Title: The Infinity Courts
Series: The Infinity Courts #1
Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Published: April 6th, 2021 (Simon Pulse)
Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
Thank you to the publisher, Simon Pulse, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Nami is on her way to her high school graduation party, when she is murdered. When she wakes, she finds out that she is in the afterlife, called Infinity but notices that everything does not seem quite right. Nami quickly figures out that the afterlife is controlled by Ophelia, an AI used for everyday tasks by humans on Earth, who has declared herself Queen of Infinity, turning the humans into mindless servants. Rescued by the Resistance, a group of rebels aiming to overthrow Ophelia and the Residents, she finds herself caught up in their mission. But she cannot fully bring herself to their way of thinking, uneasy with the idea that to free the humans, they plan to kill all the Residents. Time is running out, however, and Ophelia must be brought down before she can achieve her goal of wiping out humans.
This book was an instant addition to my TBR when I first came across it because the concept alone was so fascinating. How many of us really pay any attention to the various virtual assistants we use aside from asking it to complete tasks or get information? The idea of technology gaining enough intelligence to turn against humans is not a new one, but it’s the first time I’m seeing it in YA. The world building was excellent though it would have been nicer to learn about it alongside Nami as she experiences it rather than her gaining all the information through the memory exchange which made it much less exciting than it could have been. It could have used more detail than was given but there was enough to make sense of what was going on throughout. Although we only get to see the Victory court and the Colony in this book, I’m hoping to learn more about the other three courts and also the Capital in the sequel. Also, atleast up to this point, apart from the ‘evil AI taking over the world’ aspect, the story itself read more like a dystopian fantasy rather than sci-fi.
The situation Nami finds herself in upon arriving in Infinity is a very interesting dilemma. What the rebels are aiming to do goes against what she believes is the morally better choice, yet she finds herself caught up in a war she wanted no part of, playing a key role in a plan she doesn’t agree with. She has ended up in a new world and is being pulled in different directions before she can even figure out which way is up and I can sympathize with that. However, Nami is quite stubbornly naive, and it was annoying when she refused to listen to people who have been surviving in Infinity for so much longer. She believes that she is the only one seeing the bigger picture and that they should try to see if the Residents can be redeemed and attempt to coexist. It made her a really hard character to connect with, when as a reader, we know she’s seen only what is arguably the least awful corner of Infinity and is making huge assumptions based on that. The dialogues on life and the meaning of living and if the Residents, who are not even human, deserve that right, was actually really good but the way it was presented was the issue and it began to feel repetitive.
The ending was quite the twist and I’m really impressed with how things built up to it with not a whisper of foreshadowing that I could find. It’ll be interesting to see how Nami’s thoughts on the Residents have changed after this reveal. I can’t wait to read the next book and find out where exactly Nami has ended up. Overall, this was a fast paced adventure that I would highly recommend for both sci-fi and fantasy fans.
The Infinity Courts releases on April 6th, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
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