The Power by Naomi Alderman (Mini Review)

It starts slowly. Young woman gain the ability to harness electricity from within. The news quickly spreads in playgrounds, over the internet, and in the halls of power. All over the world, countries and peoples try to grapple with the newfound shift of influence. Many try to find a cure or an answer to why this is happening, but others see this as an opportunity.  The Power follows this phenomenon, its cultural and political effects, from the four corners of the world. It is more than just a flip of the script; it is an in-depth evaluation of gender privilege.

Sure, I liked the description of power, the electric brawls, not just the literal but the metaphorical, but what I really enjoyed was the depiction of the “wave” that covers the world. The change. The way the shift starts and builds, and eventually takes new shape all over the world.

Alderman’s writing is the kind I particularly enjoy. Short action-filled sentences. Telegraph-beat scenes. Yet, the author includes a variety of different methods of story telling. My only criticism with the work is that while the overall the premise was great, I think the narrative was too divided once the book hits its midpoint. It’s good that the narration is split between several characters, but it may take away from the focus at times. I enjoyed the bookended beginning and conclusion, but it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought necessary of a book of this magnitude.

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