Synopsis for Infinity Son:
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.
Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.
Adam Silvera’s debut novel, More Happy Than Not, is a stunning and poignant story about trauma, sexuality, and mental illness that shook the young adult world to its core. When he followed with They Both Die in the End and History is All You Left Me, I think I speak for most readers by saying that Adam became responsible for more tears shed, more aching hearts. Because at the core of Adam Silvera’s stories are stories about ordinary teens grappling with immense crevasses that have fractured their lives – whether it be trauma, love, heartbreak, or destiny.
Though Adam’s contemporary-fantasy series, Infinity Cycle, feels like a departure from the heart-aching contemporaries with speculative fiction twists that we are familiar with, Adam has said that writing The Infinity Cycle felt like ‘coming home’ instead. And while we might have never seen phoenixes, mythical creatures, and a magical war intertwined with politics in his previous published stories, I can promise you that Infinity Cycle, at its core, is still familiar: that it’s ultimately a story about love and ordinary teens in the midst of something that feels so much bigger than them.
In today’s post, I want to share with you all my five reasons for why you should read Infinity Son and Infinity Reaper – and why I think Adam Silvera returning to his roots in fantasy is actually very exciting. I also want to thank the publicist for this series for giving me the opportunity to read Infinity Reaper in exchange for this honest post!
1. At its core, it’s a story about siblings against the world
Something that I love about both Infinity Son and Infinity Reaper is that it’s a ultimately a story about two siblings – Emil and Brighton. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but readers will love how different the two brothers are, how different their two perspectives are. Moreover, I loved that, at the heart of their characters, it is evident how fiercely they love one another and would protect the other. If you love sibling relationships that are complex, twist, pull apart, but never break, then you’ll love Emil and Brighton in the Infinity Cycle series.
2. It explores how superpowers are politicised – like X-Men
If you love stories like X-Men and how magic superpowers are intertwined with the world’s inherent politics, then you will love Infinity Cycle‘s exploration of how power, even superpowers, are politicised. Bringing in a unique urban fantasy feel that is charged with danger and unrest, the two brothers are caught in the middle of it. One brother doesn’t want any part in the war and just wants to live as normal a life as possible, whereas the other brother feels like his work can make an impact. With politics, there is also corruption, and I enjoyed seeing the added complexity in worldbuilding, with how politics influence the characters’ decisions. Also, if you love phoenixes and other mythical beings? Then you may love how Silvera integrates phoenix lore into his story!
3. Social media takes a front seat in the series
A highlight for me in the Infinity Cycle series is how the impact and influence of social media is explored. In the story, Brighton is a social influencer and I enjoyed how the story delves into the mindset that social influencers get into. With the prevalence of social media and power social influencers have in our lives, I really enjoyed seeing how social media would have tangible effects in a world where there’s magic and danger and power. With that, the way social media is used to influence and manipulate people to the benefit of one side of the war was thoughtful and relevant.
4. A compelling exploration about the allure – and cost – of power
The storytelling in Infinity Son is incredibly deliberate, the character development in this fascinating. Central to the story’s momentum – and definitely the more interesting parts of the storytelling for me – was how Infinity Cycle explores the allure of power and the cost of power. What does it mean to be powerful, in a world where there are magical forces at work and dangerous politicians hungry for power? Are the costs of having power ever worth it? There’s one character in particular – and I won’t say who! – where this theme emerges and comes full force. Silvera perfectly sets everything up, and you will see it coming, but will dread its arrival.
5. A story about responsibility and burden
Another thing that I loved about Infinity Son in particular, is how having superpowers – even if you never wanted it – places so much responsibility and burden to be part of this war. What if you don’t want to be part of the war, but your involvement could turn the tide of the outcome? What if you are just a teenager who wants to do teenager things, but you are pulled into a war that you never wanted to be a part of? I loved the questions that the books asks, and couldn’t help but feel how these questions are so relevant to today’s fraught society – that teenagers and marginalised people are often pushed into spaces where they have to, or are expected to, be protestors, educators, fighters.
Is this series for you?
Premise in a sentence: Two brothers are caught in a magical political war, when one of them manifests powers that could change the tide of the war.
Perfect for: Readers who love political stories tinged with magic; readers who love sibling relationships; readers who love stories with superpowers!
Think twice if: You’re not a fan of more than two narrator perspectives.
Genre: young adult contemporary urban fantasy
Trigger/content warning: death of a loved one, blood mentions, physical and fantasy violence, cardiac arrest, death