Title: Infinity Son
Series: Infinity Cycle #1
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: January 14th, 2014 (HarperTeen)
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to the publisher, HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Adam Silvera’s first fantasy novel takes us into New York in an alternate world where there are some people who are born with powers known as celestials and specters, who kill magical creatures to get powers. Brighton has always longed to be a celestial and join the heroic Spell Walkers, while his brother Emil wants no part in it and just seeks some peace in the middle of all the conflict. The fight between the Spell Walkers and specters is escalating by the day, and the people are beginning to turn against those with powers. But when the brothers get into a brawl with a specter, it’s Emil who gains a power, one never seen before, and Emil, who never wanted to be a hero, or fight, finds himself catapulted into the heart of the conflict that is quickly turning into a fight for their lives.
I’ve read a couple of Adam Silvera’s novels before, and really enjoyed them, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, since it’s a jump to a new genre, but wow, this was way better than anything I thought of! It’s fantasy set in the modern world and I was very impressed with how well it blended, with the present day references and the lore of celestials and their powers, oh and phoenixes! I don’t think I’ve ever come across a fantasy novel with phoenixes as a central magical creature.
The bond between the brothers is undoubtedly the best thing about this book. Emil and Brighton are fiercely protective of each other and despite their differences when Emil comes into his powers, Brighton always has his back. And when Brighton gets himself into a mess with his rashness and running headfirst into things, Emil’s there to protect him no matter how much he hates fighting. Of course, both brothers are incredibly infuriating in their own ways – with Emil not only reluctant to fight, but actually hindering those fighting, and Brighton’s far more annoying determination to be a hero, ignorant of the problems around him, and make Emil into one if he can’t be one himself – but in a good way. Both boys’ reactions to the events surrounding them are very natural and on an emotional level, their characters feel very real. I have to say though, a Chosen One thoroughly reluctant to accept their place and powers is an interesting change of pace, no matter how frustrating for me as a reader.
The political aspect of the story was also very well done, though we only see a little of it. The events surrounding the Blackout are not fully described and I hope the sequel will get to that at some point, now that Maribelle knows the truth of what happened. And while that ending was shocking, it wasn’t all that unexpected. Looks like Brighton hasn’t learned any lessons from the events of this book and still believes that it takes powers to make a hero. I wonder when and how he’s going to figure out that being a hero isn’t all it’s chalked up to be either, something that Emil figured out long before he ever came into his powers.
Admittedly, the magic system was a little confusing and the world-building wasn’t given nearly as much time as it should have been. Then there are the Spell Walkers who seem to be completely disorganized – maybe it happens off page, but I got the feeling that they don’t seem to be planning out any of their moves in advance or figuring out any contingencies. Another thing that confused me was why, atleast on the celestials’ side, it seems to be all teenagers in charge of things and the only adults in the equation seem to be the bad guys? I also thought that this book would have been better with only two POVs, Emil and Brighton. The other POVs, like Maribelle and Ness, felt more like interruptions to the story.
I don’t really understand the rather mixed reviews I’ve been seeing of Infinity Son, but personally I thought that while it had some points that could be improved on, it was pretty good overall. I get the feeling this would make for a great movie with how visual and fast-paced it is. While this is not a book that will make you cry like Adam Silvera’s usual YA contemporary romances, Infinity Son will keep you on the edge of your seat with its riveting plot and fantasy fans are sure to enjoy it. Highly recommended!
Infinity Son releases on January 14th, 2020.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!