1 Minute Reviews · books

The Power by Naomi Alderman | 1 Minute Reviews

It’s been over a week since I finished The Power, and it’s still tickling away at the back of my head. Every now and then I’ll remember something about it and just be blown away by how amazing it is.

Told by historian Neil, the book is presented as an attempt to fictionalise historical horrors for a modern audience, allowing them insight into the time when girls developed electrostatic powers. The novel follows Allie (a mixed race runaway who quickly gains a position of power and faith), Margot (a politician and mother to two young girls), Roxy (a British girl from a criminal family) and Tunde (an accidental journalist who follows the unfolding events of the novel). What follows is the development of powers by one gender, and the switch of subjugation of the patriarchy to rebellion and revelation. But with great power comes great responsibility, and things quickly begin to go awry.

The characters are compelling, with a chapter for each main character per year that the book advances towards a specific event. I recommend when you read it that you try not to end mid-chapter. The pacing is phenomenal stuff, and I’d even go as far to suggest reading a year at a time if you must have breaks. Of course the best way is just to lock yourself away for a full day.

Many comparisons have been made to Atwood, as this is definitely inspired by her writing. It is one of the best speculative fiction novels of the last few years.

I strongly recommend making it the book you pick up with your Christmas money or book tokens, not least because the hardback is such a beautiful, gruesome thing.

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Thank you so much to lovely Penguin Books for the copy.

Sold? Buy it here and I’ll get a tip!

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