post-doctoral studies, which the university rejects. Then she receives an invitation that lures her into joining a game where she has to answer questions and riddles and get paid only if she comes up with the correct answer. One wrong answer, and she’s out. Intrigued, Caitlyn searches for the answers and journeys from Jerusalem, Tibet, and the Middle East as she follows the clues found in historical archives. Together with a friend, she also travels to London and Turkey. Caitlyn soon faces her traumatic past, and the game suddenly becomes a quest to know who is behind the intriguing game and why.

Omar Imady’s Catfishing Caitlyn is a thought-provoking story that takes readers to exotic locations worldwide. Reading it is like going on an exciting journey with Caitlyn. Unexpectedly forced to face the ghosts of her past, the game turns into a compelling journey of personal discovery. As such, it also explores the themes of identity and a search for the meaning of life. Imady’s literary style is vivid and highly engaging. Well-researched with relatable characters, the narrative is also informative. I find the plot’s numerous twists and turns well-crafted and thrilling. Ultimately, Catfishing Caitlyn is a fascinating journey through Middle Eastern history and personal discovery, and it’s a compelling and engaging read.

Nino Lobiladze

Catfishing Caitlyn by Omar Imady starts with Caitlyn O'Keefe standing at the crossroads of her life. A brilliant Yale student with a Ph.D., she has broad perspectives in front of her. Caitlyn's field of study is the Middle East. She knows its history and speaks many languages, including Arabic and Syriac. But Caitlyn got stuck. The familiar life of a student-researcher is over, and an unresolved conflict with her mother, who left Caitlyn in her childhood, brings her to a therapist's couch. Then someone invites Caitlyn to participate in The Game. All she needs to do is answer questions about her specialty through a mysterious website for a substantial reward. But what kind of game is it? And who stands behind it?

Catfishing Caitlyn is both entertaining and thought-provoking, thanks to many humorous observations and ironic comparisons from the main character's perspective. Omar Imady encourages us to enter the world of Middle Eastern philosophical and religious thought. I appreciated the insights into the Arabic language and its structure explained during Caitlyn's attempts to solve another riddle. Imady's prose is rich but never tiring, and it is well-balanced. Caitlyn's joking interactions with her friend, Benji, make the narrative even more captivating. Caitlyn is a vibrant character who loves travel and prefers romance with beautiful women. The fascinating thing is that we get to know her better through The Game. The main concept of Catfishing Caitlyn is how The Game guides the main character toward self-understanding by giving her tasks and riddles to unravel. I highly recommend this work to fans of psychological and family dramas, suspense, and novels with leading female characters.