Monday, January 7, 2013

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the State’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancĂ© is the head of State security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. With shades of Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and The Thousand and One Nights, Alif the Unseen is a tour de force debut—a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, religion, technology and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.


This book was...weird. That's the only way I can describe it. The beginning of the book was especially weird and I don't think it hooked the reader at all. It also went into more detail than necessary for the rest of the novel. The beginning went into too much detail that is.

So, like I said, it was weird, but it was also fascinating. Especially the mix of computers and magic. (Personally, I've always secretly wanted to be a hacker.) I also really liked the fact that it was set in a foreign country. I don't often read books that take place somewhere other the U.S. It was a nice change of setting. The fact that it was set in another country also gave us different magic and myths instead of a classic witches or Percy Jackson scenario. That was also a nice change of setting.

One thing that distinctly stood out to me about this book was how well researched it seemed. The author really knew what she was talking about. I found it interesting on how some foreign countries see Americans. Personally, I can't blame them.

One other thing I did not like about this book was how fast the main character, Alif, moved on from his first lover to his second one. One moment he was saying "I love you" to one girl and then the next moment he was saying it to the other one.

Overall, this book was entertaining, but it was kind of weird and it didn't move along all that fast.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on my blog! I love seeing them and I respond to every single one so check back often! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...