My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an entertaining novel with a winning premise. I loved the idea of women having a latent power that is awakened in them, changing the social dynamic – and everything else connected to it. I also really liked the way Alderman shows that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely (thank you, H. Kissinger). So, this is not really a novel about gender (although it kinda is), it is more about power, the nature of power, and what HAVING (or not having) power does to people.
I thought the end came a little too quickly, it felt a bit rushed, but the last line is an absolute killer. Amusing and full of despair at the same time – can’t tell you because, spoilers, but it’s a real beauty.
Definitely worth a read – it’s sci-fi, spec fiction, and thriller all rolled in to one, with some astute observation thrown in. Favourite character? Jocelyn, without a doubt. She struggles with everything and still manages to shine, in my opinion., Everyone else is out for what they can get – Jocelyn just wants to fit in and have a peaceful life – what’s not to love about that? Favourite quote? It’s right towards the end, when Allie (a major character with HUGE potential that isn’t realised) is talking to the voice in her head, trying to work out which “side” to choose as things escalate between men and women and the people who have a vested interest in them fighting into perpetuity:
What can I tell you? Welcome to the human race. You people like to pretend things are simple, even at your own cost. They still wanted a King.
Allie says: Are you trying to tell me there’s literally no right choice here?
The voice says: There’s never been a right choice, honeybun. The whole idea that there are two things and you have to choose is the problem.
I know, right? Woah.
For ages 15 and up