Merrian's Reviews > Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
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's review
Aug 24, 2012

really liked it

I loved this book. In an un-named Arab state the political tensions are at boiling point and state repression with disappearances are a fact of life. Young hacker Alif is already liminal in this world as the son of a second wife who converted from Hinduism. He loves a woman from a well to do family who has to reject him for an arranged marriage. From all of this springs the events that merge his search for safety as he his hunted by the state and by his former lover's new husband, with finding meaning in his life and his love for his devout neighbour Dina. This is a magic realist story with the world of the Djin and their knowledge just as important to the story as the reality of state censors and the grey world of hackers. It is a story about young people trying to find their way through a rigid society not only to safety but to a place in themselves and their lives that feels real. Alif has to grow up and take responsibility.... (will add more, still thinking)

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