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The Power

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  193,821 ratings  ·  22,523 reviews
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical ...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published October 27th 2017 by Viking (first published October 27th 2016)
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Lauren I think he sent it to UrbanDox headquarters, and the character that receives it seems to be an "underling" there.…moreI think he sent it to UrbanDox headquarters, and the character that receives it seems to be an "underling" there.(less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  193,821 ratings  ·  22,523 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, 2016, dystopia-utopia
It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted.

TW: rape.

Ooh, this is a toughie. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Alderman's The Power. It's an intriguing and clever concept, but this never really translates into an engaging story.

Imagine if one day, suddenly, girls developed a strange physical power: they can produce electricity inside them. They can use this power to hurt, to torture, and to kill. A world that is built on patria
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
When a male friend found out I was reading a book in which all women simultaneously develop the power to electrocute people and subsequently seize control of society, he responded "Tch, if that were the other way around, you'd go mad"... NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Damn right, the idea of a society in which one sex is systematically oppressed through the threat (or use) of physical and sexual violence infuriates me. The concept of one sex being disproportionately raped, killed and restricted sickens me. B ...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, adult

I finished this novel at midnight last night and after I went to bed, I blinked into my pillow and tried to think of what words I would type into this box on Goodreads apart from that first one: wow. After a few minutes thought, I figured I could add "intelligent" and "uncomfortable" and "thought-provoking."

The problem with all of those is that they get used so often that we see only hyperbole. This book, like many others, bears a jacket printed darkly with other authors saying great things
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Seriously?! Christ this is a mess. I'm obviously wrong considering all the glowing praise and award-winning going on here, but can't for the life of me understand what the fuss is about. I mean, great concept but poor execution. Way too many of the chapters felt off or forced, I didn't invest in any of the characters, and the ending didn't redeem it - in fact, probably made it worse.

Very disappointed.
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”For a moment he thought of banging on the door, of saying: Please. Help. But the thought of the darkness that might be behind those lit windows kept him from asking. The night was filled with monsters now.”

Oh boy, this is such a tough one to review. I finished “The Power” about a week ago and I still feel so conflicted about it all. A world in which women suddenly get the ability to create electricity and can use it however they please? It sounds so intriguing, right? It was so promising but t
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Roxy is a tenacious girl with an influential family. Tunde enjoys lounging poolside after his photo-journalism class. Margot is a politician with grand aspirations and a vulnerable teenage daughter. Allie is a young woman whose religious foster parents are not what they seem. Roxy, Tunde, Margot, and Allie have relatively normal lives, until something extraordinary happens: Teenage girls acquire supernat
Barry Pierce
I think I'm going to give up on literary awards. Naomi Alderman's The Power found its way into my hands by winning 2017's Bailey's Prize. The plot sounded so intriguing. Young girls around the world began developing 'the power', or essentially being able to shoot lightning from their palms. This discovery leads to a great event known as The Cataclysm, after which women become the dominant sex in society. It's fairly classic speculative fiction territory. However, what may have done quite well as ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was another of those books reviewed on the radio and given loads of positive hype. I love sci-fi, I love Margaret Atwood (Alderman's mentor), and I'm a feminist. I wanted to read this book because what could go wrong?

The first 20 chapters seemed to be ok. Naomi can write, well, of course she can, and the premise was sound. Women have been altered genetically by pollutants and have developed a skein. This enables them to generate electricity. Suddenly they are the more powerful sex.

We follow

Sometimes it's good to go to war, just to know you can.

i’d enjoyed this author’s kinda-sorta The Secret History book, The Lessons, some years ago, and when i saw the cover and description for this one, i was very WANT for it. so, first things first: millions of thanks to lena for so generously sending me a copy, because it isn’t out in the u.s. until OCTOBER! sheesh.

this is nothing at all like The Lessons, leaving realism behind for a feminist SF “what if?” scenario in which girls
Elyse  Walters
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Writing like this catches my attention.......

“There is a feeling in his hand as if some insect has stung him. He looks down to swat it away, and the only thing on his hand is her warm palm.”
“The sensation grows, steadily and swiftly. At first it is pinprick’s in his hand and forearm, then the swarm buzzing prickles, then it is pain. He is breathing too quickly to be able to make a sound. He cannot move his left arm. His heart is loud in his ears. His chest is tight.”
“She is still giggling,
Paul Bryant
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
What a horrible mess of a book. As soon as I heard of the idea of The Power I wanted to read it – it’s simple and completely revolutionary – you’ll know it already – women throughout the world develop a power somewhat like ELECTRIC EELS!!!!! But better! (One might hope – when did an electric eel ever run for president? Also may I say this is no cheap mockery, there is a scene where a character ponders a tank of ELECTRIC EELS quite early on).

Yes, women can now send out shocks which cause anythin
Emma Giordano
May 10, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 50%

I actually think this book is FANTASTIC. It's extremely sophisticated, well written, and though-provoking. The issue is I'm just really not engaged with it at the moment and feel there's no point in me continuing right now when I can barely retain the story. I 100% intend on finishing the story at a later time and may pick up the physical version instead of continuing with the audiobook (I also really did not like the narrator.)
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I've just stumbled upon one of those "Important Works" I keep saying is so necessary. No UF fluff with magical women or post-apocalypse SF nonsense where it's mostly about shocking us about the brutality of man against woman. (It seems that's mostly what it is, these days.)

Indeed, what we've got here is a careful and complex study of all the gender roles turned on its head, slowly, surely, and irrevocably.

We have women getting the power to shock the living shit out of anyone and teach t
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
many successful dystopian novels that feature feminist themes tend to follow the same idea in regards to womens oppression, which is something is taken away. in ‘the handmaids tale,’ its womens reproductive rights and freedoms. in ‘vox,’ its womens voices. so ‘the power’ completely breaks that pattern by actually giving something to women instead. can you believe??

and even though the premise of this book is unique and promises so much potential, i couldnt help but feel like there is so much wron
Joe Valdez
The Power is a ride into dark fantasy by Naomi Alderman that starts off like an E-ticket attraction at Disney Resorts before fizzling out like a bottle rocket from Jerry's Fireworks. Published in 2016, Alderman's concept is thrilling and one that Rod Serling or Ray Bradbury might've given props to, using genre to address prejudice, intolerance and social inequality right here on earth in the present day. The novel develops a strong sense of mystery and unease early, but once the call goes out fo ...more
Lala BooksandLala
Read for an Aries inspired vlog ...more
Jenna (still emerging from hiatus but still reading…!)
I am removing my original review following a personal intention not to be overly negative on Goodreads, but I didn’t care much for this book! 😉
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Completely Rad and Rockin Stars.

There are some novels that you feel, from the tips of your fingers, all the way to the bottoms of your toes. This is one of them.

All at once, something happens, something strange, something inexplicable and yet, one by one.. every teenage girl experiences it. A feeling simply overtakes them and they strike out at everyone who has wronged them.

She feels the thing like pins and needles along her arms. Like needle-pricks of light from her spine to her collarbo
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Thomas by: Laura
I feel so sad giving this book such a low rating because it had so much potential. It follows three female-identifying characters and one male-identifying character who reside in a world where girls and women have the power to produce electricity and hurt, torture, and kill people. This newfound ability brings about an amalgamation of changes, including political power plays, shifts in male-female relationship dynamics, and the burning question of girls' and women's new place in society. The Pow ...more
Justin Tate
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Love the premise. Novels that explore power dynamics are often fascinating. This is like a globalized Lord of the Flies, with women instead of children. I've heard it described as a feminist novel, although I think part of the cleverness is the impossible-to-answer question of whether it's a feminist novel or not. On one hand it exposes the failures of men over history by turning the tables, but on the other - with women in charge, there's just as many wars, lies, oppression, murder and rape as ...more
Richard (on hiatus)
3.5 Stars:
Imagine a world in which women, over a short period of time, become more physically powerful than men.
This far reaching and potentially explosive turn of events is explored by Naomi Alderman in The Power, winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017.
Young women and girls are first to feel the power, the crackling electricity that emanates from a ‘skein’ (a muscle attached to the collar bone) allowing them to jolt, disable or kill with a simple touch. A power that gradually awa
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own, 2021-books
This was MESSYYY.

I think Alderman tried to juggle too many things at once; it all jumbled together in a convoluted mess that in the end, didn't help but drown and pull the reader into an underwhelming sense of dissatisfaction and frustration.

The whole book was constantly building up towards something, but what that something is- we'll never know. Read for The Late Night Book Club, livestream here:

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Elle (ellexamines)
One morning, women all over the world begin developing a power: electricity, running through their fingers. The ensuing cataclysm, framed by documentation from the future, comes from four characters. There’s Roxy, 15-year-old white British daughter of a gangster; Tunde, a Nigerian journalist and the only man who narrates; Margot, an American mayor who develops the power despite her age; and Allie, a mixed-race abuse survivor who is stronger than normal in her power. As nations are conquered by w ...more
Christina - Recipe & a Read
2.5, well I hyped this up in my head way more than I should have stars!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

Across the globe, young girls are waking up with unimaginable, unexplained power. With the touch of their hand they’re able to inflict searing, indescribable pain to the point of even death. As girls the world over are discovering this newly awakened power, that has been dormant in women for as long as we can remember, they also discover they’re able to “awaken” the power in th
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fi-i-guess
The concept and core way of storytelling in this book is marvelous! My take? - Man's 'power' is essentially tied to the fact he is physically stronger than the average woman - this innovative read flips the script and lays out a world where due to a biological change in woman - they have power!

For me, I completely loved the reality and so many of the characters; I just don't feel that the general path of the story fits in with what I believe would happen if the world's power structure was revers
monica kim
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Are patriarchies peaceful because men are peaceful? Or do more peaceful societies tend to allow men to rise up to the top because they place less value on the capacity for violence?" ponders a male historian living in a matriarchal world where women hold the power.

This book doesn't just flip gender roles. It delves into complicated discussions around systemic oppression, power, rape culture, gender, and religion. The book is an unflinching dystopian yet also a mirror of our world today. It for
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Need to think about this one a bit before I review it as my minds a little blown and all over the place. In a very good way. Alderman creates an empowering (pun not intended) and in turns terrifying* alternate world where power is literally (and electrifyingly) in women's hands and follows how the power effects them. Which is the greater power; love, hate, survival, revenge?

*Not terrifying because women are in charge but because of what some of them do with their power. As terrifying as men, whi
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It doesn't matter that she shouldn't, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.
We live in a world where the pendulum of power is tilted toward men, frozen in place by millennia of governments and traditions backed up ultimately (and usually, but not always, implicitly) by brute, physical strength. But what if, almost overnight, women get a source of power that makes them physically stronger than men?

The Power is essentially a thou
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-lit-uk
The Power by Naomi Alderman. What would you do if you were young and started developing a strange power that was beyond your control?
This is what is happening to teenage girls all over the world. They find they have a prominent skein across their collar bone that can discharge an electrical current that can causes intense pain and even death to others. As they learn to control this strange phenomenon they find they can wake this dormant power in older women.
We follow a number of people....... A
Heidi The Reader
In The Power, young women have developed the ability to control electricity. It shifts the balance of power between the sexes and the world begins to come apart at the seams.

It is told from the point of view of a few women and a man. They each have different stories and experiences that Naomi Alderman blends together to create a powerful statement about how we live.

This is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read, but also, most brilliant. It made me think about all of the internal biases
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Naomi Alderman (born 1974 in London) is a British author and novelist.

Alderman was educated at South Hampstead High School and Lincoln College, Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She then went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a novelist.
She was the lead writer for Perplex City, an Alternate reality game, at Mind Candy from 2004 th

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“It doesn't matter that she shouldn't, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.” 175 likes
“One of them says, 'Why did they do it?'
And the other answers, 'Because they could.'
That is the only answer there ever is.”
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