Review: The Power, by Naomi Alderman

Synopsis: The world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

 

 

Title: The Power
Author: Naomi Alderman
Publisher: Viking
Pub Date: 27th October 2016
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780670919987

Rating:

I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not quite sure how to review this book without doing it an injustice. On the surface, The Power is a brilliant piece of dystopian science fiction. Fast-paced, gripping and extremely dark – this is not one for the faint-hearted.

I’ve heard a lot of people calling The Power a feminist book, though I’m not sure I agree. On starting, the naïve, optimistic side of me hoped for a utopian, if not happy ending. A world where women would finally be equals – equally powerful and equally strong.

Boy, was I wrong.

This book isn’t about equality, rather the complete upheaval of power from one end of the spectrum to the other. This is what happens when the repressed, beaten and raped suddenly gain the upper hand (quite literally). With the power to inflict great pain, or even death, at a flick of the wrist – you can pretty much guess what happens…

Yep. No happy utopian endings in sight.

“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”

The Power is an intensely absorbing and gripping read. It will suck you in, chew you up and won’t spit you out until the very last page. This book will ruin your life for the time it takes to read it, which turns out not to be very long because you simply won’t be able to put it down.

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