They had no idea what it was like to live in a place that boasted one of the most sophisticated digital policing systems in the world, but no proper mail service. Emirates with princes in silver-plated cars and districts with no running water. An Internet where every blog, every chat room, every forum is monitored for illegal expressions of distress and discontent. The real-world context for this novel is the Arab Spring, and Wilson responds to that critically here: "Perhaps this was all freedom was - a moment in which all things were possible, overtaken too soon by man's fearsome instinct to punish and divide".
The ending certainly floats my political boat. Personally, I thought the female characters were awesome and I was thrilled that the person I identify with most as a hero is a kickass dark-skinned working class migrant niqabi. I see reviewers responding negatively like her own family! The Western love of binaries makes balancing individualistic and collectivist constructions of identity tricky, and I am really impressed with Wilson's delicacy.
Other women also navigate power structures, femininities and sexualities in a nuanced way. I strongly feel writing them straight out of imaginary Euro-American feminist utopia wouldn't have worked in this story. My own feminist consciousness was awoken and challenged by the father-to-husband talk around marriage proposals, but I saw how the property-transfer implications were differently related to material circumstances, individual and wider family relationships. In Muslim as well as Euro-American societies, patriarchal values are in flux and rituals are changing their meanings. I was initially perplexed by something - why does 'the maid' have no name?
Bagsy - I'll write it some day! The importance of names is hinted at by the beautiful opening quotation: 'The devotee recognizes in every divine Name the totality of Names' The fact that the letter alef itself sometimes denotes an unwritten sound echoes silently below the text. Some lines that woke me up: "he realised that the ritualized world he had dismissed as feminine was in fact civilization" "I was afraid you'd turn into one of those literary types who say books can change the world when they're feeling good about themselves and it's only a book when anybody challenges them" "A bunch of European intellectuals in tights decided to draw a line between what's rational and what's not.
I don't think our ancestors considered the distinction necessary" PS I noticed a plot hole - but I feel it's like the little flaw you leave in the pattern to humbly honour the perfection of Allah Oct 07, Alex Ristea rated it it was amazing Shelves: hardcover , library , sword-laser , standalone , fantasy , science-fiction. Er, I finished this page book in two sittings. That's either an exemplary review on its own, or a gloriously egotistical comment on my reading prowess.
Let's go with the former, because to be honest, I've been in a bit of reading slump since Outlander. I've still read a lot, sure, but I wanted the sort of book that would grab me, throw me in, and not let me go until I was finished with it or perhaps, until it was finished with me. Alif the Unseen was for me all of that—it cured my slump, an Er, I finished this page book in two sittings.
Alif the Unseen was for me all of that—it cured my slump, and reminded me how powerful books can be when the right one comes along. To say it is gorgeously written is a severe understatement. Myth and story and language all play a large part in a meta sort of way, which tickles all my buttons. I also like the personification of coding and how it was treated in a mystical hand-waving sort of way. It was exactly what this story needed, so don't look here for detailed, hard programming like Ramez Naam's Nexus. Overall, this was a beautiful story that I'm glad I read. Willow Wilson has a gift for language and for telling tales, and I think you should give her a shot.
View all 29 comments. Sep 03, Wil rated it it was ok. I seem to be a detractor here on Goodreads. Strangely, I read this book fairly quickly which is unusual for something I eventually give 2 stars.
But it seemed to unravel towards the end, with yet another hackneyed battle between good and evil This book has all the trappings of a page turner -- genies, exotic Isalmic locales, technology, political intrigue and revolutions, e I seem to be a detractor here on Goodreads. This book has all the trappings of a page turner -- genies, exotic Isalmic locales, technology, political intrigue and revolutions, etc.
The dialogue was largely wooden, and consisted of usually no more than one or two lines of dialogue at a time, all of which were always 'on script' and predictable. This book would be totally acceptable for an adolescent, and seemed more geared toward their reading levels.
As another reviewer already pointed out, the references to technology were not more than stage trappings. At one point a character notes the 'ticking sound' of a microprocessor as it tries to crunch the numbers for an incredibly demanding algorithm. Jul 02, Amal rated it it was ok Shelves: novels , i-have.
Here comes -often- those moments when I find myself putting a book down, pausing, looking around at all the glowing reviews and five star ratings, and asking myself the question Did I read the same book? That was a disappointment!! This book is a bothersome, because I wanted to like it for all the potentials it had Politics, metaphysical stuff, technology, religion, middle east, revolution But nothing blended that well!
Even the parts about the Jinn, the alley, the empty quarter Actually some were very tedious. That was misleading!! And -on the inside- coupling it with "the convert" showed the diversity between the two characters, for a girl who has been raised in a tough society which sees women from a certain point of view. Dina was able to endure it all without a flinch, while "the convert" quite the opposite under many situations.
It lumbered to its feet, reeking of ionized air and dry metallic bones, revealing a level of functionality Alif had not detected. He reeled backward, recalibrating. Breaching the confines of the State intranet" A computer program could "reek of ionized air"?? This is nonsensical. Even the phone can be tracked without SIM card, come on!
The screen goes black five minutes after I turn the damn thing on. I have to do a hard reboot every time. Alif felt a new vista of serendipitous opportunity open before him. Lol, fair enough to be watched by a bunch of jinn. You can't move ideas between them without losing something" 7- There is something good in the center of this book, but it comes to an extremely trite conclusion.
The quality of writing was good but it didn't have a literary value. At a good rate I would give it 2. View 2 comments. Oct 07, Penny rated it it was ok Shelves: adventure , bookclub , books-they-say-i-should-read , fantasy , scifi-and-fantasy-club-bookshelf , scifi-fantasy-clubchallenge , magic , young-adult , urban-fantasy. My rating should be taken in light of the fact that the line "Alif felt a swell of admiration.
She really was as smart as a man. Yes, perhaps one could make the argument that the protagonist was on a journey on self discovery which included learning that his culture is wrong to think that women are inferior. I don't care. I think it's offensive and small minded and to have read this in a book penned by a woman makes me shake with anger.
As My rating should be taken in light of the fact that the line "Alif felt a swell of admiration. Aside from the sexism, I found the story slow at times and generally I was impatient for the book to end so I could be done with it. It had some good moments, which is why I give it 2 rather than 1 stars. I learnt some things about the day to day culture I knew about only in general terms which was interesting. I know many people have very much enjoyed this book, but I was not one of them.
I can appreciate why some might have loved it, but there were too many aspects that bothered me greatly. Dec 23, Hiba rated it liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy , sci-fic , author-to-look-out-for , reviewed , young-adult , Alif the Unseen was one of those books that had been on my tbr for a long time and I've been delaying reading it fot the perfect time. The premise of this book is great, the author tried to combine middle eastern realities, geek culture and supernatural elements altogether and for a typical pakistani girl like me who love to listen and narrate jinn stories at sleepovers with my cousins and friends, this seeems like a dream come true.
However, while I liked the suupernatural aspect of the book, it came to me somewhat lacking at other places. Alif the Unseen is about a Arabic-Indian hacker whose secret girlfriend, Intistar, daughter of the City's emir, had left him for a man her father had chosen for her. Heart broken, Alif designed a program that completely vieled his presence from Intistar. Somehow, the Hand, a powerful organization and a man, whose job is to bring the hackers and virtual troubble makers behind the bar, gets hold of Alif's program.
Meanwhile, Intistar sends a strange book named Alf Yeom, and before he knows it, Alif is on the run with his childhood friend, Dina, trying to protect himself and all those computer activists he had helped to hide from the Hand. Alif the Unseen is fast paced and action packed book. The story is evenly paced, with Alif and his crew constantly on the run from their resourceful enemies. The dialouge was interesting enough for me, there were sprinkles of musings on Quran, our modern society, the state of the City and its tyrranical rulers and then ofcourse, their are djinn and strange stories which made the book even more interesting.
You are prepared to accept the irrational, but not the transcendent. The ground itself was daily renewed, kicked up and muddled by passing travelers, such that it was impossible to repeat the same journey twice. Alif thought of all the times he had left the duplex in Baqara District bent on some mundane errand: the courtyard gate closing behind him with a rattle, rattling again when he returned the same way; to him, ordinary and frustrating, to the world, a process full of tiny variations, all existing, as Sheikh Bilal had said, simultaneously and without contradiction.
He had been given eternity in modest increments, and had thought nothing of it. In the start, Alif was a selfish little brat with his fragile masculanity but as they went through one danger to another, he developed as a character and begin to see and redeem his flaws. Dina was my favourite part of the book. She's strong headed and brave and provide much needed wisdom for Alif in the times of need. I had never read a book about niqabi so reading about Dina's struggles regarding her veil and her religion was really refreshing.
Now, the negatives. The biggest setback of this book was that it's just to hard to believe that someone can write an entire powerful software program on their netbook based not on 0s and 1s but on metaphor from a djinn book all under the danger of impending doom. No matter how hard the writer tries to convince thr reader of Alif's sharp mind, even my puny mind who hardly knows abc of computer had difficult time grasping this idea. The main concept of this book was connection between supernatural and modern computing but unfortunately, this was explained vaguely.
Furthermore, the descriptions of Alif writing code were more nonsensical. He's writing a program, and I don't think that's equal to entering a virtual reality and thst's what author did here. It dampen all my enjoyment for this book reading about vague descriptions of program coding. I wanted some reality in it. I wanted thr writer to make me more intrigued about programmers but sadly she wasn't able to do it. His given name fell flat to his ears now. The act of concealment had become more powerful than what it concealed. She spoke in rough, but understandable English, and explained she was going to the dentist, so I offered to follow her there.
On our way I made small talk as you do , I asked her what she was doing in Denmark. Oh, she was a Syrian refugee. I wasn't expecting that, but I was very curious. I asked her if she was ever going back. No, she said, it was awful back there. Which just shows how much we CAN know, no matter how hard we pay attention.
And that is what makes fiction so absolutely stunning and mind blowing at times, because it gives authors an opportunity to show others how their part of the world works. To let us in on what we cannot understand unless we get to experience it. Even living in a democratic, critical, free-speech country correct information - or information at all - isn't a given. In countries where information is sparse, and what you're given is propaganda or censored scraps, imagine how much twitter can matter? Put one picture out there and you can never take it back. There's only so much damage control you can do.
Of course some governments are shitting their pants, of course they're working overtime banning websites. They should be scared. I have a hard time telling you exactly what I loved the most about it, all of it was simply one brilliant surprise after another. We spend more time on a computer than we do anything else, so why not make it a strength? And bless G. Willow Wilson for letting her be strong while not compromising her own femininity or personal beliefs and principles.
Alif is strong because he has a set of skills; Dina is strong because she has a set of beliefs. It really is a delightfully fresh, original, intelligent and thrilling book. It treats its subject with huge respect, while still being fearless in the face of it. On top of that there are definitely not enough books out there that deal with the growing threat of online surveillance and censoring especially not in the middle-east and that the enemy and hero in the future might very well be unseen.
Alif the Unseen is missed chance to fictionalise post-Arab Spring shift
They will know what it is to have been asleep for the most important century of their history. View all 9 comments. Jun 03, Paul E. Being a big fan of G. Willow Wilson's comicbook work, it was only a matter of time before I gave her novel a shot. I'm glad I did.
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- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson.
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This is a great fantasy adventure that whisks you along at a fair old clip and takes you to some surprising places. While I don't want Wilson to stop writing comicbooks, I'd love to see her write another novel.
Alif the Unseen - G Willow Wilson - - Allen & Unwin - Australia
If this one's anything to go by, I'd definitely read it. Aug 18, Nnedi rated it it was amazing. This review will be scattered because I don't have much time. So be it. I really enjoyed reading a fantasy novel that truly wove in culture politics, practices, cultural conflicts, words used, and all. This novel read like it was written by someone closely connected to its setting. I like that. There's an ambitiousness in it. It's not afraid to comment on things and not afraid to show the negative sides. It's sure that it will not fall into cliche and it's thoughtful and loving in how it goe This review will be scattered because I don't have much time.
It's sure that it will not fall into cliche and it's thoughtful and loving in how it goes about doing so. As for the plot, I dunno, I was cool with it. I love the ending most. But the rest of the plot Dina gets hurt and has to be taken care of, the American convert gets pregnant and suddenly becomes all soft and "womanly", Intisar, she just was annoying. The cat woman was all sexified. No thank you to all of them. I wish I could see and hear and interact more with the creatures. The ones that the story got close to were humanoid except the marid, whom I loved. I might have loved that creature most.
The sections that showed stories from the book really slowed me down. I wasn't interested in them at all. All in all, this was a great read. Not perfect for me, at least but great. The blurbs state this and this totally threw me off for a while. No similarity at all. Just the usual false advertising shorthand to get people to buy the book. If the book were properly described, I'd have still bought it. View 1 comment. Rating: 3. For me, though, Alif the Unseen was slightly boring, hard to get through, and dragged ever-so-slightly.
I thoroughly enjoyed the second half the book, but I wasn't as impressed as everyone else. While Alif the Unseen remains to be Rating: 3. While Alif the Unseen remains to be a difficult book for me to categorize, for it is full of so much within its pages, I can most definitely guarantee one thing - you haven't seen anything like it before. Wilson's debut is the tale of a young hacker, Alif, whose lover, Intisar, refuses to see him again for she is having an arranged marriage to a man of a much higher status than Alif. Upset over his broken love story, Alif creates a software program that recognizes Intisar online and blocks all mention of him from her.
Unknowingly, however, the Hand, a powerful organization, finds Alif. At the same time, Intisar sends Alif an old book - a powerful one - and before he knows it, he's on the run with his childhood friend, Dina. Alif the Unseen is a strange tale, one that just keeps going, without stop. It starts off interestingly enough, drawing you into the rich setting of the Middle East, but before long, it began to drag for me. You see, Alif the Unseen never stops in its pace, which isn't a bad thing, but at times, it felt disjointed.
Amongst the action, there are awkward moments of long conversation and the pace suddenly slackens, only to pick up again, all rather suddenly. It was a bit off-putting, I must say, but by the second-half of the tale, I was either used to it or too invested in the story to care. For some reason, the second-half of this story appealed to me much more than the first and I slowly began to fall in love with the characters and the fantasy elements of this piece, all with a backdrop of modern-day Middle Eastern culture and computers.
One of the best elements of Alif the Unseen is, hands-down, the characters. While Alif himself comes across as rather lame at first, especially since we can see from the beginning that Intisar isn't all that great and he's simply infatuated with her, Dina, his childhood friend, is a kick-ass protagonist to contend with.
I loved her strong will, vulnerable qualities, and clear head that came in use during times of need. Vikram, a djinn-like creature that Alif winds up meeting, was another one of my favorite characters. Wilson's debut is full of humans, djinns, hackers, and even Americans, believe it or not. With such a wide variety of personalities, it's tough not to be sucked into this tale. Even better, the dialogue is witty, amusing, and will keep you on your toes, eagerly flipping the pages for more. Nevertheless, for me, Alif the Unseen didn't stand out as an extraordinary novel.
Yes, it was good, had an intriguing host of characters, and a unique plot, but it was also a tough story to get through and rather boring at times. But, I am quite sure this is an issue only I will have. Unlike my friends, I have grown up learning of the culture of the Middle East. As an Indian who has many Muslim friends, who has grown up surrounded equally by mosques and temples, who has had Arabian tales told to me by my grandmother, Alif the Unseen wasn't nearly as exotic as I think my other friends found it to be.
It didn't enrich my knowledge of the country or culture any more than I already had, thus, while I enjoyed it, I wasn't quite blown away by it either. Still, an excellent idea, very engaging dialogue, and some unforgettable characters lie within the pages of this book. I am confident that readers who are new to Middle Eastern settings or tales richly seated amongst those of A Thousand and One Nights will thoroughly enjoy and undoubtedly be swept off their feet by this debut.
Despite my qualms with it, and slightly indifferent stance towards it, I still cannot help but look forward to Wilson's next novel. If nothing else, here is an author who isn't afraid to help spread the word about a little-known country or culture in literature today and for that, this certainly merits a read. You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings. Dec 22, Megan Baxter rated it really liked it. There is an uncertainty I feel about some books, a desire to go out and see how they were otherwise received, because I don't trust my own judgement.
On one hand, sometimes I think that I should shoot from the hip, as I mostly do, and record my own reactions. But on the other hand, sometimes I think that's a healthy recognition that while my own reaction is valid, it may be a topic, or a culture, or an issue I don't know enough about, and me saying "Yup, sounds like the Middle East to me! Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook Mar 18, Ned Hayes rated it it was ok Shelves: unnatural-fantasy-horror. Alif the Unseen has a fantastic premise -- in more ways than one. A computer hacker in the Middle East discovers that jinn are real. This means that we get exposed to not just one culture, but two. We receive a complete immersion in Middle Eastern realities of life, alongside a supernatural world that on the surface feels quite compelling. The concept is great! Computer hacker in the Middle East discovers that jinn are real, and an ancient book contains a way of writing a new type of code.
Great Alif the Unseen has a fantastic premise -- in more ways than one. Great concept. Great book cover. There are some disappointments ahead though, for the avid reader. I found the Middle Eastern component fascinating and spot-on. What's really unusual, and wonderful about the world that the author paints is that he focuses his novel on the dispossessed and on-the-fringes part of Arabic culture today. Imported workers, and their children compose a huge percentage of the population -- and the working adults -- in many of the "oil rich" Gulf countries, but their stories are often overlooked.
That is definitely not true in this novel. The only American in the novel is a bit of a bumbling idiot, which is a nice change. However, I was sorely disappointed in the supernatural aspect. What is up with authors who are writing otherworldly or supernatural stories that don't have a basic familiarity with how it's been done for years in the fantastical literature field? Lewis, and Stephen King and Garth Nix. I mean, c'mon, learn from the folks who have been writing supernatural fiction for a long time.
So I'm sad to say that the jinn aspect in Alif the Unseen had a bit of a paint-by-numbers aspect to it. This is -- and I'm trying to be generous here -- because I'm assuming the novelist simply hasn't read enough of similarly-themed genre books. I'm assuming they are actually an original writers, with good idea,s and they just don't know that their "wholly original" ideas have been done to death already.
Otherworldly alley with strange characters in it? Jinn who act like disreputable back-alley drug dealers instead of actually supernatural? Jinn who look human, except their legs go the wrong way? See the Ritual and every other novel in that genre And the description of how code is written, and how the ancient book is used to craft a new kind of code was sadly reliant on metaphor, and on descriptions of writing code that are just wildly out of line with reality or even supernatural believability.
If you have a hacker writing code, please ensure that when he starts going in really cool directions, he's not entering some virtual reality world. That's been done -- to death -- in Lawnmower Man, etc. Again, just read a ton of Stephen King, and learn what's not original, and you'll be fine. Finally, the pacing and the revealing of the love interest was boring and obvious. At least plant some signals early on that our main character Alif SHOULD be in love with the person he ends up with at the end of the book.
It's both trite, and non-intuitive. Doesn't work. So, if you've gotten to the end of this review, you're probably wondering why I'm so harsh on Alif the Unseen. It's because I had such very, very high hopes for this novel. Great concept! Great ideas! And furthermore, I like books that feel "realistic" in their pacing and their believability. I want a book that feels like "history", but happens to have the fantastic and the supernatural at the core. If you don't like these three books, then my review above probably won't have as much relevance or pertinence for your reading of "Alif the Unseen.
Real history is woven around a really incredible supernatural story about World War II and events that followed in Russia and the Middle East. Makes you believe! What's marvelous about it is that magic is both easy and incredibly difficult. It's not something to be trifled with, yet it is -- those who take it for granted, pay dearly.
Those who treat it with contempt run into all sorts of class and privilege issues. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. He hasn't published it yet Shelves: female-author , poc-author , audiobook , islam , contemporary , fantasy , poc-protagonist. Alif, the eponymous main character, is a pseudonym for a young hacker in an autocratic Islamic country where he is a poor immigrant offering anonymity and Internet access to anyone who wants it. He helps Islamists, secularists, feminists, religious minorities, anyone who wants to evade the state's Internet firewall and ever-present monitoring.
He also has a rich girlfriend and poor girl friend with a crush on him, setting up the rather obvious climax. His rich girlfriend dumping him for her arranged suitor is the precipitating event which causes Alif to write a computer program to "erase" him from her presence on the Internet. This program proves to be one that would be very useful for a hyper-monitoring regime like the state, which brings Alif to the attention of the Hand, the head of the state's secret police. Alif becomes a fugitive, on the run and putting everyone he knows and cares about in danger.
That's when he runs into djinn. Alif the Unseen is a work of Western-style fantasy but from a sympathetic Muslim perspective; almost all the characters are Muslims, of varying degrees of piety, and presented from within the context of a modern Muslim country, they manifest as very believable and non-archetypal, for the most part. Alif himself is only nominally a believer, though the author's own Islamic belief can be seen in the way that all the good guys are eventually guided towards some level of faith, or at least appreciation of faith, without hammering the point home with divine intervention.
Rather, the supernatural in this book comes from the various types of djinn, evil, good, and in-between, as befits the original Arabian and Persian myths. Alif walks between the two worlds of humans and djinn. He cleans one djinn's computer of viruses so she can check her email again - these are djinn who also have been touched by the modern world. The climax, in which humans and djinn alike play a part in bringing down the evil Hand, with uncertain consequences for the future, reads a bit like a more optimistic prelude to the Arab Spring.
Even Alif admits, in the finale, that what comes after the revolution may not be particular benevolent. If there are any flaws in the book, it is that as an atheist myself, I can appreciate presenting a story from a default Islamic viewpoint rather than a default Western viewpoint, but it's still a constraining viewpoint. The author has crafted a modern fantasy thriller that is compatible with Islamic beliefs without pushing Islam, and made it a good story that Western audiences will appreciate - no small accomplishment.
I can even overlook the occasional jabs at Americans, like the "convert" who became a Muslim but is still full of Western arrogance and condescension she was really the closest thing to a caricature in the book. Still, it suffers from the same flaws as the Chronicles of Narnia or the Golden Compass trilogy both of which get shout-outs in this book - while subtler and less preachy, Alif the Unseen really wants us to believe. Feb 02, Lauren Stoolfire rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi , fantasy. I'd been meaning to read Alif the Unseen by G.
Willow Wilson for ages because I particularly enjoyed her run with Ms. Luckily for me I can now officially say that I enjoyed her brand of urban fantasy as well.
The combination of religion, technology, philosophy, and political intrigue is incredibly well done. I highly recommend this to fans of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I'm looking forward to reading more G. Willow Wilson's novels in the future.
May 03, Dot rated it it was amazing. Religion, metaphor, rebellion. The Quran and the Internet. Hackers, effrits, and sheikhs. Douglas Hofstadter shoutouts. Holy moley.
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I read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother a few weeks ago, and wrote up a review saying "You start to think, why isn't there more accessible counterculture stuff like this for YA? Intelligent, interesting, informative A closer look at the Religion, metaphor, rebellion. A closer look at the front revealed the circuitboard pattern in the title's calligraphy, and my excitement grew.
Now, after finishing, I can't throw enough adjectives at this book. The environments are finely crafted, completely believable, and often beautiful. We see skyscrapers after a sandstorm, the contrast of chaiwallahs and Starbucks, and the difference between darkness and night. Otherworldly elements are unnerving and strange in exactly the way they should be, from goat-pupiled eyes and backwards bending limbs to the metallic taste of crossing through dimensions.
The characters are perfectly realized; never too-accomplished, never too one-sided, shades of subtle coloring throughout. It's the little things, like how Alif is an accomplished gray-hat, but those skills don't cross over into smartphone logistics. Too many authors would be tempted to paint him as a boy genius with tech brilliance in every arena, instead of a realistic guy with a realistic skillset. And Dina, oh Dina. The devout girl next door who calls The Golden Compass dangerous and later, bold in her face-veil, stares down criminal elements and much darker forces. Alif's Hofstadter-reading ex-girlfriend Intisar, studied but sheltered.
Let's just call it the best book I've read this year, and leave it at that. Jun 29, Christine rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy-steampunk , poc-unclear-hero-or-heroine , women-writers , fantasy-myth-and-fairy. My relationship with this book is problematic. On one hand, I love it for what it is. Finally, we have something that draws on Eastern and Islamic tradition. We need books like this. So three stars. I loved the idea- the combination of the Arab Spring, fantasy, and Islamic faith is beautiful. Several sections of the book are so engrossing that the reader is easily lost in the wor My relationship with this book is problematic.
Several sections of the book are so engrossing that the reader is easily lost in the world. The use of computers and coding is great as are the different levels and type of religious belief. While the central character is a man, the women are for the most part strong. Yet, the weakest part of the story is the love story or to be more exact the love subplot. We all know how this plays out. To be honest, while Dina is a wonderful character, her romantic relationship with Alif felt forced.
In fact, the relationship between the convert and another character felt far more real. While the Alif love triangle does make some interesting strides in terms of the black versus light, it also harkens to the good girl is religious, bad girl not so much trope that always puts my teeth on edge. Another area of concern is the convert.
While I can understand wanting to keep American characters either non-existent or at a minimum, the fact that she is the only character to not be given a name is annoying. It basic makes her a caricature and that weakens the novel. However, despite the flaws ones that many books have , this book is important because it does widen the realm of fantasy, in particular urban fantasy.
I think I might actually try Ms. Wilson seems to delight in establishing, then confounding, any expectations readers may have. The fantastical world Alif inhabits--at once recognizable and surreal, visible and invisible--is all the more fantastic for the meticulously detailed Koranic theology and Islamic mythology Wilson expertly reveals. A multicultural Harry Potter for the digital age. There are few authors who can pull off dealing with religion, dogma, and mysticism as well as sci-fi, and Wilson is one of them.
Alif the Unseen contains elements that will appeal to fans of the ecstatic digital visions The Neuromancer, devotees of the mythological richness of The Thousand and One Nights, international-news junkies and fellow hacktivists. Alif the Unseen is a rich blend of storytelling magic. Alif the Unseen is one of those novels that has you rushing to find what else the author has written, and eagerly anticipating what she'll do next.
Alif the Unseen. A first novel that is witty, imaginative, and unorthodox in all senses. She made her own genre and rules over it. Magical, cinematic, pure storytelling. It's nothing like anything. A brilliant fiction debut. Though Alif the Unseen was recently compared to Harry Potter. It is also a powerful reminder of how far fantasy has come since Tolkien. Wilson's desert fantasy moves at the breakneck speed of a thriller through cityscapes, wilderness and ethereal realms as she skillfully laces mythology and modernity, spirituality and her own unique take on technological evolution.
Don't miss this one-of-a-kind story, both contemporary and as ancient as the Arabian sands. Wilson's novel delights in bending genres and confounding expectations: It's both a literary techno-thriller and a fantasy that takes religion very seriously. Like a novelization of one of Joss Whedon's best Buffy episodes crossed with a Path newsreel of the Arab Spring uprisings. It's a page-turner. Betrokkenen Auteur G. Reviews Schrijf een review. Kies je bindwijze Bekijk alle bindwijzen 5. Verkoop door bol. In winkelwagen Op verlanglijstje. Andere verkopers 1.
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