Publisher: Audible Studios
Narrator: Adjoa Andoh
Edition: Audiobook, 12 Hours 5 Minutes
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.
This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday TimesYoung Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.
The Power takes place in a world very similar to ours, the only difference is that young women are finding that they have a power that changes the course of their futures and the worlds. It takes a light sci-fi concept and turns it into a view of an odd forceful change in gender dynamics.
On the surface, The Power is a book easily explained, but delving deeper reveals a book that is very hard to explain. It’s not that the concepts in The Power are hard to grasp, it’s actually quite easy, it’s that the style and execution are in themselves kind of odd. The Power presents a world where females discover they have the ability to produce an electrical power that at first seems sparse and ‘quirky’, where young girls are labeled as trouble but as the story moves forward and these girls and later women come into this power they shift the balance of the world. Suddenly the world is faced with the idea of women in power everywhere, in most cases by force and fear. It’s an intense idea, that I think is quite well done. It shows women finally have the power to face their attackers and those holding them back and shifting the tables so they have a seat…but as they say absolute power corrupts absolutely we find that the women are not pleased with just a few seats, or even half, they want all of them. The Powers shows that paradigm shift and how things can be better for everywhere, and then it shows it shift right past that and gets into the fact that power corruption is not just a problem for men but women too.
The writing or maybe rather the way it is told makes for an odd reading experience entirely. It’s written somewhat like a ‘look back’ at the way things escalated to come to the point of time when the book is supposedly ‘written’, a fictional non-fiction piece if you will. I think for the subject matter and with having several characters that the book follows, that it works very well. There is also a ton of social commentary to unpack in this one, and I think this would make for an excellent discussion book. I can see this one being a bit of a polarizing book, where both the style and subject matter might turn some people off but I think that’s what would make it great for a group pick.
While this one certainly has its issues, like the odd pacing, it’s definitely worth checking out!