Infinity Son / Adam Silvera / Review


Brothers Emil and Brighton live in a time of turmoil. As a new constellation rises overhead, the magical Celestials of New York City face discrimination and violence at the ruthless hands of the city's Enforcers. Gangs smuggle magical creatures so alchemists can use the blood to imbue non-Celestials with magic powers, creating evil specters--and causing tension to rise all the more.

Caught in the middle of it all, Emil and Brighton are just two kids seeking justice. Brighton wants to humanize the Celestials and their vigilante defenders, the Spell Walkers. Emil wants to support his brother and stay out of the spotlight.

When an interview goes wrong, the brothers get attacked on the subway, and suddenly, Emil manifests powers he didn't know he possessed: the gray and gold fire of a phoenix-blood specter. A video of Emil shooting flames goes viral, and the brothers find their lives changed forever, caught in the middle of magic and mayhem as they struggle to stick together and stay alive.



Fun AU Silvera creates an alternate universe in this book that is, without a doubt, fun. Instagram and hydras, subway rides and magical vigilantes: what's not to like? A lighthearted world of superheroes and blood alchemy--and a world where the magic isn't hidden in the shadows, like it tends to be in urban fantasy. Everything is out in the open, a perfect and whimsical hybrid of contemporary life and a magical fantasy world.

Casual Diversity This book includes characters all across the spectrum. Latinx representation, LGBTQIA+ romance: this book is as diverse in its cast as the city it is set in. So much representation can sometimes make writing feel stilted, like the author is merely checking some sort of diversity box before sending the work off to a publisher, but Silvera's characters fall easily into their identities and the narrative--no big deal. Simply natural.

Pro Therapy It is not often acknowledged in the world of fantasy just how traumatic the saving-the-world and constantly-being-attacked tropes would actually be. Characters, just like people, should feel this pressure, and it is okay to need to talk it out, to ask for help, and to work through everything with others. This book acknowledges the struggle, and it offers a solution, too.


Perhaps my blurb gives this away, but there are a whole lot of world-terms in this fantasy, and they're not well defined. Ultimately, this is a problem with worldbuilding. Celestials and specters, Blood Casters and Spell Walkers, even phoenixes and hydras: they all exist without much explanation. Enforcers have wands. Those with magic have gleamcraft, I guess? In other words, there are a lot of fancy-sounding fantasy terms but not enough worldbuilding to back them up. Overload of Fantasy Terms

It's a superhero action book. I get it. Things move fast in the genre. That makes sense, even if I don't generally like it. But even on a character level, things were moving too quickly in this book. Characters were too quick to trust, too fast to spill their darkest fears and innermost thoughts. It just doesn't make sense. Quick Pace

I am not a stranger to epic fantasy, so a vast cast of characters doesn't usually scare me off. Here, however, it just didn't work. It's the same problem as the world terms: too many characters, not enough introduction. Including two rival magical gangs without doing much to differentiate is a bit overwhelming. Aside from labelling one group as "villain" and the other as "superhero," these groups could have been interchangeable for how developed the characters were. Too Many Characters

Acknowledging that the main character is a "chosen one" doesn't make it better. I'm not personally against this archetype myself, but every Chosen One needs something to set him apart from his predecessors. This poor Chosen One just doesn't have anything to make him stand out. Chosen One



Fans of the magical fight-squad of C.J. Hill's Slayers should check out this new world of beasts and heroes. Anyone who enjoyed the light-and-fun action of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One should take a look at the whimsical alternate reality in this work as well.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date: January 14, 2020
Series: Infinity Cycle
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  1. Usually not into fantasies like this. I'm glad I didn't waste my time.


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