Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A clever mashup of equal parts efreet fantasy and golden hackers in a Big Brother Muslim state seems like a winner at first glance to me. I love everything about the first two and the addition of throwing it into a Muslim culture MAY or may not have been a winning move. Sometimes it can come off strange or cheesy or uncomfortable.
Fortunately, Wilson's strong writing and respectful nature carried a number of complex and interesting characters into a great tale with romantic elements, stronger hackereze, and a massive David and Goliath take-down that rove right into the Unseen world of the spirits of air and fire.
How does this work?
Well, as a matter of fact.
Combining the mystical permutations of Allah with quantum computing is as natural as breathing. Has anyone seen Pi? ;)
So, this book mashed all my buttons. I didn't even care it was YA. I'm a fan.
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