Title: Infinity Reaper
Series: Infinity Cycle #2
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: March 2nd, 2021 (Quill Tree Books)
Synopsis: Emil and Brighton Rey defied the odds. They beat the Blood Casters and escaped with their lives–or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed it would make him invincible, but instead the potion is killing him.
In Emil’s race to find an antidote that will not only save his brother but also rid him of his own unwanted phoenix powers, he will have to dig deep into the very past lives he’s trying to outrun. Though he needs the help of the Spell Walkers now more than ever, their ranks are fracturing, with Maribelle’s thirst for revenge sending her down a dangerous path.
Meanwhile, Ness is being abused by Senator Iron for political gain, his rare shifting ability making him a dangerous weapon. As much as Ness longs to send Emil a signal, he knows the best way to keep Emil safe from his corrupt father is to keep him at a distance.
The battle for peace is playing out like an intricate game of chess, and as the pieces on the board move into place, Emil starts to realize that he may have been competing against the wrong enemy all along.
Infinity Reaper picks up right where the first book ended – Emil has been stabbed with an infinity-ender blade and Brighton has drunk the Reaper’s Blood potion. But things are not going according to plan. The potion which should have given Brighton powers and made him invincible is now poisoning him. The brothers know that it’s a race against time to save Brighton, having seen their father die the same way. Meanwhile, Ness is held prisoner by his own father, Senator Iron, and forced to use his shifting ability to create propaganda for the Senator’s political campaign. The Spell Walkers believe him dead after the battle at Nova, and while he wants to send them a signal to let them know where he is, he knows keeping his distance for now is the best plan as he learns about his father’s plans which are more horrifying than he ever expected.
Infinity Reaper was quite the adventure, but also a rather heavy read, so if you haven’t read Infinity Son recently, I would highly suggest you atleast read one of the detailed summaries out there because this book jumps right into things. There’s very little that is recapped from the first book which can make this very confusing if like me, you read it over a year ago. The first thing that comes to mind to say about this book is that a lot happened, some expected but most unexpected. In fact, I haven’t seen this much plot and character buildup in a middle book in a very long time. There is a significant improvement in the narration style as well, and the little things that didn’t work previously have all been ironed out beautifully so that the story flows so much better. Also, can we take a second to admire that gorgeous cover? (It looks even better in person.)
Where Infinity Son was Emil’s origin story in a way, this book is Brighton’s. Emil is no more excited about his powers than he was previously, and is turning his focus to puzzling out the method to make a potion that will bind his powers and end the infinity cycle. Maribelle’s POV chapters didn’t make much sense to me in book one, but she plays a significant role this time and her arc was interesting to follow as she learns more about her past, struggling with her need for revenge. Following her decision at the end of the book, her path going forward is no doubt going to be an intriguing one. We also get a lot more of Ness, which was great, along with a prequel short story at the end that gives us the story of how he ended up joining the Blood Casters. The introduction of the Halo Knights was completely out of the blue, but it added a fascinating subplot with a lot of potential.
As for Brighton, well, he’s a very complex character, but his attitude hasn’t improved much from book one. This is mildly spoilery, but considering it happens well before the 50% mark, it’s not too big. While he was being poisoned by the Reaper’s Blood, it seemed for a few chapters there that Brighton was finally changing his attitude, but with his miraculous recovery and turning into a Specter with a combination of powers that are both unusual and dangerous, he was back to his old self – worse, really – in no time at all, like he learned absolutely nothing from the experience. He became more egotistic and arrogant than before, seeking more and more fame and his character takes a rather dark turn. Now usually, such a character would annoy me more than I can express, and Brighton did, but as a reader, it was easy to spot at this point what path he had the potential to head down if didn’t take care. I was just following the story, waiting for the other shoe to drop, honestly too caught up in what was happening to be properly annoyed.
However, I found Emil’s intentions with the potion to bind his powers more than a little selfish. He wants to get rid of his own abilities, fine, but it felt like he was roping Brighton into it under the guise of it’s the best thing to do and for everyone’s good, which is totally not fair. Emil is not entirely blameless for how this ended either. Did he really expect Brighton – who has basically wanted powers his entire life – to just give it all up now that he has essentially attained his dream? And that’s not even getting into the multitude of ways such a potion could be abused if it got into the wrong hands.
That ending was just…I had to reread it twice to make sure I was getting it right. I wouldn’t really call it a cliffhanger per se, but ending it there was just evil. Brighton was bound to snap at some point, I just didn’t anticipate that it would take that form. I wonder how much of his actions throughout this book, and particularly at the end were influenced by the Reaper’s Blood that he drank and I’m even more curious to see how long it will be – if at all – before Brighton starts to regret his choices. In my opinion, he’s going to need a major redemption arc to come back from this and I’m so curious to see what the author has in store for him. Overall, this sequel was much stronger than I expected it to be and it has set the stage for what promises to be a thrilling finale. Infinity Reaper was everything a young adult fantasy novel needs and I would highly recommend this book.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: