✨Age Range: Young adult
✨Series: 1st in a trilogy
✨Publication Date: 14th January, 2020
✨Publisher: Harper Teen (US) and Simon and Schuster Children’s (UK)
✨Format I Read: Kindle e-book
✨Content Warning: Death of loved ones, mistreatment of creatures, drug use equivalent
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers — a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own — one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.
Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.
Characters and Representation in Infinity Son
Emil and Brighton are the main characters in this story and most of the story unfolds from both their points of view. Emil is the introverted brother who struggles with panic attacks, grapples with moral questions and is a reluctant hero. Brighton, on the other hand, is the more confident and outgoing brother, single-minded in the pursuit of his goals with a fierce desire for the power to save the world. The sharp contrast in their characters and how it ties into the main conflict of the narrative is handled well.
The side characters could really use some development. We get two other points of view, Maribelle and Ness, but they get very less page time and it feels like they have been added for plot purposes. There is a clichéd best friend, Prudencia, but she wasn’t developed enough to make the Golden Trio trope shine. We don’t get enough from the strained relationship between their mother and the brothers either. The Spell Walker crew is a giant mess and I didn’t care much for any of them.
I also feel that the romance isn’t developed enough between Emil and his love interest. However, there are many characters of colour and sexually diverse characters — the casual diversity is one of the strongest points of this book.
Plot and World-Building in Infinity Son
The plot is fast-paced and keeps you turning the pages quickly. There is a sense of urgency and the need to know what is going to happen to the characters as they jump from one impossible situation to the next. There is a healthy sprinkling of plot twists that I genuinely wouldn’t have guessed in a thousand years.
The world-building is the weakest part of this book. It is a disorganised mishmash of various elements that I have come across in other fantasy books. It also has too many facets that did not come into play, which leaves the reader with a lot of questions. The magic system is not presented to the reader clearly and it feels under-developed.
Overall, the author could have done a better job with the world-building by focusing on the important details. It would have strengthened the plot as well, which in isolation is good, but suffers from a lack of depth due to the surface-level world-building.
Writing Style and Themes in Infinity Son
I haven’t read any of Adam Silvera’s books before, so I did not know what to expect going in. I believe that the writing style does not work with the story. The sentence formation and voice is awkward at best. There is a lot of slang included, which does help to establish that it is an urban fantasy but I think the author went overboard with its usage. There is an obvious lack of depth in the storytelling and the short sentences are partly to blame.
The themes that the author is trying to explore in this book are very relevant — police brutality, persecution of minority groups and the environmental impact of human greed, to name a few. However, due to the fast pace of the plot and writing style, there is no nuance to the exploration of these themes. The execution is sloppy with heavy-handed preaching at times and is not a constant part of the narrative.
To sum up, the writing didn’t work for me and I think it is not the right stylistic choice for the story the author wanted to tell. It is apparent in how little time is spent on expanding the themes and the poor world-building. This book needed a different writing approach to be a well-rounded story.
If you are a fan of Adam Silvera or looking to get your feet wet in the urban YA fantasy genre, this book might be for you. I do think that the diverse representation sets this book apart from its peers. If you are looking for a fun page-turner that reads like a movie, Infinity Son is worth checking out. If you are an avid fantasy reader who enjoys good world-building, I would suggest you skip this one.
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Is this book on your TBR? What are your thoughts on it? Can you recommend a good diverse young adult fantasy that you have read lately? Let me know in the comments section down below. Hope you are having a magical week, readers from Earth!