Thursday, May 20, 2021

Book Review: The Infinity Courts

The Infinity Courts 
by Akemi Dawn Bowman

4.5 stars. Only because I struggled to accept the premise in the beginning...
This is one of those books where you need to read 100 pages and not think too hard about things like: the probable existence of aware AI, an infinite afterlife, AI having emotions, science of technology existing beyond human constructs, and other abstract concepts. Just accept them and go on the ride; because at some point you’ll find yourself so captivated by the world, characters, relationships, and idea of humanity that you won’t even care that those early pages came off a bit corny and lack some serious scientific rigour. But I promise it’s okay; because once the fantasy elements take over it works, and it works well.
Akemi Dawn Bowman has given us a gorgeous, intriguing new world (aka: the afterlife) to explore: wrought with monsters whose faces look like ours, people who are as complex in death as they were living, and a systematic set-up of torture that makes even grimdark fans (like myself) wonder if this is truly YA book.

Less is More
I want to get into so much with this; and yet I think the reader is better off going in with just the basic info on the blurb (like I did). It allows the story to unfold in a manner that catches you by surprise and makes the twisted ending feel all that much more perfect. There was a point during The Infinity Courts that I wondered something; it ended up being key to the whole construct in the end. This tickles me that while I didn’t know, somewhere unconsciously, I did have an idea but lost it in the pages. That is excellent, strong writing!

Above all else the thing to really appreciative out of The Infinity Courts is Bowman’s ability to write relationships that resound true. There is no obvious love interest or best friend at the start. And even by the end the relationships our lead gal has with everyone around her are complex. Just like real life. The only solid thing that remains true throughout is that her love for her sister is stalwart. There is a beauty to Bowman’s eloquence in writing relationships between characters that feel genuine. The women in power distrust one another (what woman hasn’t doubted another woman, even a best friend, at some point?). The men make like they are all macho and indestructible; and yet they fall apart just the same as the females around them. And then we have the AI characters whom mimic being human. They are perhaps the most complex of all. Can an AI want or desire something?

Before I get too carried away in the genuinely intriguing concepts that Bowman lays out here (and spoil this), let me say that this is a series I cannot wait to spend more time with. If only I had time to reread! Now knowing the truths of the ending I wonder how many foreshadows and hints I consciously missed?
All that said, the most important takeaways to know in advance of reading The Infinity Courts are these:
- there is no love triangle (but a romance does blossom)
- the ending is clever and twisted but not cheap
- every good series needs a strong tag line. Where Hunger Games had “may the odds be ever in your favour”; Infinity Courts has “may the stars watch over you”.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

The blurb sounds so outlandish, this has to be either utter trash or utterly amazing!