In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.
But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Would the planet be a gentler place if women ruled? Not in Naomi Alderman’s imagined world, where environmental conditions have awakened a strange condition in teenage girls, letting them inflict pain on their tormentors and pass on their fearsome abilities to other women. Following a fascinating cast of characters—each reeling from a personal trauma—The Power is a startling pageturner with brains. Alderman uses fantasy to expose the evils of binary thinking and inequality.
Alderman's science fiction novel, set all over the world, was awarded the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Sometime in the near future, young women discover they have within them the ability to unleash skeins of electrical current that can maim and kill. One of them, an abused American foster child, joins a group of nuns, reinventing herself as the healer Mother Eve. She promotes a new religion in which Jews look to Miriam, Muslims to Fatimah, Christians to Mary. Her ally is an English crime lord's daughter named Roxy, whose skein is warrior strong, and whose violent family has global connections. Meanwhile Tunde, an opportunistic photojournalist, manages to break the news of several women's revolts across the world. The first upheavals are in Saudi Arabia and Moldova, places where women have few rights. But the woman who rules Bessapara, the first nation of the new world order, is unscrupulous and afraid, and she creates further instability by stripping men in her country of all rights and implicitly threatening world war. Roxy runs into trouble trying to keep a lid on this international situation, while Mother Eve convinces herself it might be for the best to start the world anew. Margot, an American politician taught to tap into her skein by her daughter, rises to power in the States, her message becoming more hawkish as she gains influence. But she is corrupted by her addiction to power over her male rivals, and she, too, plays a part in the endgame. Alderman tests her female characters by giving them power, and they all abuse it. Readers should not expect easy answers in this dystopian novel, but Alderman succeeds in crafting a stirring and mind-bending vision.