I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
In the Infinity Courts, Nami is on her way to celebrate her high school graduation when she is killed during a convenience store robbery. She wakes up in the afterlife, a place called Infinity. However, she suspects something is wrong with this place—the humans are basically zombies, enslaved by an AI called Ophelia (who is a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa). Nami manages to escape and falls in with a group of human rebels, who are working to take Ophelia down.
I realized part of the way through reading this book that it’s a lot like Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I mean, a girl gets adopted by rebels looking to overthrow an immortal overlord. The girl learns she has powers and becomes a spy, but after getting close to the nobles thinks they might not be as evil as she was told.
The only thing is, I’d rather read Mistborn.
Nami isn’t a bad protagonist, but she’s a type of character I’ve seen before: thrown into a world she doesn’t know, forced to adapt and learn her own power. She’s also stubbornly idealistic, and this can sometimes come off as naive, but overall I liked her.
The other characters didn’t make much of an impression on me. They’re a diverse cast (so that’s one thing this book does better than Mistborn, I guess), but I felt they could have used more character development. Nami’s romance with another character wasn’t interesting at all to me, though I got the impression I was supposed to be invested.
(Minor side note: Why are the boys Nami is attracted to named after fish anatomy? In her life she liked Finn, and in the afterlife she likes Gil…)
As for the plot, I found the elements of espionage and courtly intrigue to be entertaining, I just wish there was more of it. I wanted to know more about the world; I feel we could have gone into more detail about how the Courts worked. I liked the sort of magical elements of the world, like the Labyrinth and the strange creatures that dwell there, as well as the various powers the characters have. Nami’s were especially cool, though I wish they felt more earned. Instead, she just has them, and doesn’t have to work very hard to learn or control them.
The plot twist toward the end was cool, and one I didn’t see coming. Someone else might, but I’ve never been good at predicting this kind of thing. However, I’m not sure it was enough to make me want to continue with the series.
In the end, The Infinity Courts is a decent novel, although I didn’t find it particularly groundbreaking. The characters are fine, and the world is fascinating, but I felt more could have been done with both. Still, if you like sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian stories, or stories that explore the afterlife, check this out!
Overall rating: 7.8/10
The Infinity Courts will be published April 6, 2021!