Honestly Akemi Dawn Bowman is my absolute queen and I love her so much so of course I was dying to read this book. And I got an ARC of it and I am still squealing!!! Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon and Schuster, and Turn The Page Tours, for my ARC in exchange for an honest review ❤
Title // The Infinity Courts
Author // Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publisher // Simon Pulse
Publication Date // April 6, 2021
Genre // Young Adult Fiction — Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Buy Link // Click here
Synopsis // Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.
My Rating: ★★★★☆
This book had a very unique an ambitious premise. I mean, the afterworld but make it fantasy and artificial intelligence? I had basically no idea what to expect going into it, but I still had confidence in Akemi Dawn Bowman to make it amazing, and you know what? She absolutely did and the moral of the story is do not doubt the queen.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy is definitely the best way to describe this book because there is no way I could fit it into just one genre. The book is centered on the conflict of humans versus artificial intelligence, which was a really cool premise, that definitely felt science fiction. But then the bulk of the book is about rebels trying to overthrow a queen and princes in their courts, going to balls and wearing fancy gowns, and it felt very much like your traditional fantasy that I love so much. And then there’s the whole afterlife dead aspect of it which I’ve seen before but always in pretty traditional heaven/hell or gods of the afterworld or something so seeing it like this, a sort of dystopian sciency royal court was unique and amazing. Basically, the premise of this is pretty much guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve read before in the absolute best way.
The story opens with Nami being murdered and sent to Infinity right away and wow was it a way to open a book! I was totally hooked and drawn into this insane intense world. Infinity is definitely foreign and what not what Nami expected, and honestly same girl same so I really enjoyed getting to see her learn more and more about the world as it was all gradually revealed… or so I thought anyways. The setting and world building is really cool and intense, and also it very much keeps you on your toes… or at least it should because I am warning you right now if you think you know what’s happening you don’t and it is very shocking and twisty and wow.
I guess now’s as good a time as any to mention the plot twists, especially a big one at the end that I did not see coming at all and… I am very much not okay right now?? My heart is still recovering, and I’m not sure my heart will ever fully recover (at least not until I have the next book ahh give it to me right now!!). Most of this book was very good, but not great, but then the last 100 pages or so were just… mind blowing and shocking and amazing so yeah that’s coming.
The romance was also really nice! There was a bit of enemies to lovers thrown in there which is my favorite romance trope so of course I was all about it and couldn’t stop myself from smiling as these rebels who seemed so different at first in this crazy world caught feelings for each other. There was also a hint of a love triangle and I was pretty apprehensive as I saw it forming because I pretty much hate love triangles but… well, I’ll just say this wasn’t a typical love triangle so if you’re turned off by love triangles don’t worry! Just worry about the other way the romance will rip your heart right out of your chest and shred it into a million pieces!!
There was a lot of moralizing here, as to be expected with a book that pits artificial intelligence against humans. There were some really good quotes, and thought provoking one liners that really made me think about what it really means to be human, what sets us apart from machines, what sets “good” versus “bad” apart, what our common goals and differences are. It was really interesting and definitely had some good points and good messages.
I do think the book hit me over the head with the messaging a bit too much though. Nami thought a lot about this, both through explicit conversations and just internal monologue, and I appreciated most of it, but I thought at times it could be a bit much and I was like… okay you had the same thought about being human five pages ago you don’t need to keep drilling it in I can infer for myself.
Another problem I had was Nami actually annoyed me for a bit of the book. Basically she’s very good and wholesome, always thought the best of people, was a perpetual optimist, and has a very strong moral compass. And I guess because I’m such a cynical beast she annoyed me a bit at times I was like okay girl turn down the sunshine let’s live in the real world where humans are being enslaved by AI and we’re not all buddies. But I really think this might be just a case of personal preference, and the things that I disliked about Nami could make you absolutely love her! If you’re looking for a strong, just, good character, look no farther!
Of course, Nami’s love interest, Gil, was on the opposite end of spectrum (enemies to lovers fans rejoice!!), and he was pretty cynical and rough from the hard life he’s been dealt. I just wanted to give him a huge and also complain with him haha so I absolutely loved him! The Prince of Victory too was a really interesting character since he’s literally one of the AI enslaving humans so you of course are supposed to hate him, but there were the moment when I was like… hmm… and he definitely made me think about being human! We didn’t get to see too much of Ophelia, the AI queen, but I enjoyed her interactions, and she had some pretty thought provoking conversations with Nami, and I’m pretty sure she’ll be more prominent in the next books so that’s exciting! And some of the other rebels Nami was friends with were really fun to read about, and they had some good banter that really made me smile.
Overall, this was a really good book that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes science fiction, fantasy, the afterlife… okay basically to everyone period because I’m incapable of not recommending Akemi Dawn Bowman to people. It wasn’t my favorite of her books, but the bar is impossibly high there haha, and there were a few small problems I had with it so it wasn’t perfect, but it was still really enjoyable and it definitely needs to be on your radar!
About The Author
Akemi Dawn Bowman is a critically-acclaimed author who writes across genres. Her novels have received multiple accolades and award nominations, and her debut novel, STARFISH, was a William C. Morris Award Finalist. She has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She overthinks everything, including this bio. You can find Akemi on Instagram @AkemiDawnBowman.
Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) finished copies of The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman. This giveaway will be open to US residents only and will run from April 4th to April 12th at 12 AM CST. To enter, click the link below!
GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d31/?
Have you read this book yet/are you planning to? Do you like reading sci-fi or about AI? I’d love to chat in the comments below!