May 06, 2021

#BookReview: The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts #1) by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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.


Rating: 💫
My Review: So this story I ended up DNFing it so hard. I  wanted to love it so much and it just didn't happen.  I lost interest early on and just never really enjoyed what I was reading.  I think that the writing style in this one just didn't work for me. And the characters just were kind of meh.  I do think that I might try this author again in the future depending on the story.  And I would recommend to try this one from the library before you dive in. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Nami Miyamoto really can't complain: great family, good grades, and a budding romance with her best friend Finn that she can't wait to explore. Nothing out of the ordinary, but Nami feels like her life is finally opening up for her. She may have a weird habit of talking to her O-Tech watch-Ophelia-like she's a real person, but hey, if Ophelia can help her navigate the twists and turns of teen life, then why wouldn't Nami be nice? Nami is on her way to her final high school party when she becomes the victim of a senseless shooting during a gas station robbery. When she comes to, she's in a place called Infinity, a collective consciousness built by humans to serve as an afterlife but that has since been taken over by Residents, artificially intelligent beings bent on subjugating humanity to slavery-and ruled by Queen Ophelia. Ophelia is close to her goal of enslaving all of humanity the way she has been enslaved on Earth. Nami joins up with a small band of resistance fighters called the Colony, but as someone who believes that violence is not the answer, she struggles to come to terms with her humanity and the war she's supposedly the key to ending, especially when an unexpected bond between Nami and Ophelia begins to grow. Bowman's first foray into sci-fi is a heavy one. Many philosophical questions are raised through the characters' actions (or lack thereof) and the main antagonists are AI beings, making this a potentially difficult read for sci-fi newbies. The cast of characters is diverse, with Nami being Japanese American and members of the Colony coming from all over time and Earth. Viewing the war through the lens of Nami, who is a pacifist and who tries to understand the Residents despite their perceived lack of humanity, is a culturally relevant, thought-provoking experience. VERDICT A cerebral and pulse-pounding exploration of what it means to be human. Highly recommended for any library shelf.-Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“A cerebral and pulse-pounding exploration of what it means to be human.” SLJ, starred review

"Bowman asks readers to question what it means to be human and to forgive. This satisfying novel offers plenty of room for a sequel to explore whether Nami has once again fallen prey to mistaken intriguing speculative world that interrogates consciousness and humanity." — Kirkus Reviews

“From an ensemble cast whose personalities skyrocket off the page, to the richly imaginative world and gripping prose, every part of this book felt masterful and left me on the edge of my seat. The Infinity Courts is absolutely everything I could want in a sci-fi.” —Adalyn Grace, New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth

The Infinity Courts walks that glorious knife's edge between science fiction and fantasy, balanced at all times by Akemi Dawn Bowman's deep understanding of characters and relationships. The layered conflicts between humanity and technology and reality and perception kept me up at night. A fascinating story about survival in the afterlife.” —Tracy Deonn, New York Times bestselling author of Legendborn

“A wildly imaginative epic powered by dazzling fantastical concepts, a wonderfully passionate heroine, and so much vibrant heart—this will be your new obsession!” —Sarah Kuhn, author of the Heroine Complex series

"The narrative raises age-old questions about the individual versus the community but proposes a range of answers rather than one definitive solution. The shifting beliefs of Nami and the other rebels propel the plot forward while impressively reflecting the mutable, unpredictable nature of humanity...Bowman combines the psychological with the heart-pounding in her powerful leap into science fiction. Featuring an imaginative world, a terrifying villain and a complex heroine, The Infinity Courts is a mesmerizing series opener that’s sure to lead to a thrilling, expectation-shattering sequel."  -- BookPage

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