I’ve always wanted to read some of Adam Silvera’s writing. But his previous books all being contemporary YA, they kept sliding to the back of my TBR. So when Infinity Son was announced as a gay fantasy book, I immediately knew that I had to read it! I was very lucky to get an ARC from Simon & Schuster at YALC so it could slide right on top of my reading list.
PUBLICATION DATE: 14/01/2020
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: In a world where powers are rare and can be gotten two ways, either by birth or through murder of a magical creature, Emil suddenly develops magical abilities. This throws him and his family in the middle of a war between the two powered factions, all while he and his twin brother, Brighton, try and figure out who and what they are, and what their futures could be.
OPINIONS: I have a feeling that this will turn into the next great thing in YA fantasy. Think the next Folk of the Air or Caraval (two series that are extremely popular in the online YA community). Not only is it a very good book with lots of queer and diverse rep, it will likely also pull over lots of readers from Adam’s previous contemporary novels. That being said, I think I went into reading Infinity Son with expectations that were too high. While I enjoyed my reading experience, it did not blow me away or stick around in my head – though I do think it’s a very ME thing and not a book thing.
The magic system Adam uses in this series (yes, there will be more!) is unique: it features ‘Celestials’ (people who have been born with powers, usually inherited through the family line) and ‘Specters’ (people who have gained magical powers through stealing the blood of magical creatures). I loved the magic and creatures in the book, and my favourite part about reading it was learning about all the different types of phoenixes! While there is obviously a moral component to these powers and the way they were gained, this blurs with the actions and motivations of the individual characters.
The characters were well written and multidimensional; they have clear goals and motivations which they are true to throughout the book. In contrast to many recent YA fantasy books, they truly read like teenagers! They are often clueless and rash, stubborn and independent. The only memorable adult in the story is Emil and Brighton’s mom, who plays a very passive part. It is very much a story for teenagers, for today’s teens obsessed with social media in a way that is almost foreign to my generation of millennials (though perhaps part of that is my European upbringing). There have been many discussions about YA books and their audiences, with teenagers feeling that authors write for younger adults rather than the 13-18 demographic YA is intended for. I don’t want to go into detail about those debates here, but let it be said that this is a book that I feel is very much aimed at ‘actual teens’ rather than the older YA audience. This is likely why Infinity Son didn’t quite hit the sweet spot for me personally, but I see this as a great thing.