Series: Infinity Cycle #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's UK on January 14, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, LGBT
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.
Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.
It’s been a few days since I’ve finished Infinity Son and let it sink in, and I’ve finally decided on my thoughts on it. There’s a lot to like about this book, but there’s also a lot that I didn’t really like. Which is really disappointing, because I have loved Adam Silvera’s other books. But perhaps that’s just me, so you’ll just have to read on to find out whether this is a book you’re interested in.
The chosen one and the creator
I may not be throwing fire, but I’m just as much a hero as anyone else.
Featuring two twin brothers caught in a feud between the Spellwalkers and Bloodcasters, two groups of people who have magical powers, Infinity Son is filled with fast paced action, phoenix power and family secrets.
Let’s start with the things I did like about the book – I liked the brotherhood between Emil and Brighton. They are Latinx, twins, and support each other through their endeavours, even though each of them have their flaws. A lot of the things happening in the book had the potential to distance them, but they stand by each other no matter what.
Emil is the chosen one, who ends up with powers that he doesn’t really want. Yet his brother Brighton, has been yearning for powers ever since he was born. Safe to say, there’s a lot to unpack between the two of them, especially when Emil seems to be caught in the middle and also needs to come to terms with his new status. Emil is also gay, so he does lament on his relationships throughout the book.
Brighton is a Youtube creator who posts news about Spellwalkers and is constantly thinking about his channel. As a creator myself, I could definitely relate to the constant pressure to keep up with creating and staying relevant with social media – the high of new subscribers, the constant pressure to outdo yourself, the support of people across the world and how the hard work that you put in can disappear in an instance. He did get a bit annoying at times when he only cared about being great and having powers himself. He did seem a bit starved for fame and attention and there were times when his perspective grated.
Where it fell short
Humanity is what makes heroes, not powers.
Now for where the book fell short for me – it seemed quite messy and unrefined all the way through. For a book set in an urban New York world filled with people who could cast spells and magic, I kind of wish there was more world building especially when the phoenixes were involved. It did have some cool concepts, such as the Spellwalkers vs the Bloodcasters, spectres, phoenixes reborn and magic powers, but I wish there was more development on some of these things. The book does really focus on the action and the dialogue, rather than the world so I felt like some things were glossed over.
There were also way too many side characters, some of which received barely a mention before moving onto the next thing. We did get alternating perspectives between Mirabelle and Ness as well, but to be honest I felt like they were kind of unmemorable. There’s also Prudencia, who is Brighton/Emil’s best friend, but she’s not really present in the story. More character development and less characters would have been welcome to really focus on the ones that mattered.
For a book about sibling rivalry, queer Latinx characters and an urban fantasy setting with vigilantes and powers, Infinity Son had lots of potential. For me, it fell short in a lot of areas, particularly to do with the world building and the plot itself. Even though it had the ‘cool’ element of phoenixes, I felt like this one lacked originality and felt like a story that I had read before, many times over. That being said, I think my 14 year old nephew will like it, so there you go.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Infinity Son is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$19.99 or from The Book Depository.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy!
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I do think this is going to be a hit for younger-YA! Which is SO valid and needed. My issue with it was the lack of world building…I really had no concept of even how far the magic system spread (was it just in NY? lolol) or how a dorky nerdy kid could turn into a warrior in 2 days but that is peak urban fantasy tropes so!!