Monday 26 December 2016

The Power - Book Review

The Power
by Naomi Alderman

What is it about:
In The Power 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.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

What did I think of it:
What can I say...

This is a compelling read, but I had some issues it as well.

So teenage girls start developing a supernatural power and soon women start to rise in power and men have to fear for their safety...

Either Alderman doesn't remember how it was to be among other teenage girls, or she was lucky. What I missed in this story and what seemed like a more believable outcome was teenage girls going ballistic and hurting and killing each other over boys and/or clothes or something before anyone even could think of harnessing their power to change society. There was some mention of girls bullying the girls who didn't develop any powers, but nearly not as much as would happen in a situation like this. Either that or teenagers in the Netherlands are apparently a lot more vicious than those in the UK.

That aside this is an interesting read. It's told from several different viewpoints and as always some are more intriguing than others. I didn't much care for the religious parts of the story, I will confess.

Overall it was cool enough that I kept reading even though I had my doubts about how things progressed. Alderman does know how to keep readers engaged.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written Paranormal read.

Buy from bookdepository


Jeffe Kennedy said...

You review is very interesting because as soon as I read the description, I thought, "Holy wow - interesting premise, because teen girls suddenly given power like that will go bananas with it." I'm totally with you. Teen girls everywhere are hugely emotional, full of powerful desires and insecurity. This leads them into competition and jealousy unless they really have a good grip on things. Sounds to me like this author wanted to idealize, not show the potential reality.

Sullivan McPig said...

Yes, I have the feeling Alderman was more interested in writing a social commentary on our patriarchal society, so skipped over the things that would have made this an even more interesting read for me.