Review: Infinity Son {Infinity Cycle #1} by Adam Silvera

Title: Infinity Son {Infinity Cycle #1}

Author: Adam Silvera

Published: January 20th 2020, Simon & Schuster Au

Status: Read January 2020, courtesy Simon & Schuster Au

++++++

My Thoughts:

Infinity Son is Adam Silvera’s fifth book, but his first foray into the fantasy genre. It’s the beginning of a trilogy titled Infinity Cycle, featuring brothers Emil and Brighton caught up in a magical war.

The physical setting for Infinity Son is based in urban New York, and while the population of Silvera’s fantasy world is human, a small percentage are known as Celestials, who may act as Spell Walkers, whom are born with inherited powers that usually manifest during childhood, or Specters, who may act as Blood Casters, whom gain their abilities with alchemy derived from murdering magical creatures like hydra’s, basilisks or phoenixes.

In New York at least, the Celestials and Specters are enemies, and both groups are generally reviled by the current government, who seek to imprison or control them, so when Emil unexpectedly manifests extraordinary powers in defence of Brighton when attacked by a Specter, the brothers, along with their mother and close friend, are forced into hiding with a group of Spell Walkers.

There are more shocks in store for Emil, and he struggles to accept his new role, especially as the situation with the Specters escalates. Meanwhile Brighton, desperate to contribute, uses his social media savvy in an attempt to restore the Spell Walkers reputation, but the reflected glory is not enough to satisfy him long.

Though Emil and Brighton are the central characters, Infinity Son unfolds from a number of other viewpoints, including Spell Walker, Maribelle, and Ness, a Specter. It’s a diverse cast, which includes male and female queer characters, and persons of colour, who I enjoyed getting to know, but I do think it was perhaps a little ambitious of Silvera to introduce so many. There is a general lack of nuance, where the characters are defined by a single trait, rather than having a well-rounded personality.

The plot is fairly simple, Silvera utilises the familiar ‘chosen one’ trope with the inevitable battles between good vs evil. There’s a touch of sibling rivalry, a suggestion of star-crossed lovers, and unexpectedly for the genre, a whole lot of social media. Infinity Son also offers plenty of action, and the story is generally fast-paced.

To be honest, the magic structure of the world feels like a slightly messy mash up of Harry Potter, X-Men, and (CW channel) superheroes. I think in part this is because Silvera provides very little in the way of exposition, and I struggled at times to connect, and make sense of, the scattered information. I’m fairly sure I figured out the basics, but there were a few elements that remain inexplicable.

Despite its flaws, I did enjoy Infinity Son, and I think the Infinity Cycle trilogy has potential as long as Silvera (or his editor) can rein in the obvious enthusiasm, which is what has led to this somewhat scattershot result.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster Australia

Or your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. divabooknerd
    Jan 24, 2020 @ 06:27:02

    Oh no. I’m reading this one soon too Shelleyrae and it sounds as though it has so, so much potential but needed a bit more guidance and explanation of the magical elements and how they function. I’ve loved his previous books, including his science fiction debut in They Both Die at the End. I’m going into this one with an open mind because I typically enjoy fantasy that’s character based rather than world building so it sounds like I’ll really enjoy it. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed it more, wonderful review nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. littlemissstar55
    Jan 24, 2020 @ 09:35:30

    Yeah, I’ve heard some not so positive things about this book. It’s such a shame, because it could’ve been so much better.
    Lovely thoughts, Shelleyrae! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Aimee Brown
    Jan 25, 2020 @ 04:44:09

    “Obvious enthusiasm” made me think of a puppy. 🙂 It can be a tricky thing to introduce many characters and make the reader feel connected to them in some way instead of overwhelmed. I enjoyed reading your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Jan 25, 2020 @ 18:57:16

    Hm, i can’t say the mix of worlds doesn’t intrigue me, but on the whole execution matters. I’ll keep an eye out for more reviews and see how I feel about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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