The Power by Naomi Alderman
Published by Hachette Audio on November 10, 2017
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction
Format & Length: audiobook, 12:06:03
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What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? 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.
The Power was a powerful and thought provoking piece of speculative fiction that kept me thinking about it long after the fact.
“Beneath every story is another story.”
Let me start by saying that I’m discovering more and more just how much I enjoy good speculative fiction. Give me a book rooted in fact or history that asks what if? and extrapolates it into a fictional story, and I am there. So this book is in my wheelhouse right off the bat.
A story within a story, The Power is told through several points of view to illustrate detailed accounts within the broad scope of a world changing phenomenon wherein women suddenly posses a new and intense power. I personally didn’t connect with all of the perspectives and found some to be stronger than others. That being said, the storytelling itself and the way the points of view were woven together was gripping. Additionally, the narration in the audiobook was superb, and the voice acting helped to engage me even more in the story. So much, in fact, that it’s entirely possible my enjoyment wouldn’t have been as high if I’d read this in print.
As a general rule, it’s natural that my own life experiences will affect what I think or feel about a story, and this is a case where I could really feel it happening. Although my life has been full of loving, supportive men, there have been times and places where I’ve felt threatened simply because I’m a female in a patriarchal society. So seeing the tables turned in The Power where men began to understand the feeling of being the “weaker” sex was surprisingly cathartic. Until it wasn’t, when those in power began to take it too far, and I began to squirm in unease. Overall, this book made me feel a lot of feelings in a wide range of emotions.
“You know what they say about the truth and the appearance of truth being opposites.”
Do I think The Power was a perfect book that everyone will like? No. But it did present ideas and questions that I found to be incredibly compelling and I couldn’t put it down.