Book Review: Infinity Son, by Adam Silvera • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: Infinity Son, by Adam Silvera

YA FANTASY: A gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

I started with high expectations but unfortunately, left very disappointed.

I had high hopes when I picked up this book. Billed as an epic fantasy with a beautiful front cover showing a rising phoenix, a great title, Infinity Son, andwritten for teens by an author who is a New York Times best seller. What more could I ask for?

Maybe some context and explanations would have helped. As I kept reading, I hoped the story would begin to make sense. But unfortunately, I found myself completely lost. The premise seemed really promising and author Adam Silvera is a gay man who longed to read stories with central characters from the LGBTQ community, so set out to write a story about a queer Latino kid who develops strong powers and must save the world.

Infinity Son is set in a future New York. It is about twin brothers, Emil and Brighton. They have just turned 18, a time when anyone who is likely to have powers will find them manifesting. Brighton is out-going and confident; he is reckless and wants nothing more than to be famous. He writes a vlog and dreams of becoming as well-known as those he idolises. Brother Emil however, is shy and timid and always wants to follow the rules. These brothers have a bond as close as any twins and they will always cover each other’s backs, but they also disagree on many levels. When Emil develops powers, the twins find themselves at logger heads.

The main difficulty I had with this story was a lack of information. Most of the time I had no idea what was happening. There is no explanation of how the world became the way it is and we are left to try and fit all the pieces together. Terms were used which were uncommon without an accompanying explanation. For example, why is the term gleam craft used instead of the word magic? It is a lovely new term but for the first half of the book I was unsure what it meant. We never fully understand exactly what Spell Walkers, Celestials, Spectres, Crowned Dreamers and Brightsiders are. And what was the Blackout? Obviously an important event in world history, but we know little about what it was and its causes. Silvera also writes in the language of the Latino youth, which may be difficult to read for those not familiar with this form of speech.

Silvera has used a diversity of characters in his story, including queer and people of colour, but the characters are not well developed. I was not invested in any of them. Each chapter is written from the point of view of different people, but with little background information given, I just became lost.

Silvera needs to develop this new world with information about the characters and the legends. The story did not unfold. We are thrown straight into the action and are expected to catch up. I wanted strong, interesting characters, a new world that I became invested in, and I needed to know what events led up to the story.

I started with high expectations but unfortunately, left very disappointed.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Simon &Schuster Australia
Released: January 2020
RRP: $19.99

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