The power A novel

Naomi Alderman

Book - 2017

When a new force takes hold of the world, people from different areas of life are forced to cross paths in an alternate reality that gives women and teenage girls immense physical power that can cause pain and death.

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SCIENCE FICTION/Alderman, Naomi
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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Bildungsromans
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2017.
Edition
First North American edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Originally published in Great Britain by Viking, October 2016."
Physical Description
386 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780316547604
9780241015728
9780316547611
Main Author
Naomi Alderman (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Alderman's (The Liar's Gospel, 2013) sublime new novel posits a game-changing question: What if women suddenly manifested an electrical charge that they could control and use as a weapon? This new female "power," the origins of which are attributed to a WWII chemical experiment, first becomes evident in teenage girls around the world in the present time. Roxy, the daughter of an English mobster, attacks the men who have come to kill her mother, while in America, foster-child Allie finds she has the ability to fight off her lecherous foster father. Teenage girls can somehow awaken the power in older women, as Margot, an American politician, learns when her daughter injures a boy in a fight. And in Nigeria, Tunde's journalism career is launched when he observes a girl using her power on another boy. Alderman wrestles with some heady questions: What happens when the balance of power shifts? Would women be kinder, gentler rulers, or would they be just as ruthless as their male counterparts? That Alderman is able to explore these provocative themes in a novel that is both wildly entertaining and utterly absorbing makes for an instant classic, bound to elicit discussion and admiration in equal measure. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Alderman's science fiction novel, set all over the world, was awarded the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Sometime in the near future, young women discover they have within them the ability to unleash skeins of electrical current that can maim and kill. One of them, an abused American foster child, joins a group of nuns, reinventing herself as the healer Mother Eve. She promotes a new religion in which Jews look to Miriam, Muslims to Fatimah, Christians to Mary. Her ally is an English crime lord's daughter named Roxy, whose skein is warrior strong, and whose violent family has global connections. Meanwhile Tunde, an opportunistic photojournalist, manages to break the news of several women's revolts across the world. The first upheavals are in Saudi Arabia and Moldova, places where women have few rights. But the woman who rules Bessapara, the first nation of the new world order, is unscrupulous and afraid, and she creates further instability by stripping men in her country of all rights and implicitly threatening world war. Roxy runs into trouble trying to keep a lid on this international situation, while Mother Eve convinces herself it might be for the best to start the world anew. Margot, an American politician taught to tap into her skein by her daughter, rises to power in the States, her message becoming more hawkish as she gains influence. But she is corrupted by her addiction to power over her male rivals, and she, too, plays a part in the endgame. Alderman tests her female characters by giving them power, and they all abuse it. Readers should not expect easy answers in this dystopian novel, but Alderman succeeds in crafting a stirring and mind-bending vision. (Oct.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In this stunning bestseller praised as "our era's Handmaid's Tale," a fierce new power has emerged'and only women have it (Washington Post). In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways."Captivating, fierce, and unsettling...I was riveted by every page. Alderman's prose is immersive and, well, electric." 'New York Times Book Review

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In this stunning bestseller praised as "our era's Handmaid's Tale," a fierce new power has emerged—and only women have it (Washington Post). 

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.

But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

"Captivating, fierce, and unsettling...I was riveted by every page. Alderman's prose is immersive and, well, electric." —New York Times Book Review