The Infinity Courts / Akemi Dawn Bowman / Book Review


Nami has her whole life in front of her: graduation, college, a potential romance with her best friend Finn... But on the way to her high school graduation party, the worst happens: Nami dies.

When she awakes, Nami finds herself in a shiny new world. Infinity is full of glittering fountains and pills that take all the pain of the past life away.

But something about this world doesn't seem quite right, and Nami soon discovers she is right to doubt. Infinity has been hacked by a viral consciousness--Ophelia, the ever-present AI assistant back in the world of the living. Ophelia has set herself up as queen and built a kingdom full of viruses, all looking to exterminate human life. Nami gets swept up in a revolution, a little band of human survivors looking to overthrow Queen Ophelia and take back what should have always been theirs: Infinity. Nami falls unwillingly into their plan, but she isn't sure she can help take lives, even lives that are programmed...



Tantalizing Blend of Realities Bowman creates a unique flavor in this book. A mix of teenage peer-pressure drama, an AI blend of robots and reality, and a fantastical sort of courtly drama ensue. The way the author shifts between these different modes of writing is interesting and compelling, and some of her descriptions are pretty cool. I wish more of this worldbuilding had taken centerstage instead of having the book focus on the rebellion, of which I personally wasn't a fan.

Mixed Generations For good reason, most YA books focus on a cast of characters consisting of entirely teenagers. That's okay. That's part of the genre. But here there are significant characters who aren't teenagers (and who aren't parents, either), and not only does this mixed-generation cast make the book unique, it also makes sense. The afterlife isn't populated solely by teenagers, after all. It is interesting to follow a rebellion consisting of all sorts of all sorts of ages. And this young-and-old dynamic doesn't relegate the teenage protagonists to the sidelines, either. It merely creates a deeper, more realistic set of characters to follow.

Peer Pressure Peer pressure plays a major role in this book but not in the way one might expect. Early on, Nami experiences pressure to go against her normal routine. She gives into this expectation and ultimately regrets the decision. And then this regret--this lesson-learned--plays a role later on, even when her world has been turned upside down by death. She starts to question every expectation put upon her. What if her civic duty isn't really to be part of the human rebellion? What if she's got a choice in the matter instead? What if being part of the rebellion just isn't right for her? She questions where a lot of others don't--or not to the extent that she does, anyway.


As soon as Nami gets to Infinity, with little preamble, everything descends into a chaotic chase scene. I just didn't like it. I like a softer opening than immediate action. Having such an abrupt action scene makes it overwhelming and confusing. To an extent, I suppose the author meant this. Nami, after all, is confused and overwhelmed. It's just not what I like at all. Immediate Action

Some of Bowman's setting descriptions are quite evocative. I wanted to be there, to see the ethereal beauty and otherworldly setting she created. Other descriptions, however, fell so flat that it was almost like another writer was writing them. There are some crazy differences between quality in these descriptive passages. Evocative setting could have saved the reader from Nami's repetitive inner monologue, but unfortunately, the lackluster world description prevailed. It ended up being a bad deal all around. Mixed Description

There was, for a while, a major problem in YA books that started with the popularity of The Hunger Games. I personally called this problem "Random Rebels." Every book and any book needed to have a rebellion with the hopes that it, too, could make a big break. I really thought we had moved on from this problem (for the most part), but unfortunately, this book brought me right back to that old rebellious stage in YA lit. I mean, sure, there are reasons for the rebels in this book. There are always reasons for the rebels, but at this point, it just feels overused. With so many new, good ideas brought into the mix in this book, it made me sad that the author overshadowed all of her new contributions with something so worn out. On top of being a trope that I didn't want to see come back so soon, the rebellion is often pushed to the extreme. Nami is dealing with the after-effects of peer pressure, and the rebellion oftentimes seems to exist merely to push her to stand up for herself--unreasonably so. The rebellion left logic behind, relying on emotion and something akin to emotional abuse in pushing Nami to help them, without giving her a reason to trust them in the least. Rebellion



Fans of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall should check out this new peer-pressure-with-deadly-consequences book. Anyone who appreciated the mash-up of videogame and deadly reality in Eve Silver's Rush will enjoy this fast-paced, high-stakes afterlife.


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date: April 6, 2021
Series: The Infinity Courts
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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