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The Power

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  105,200 ratings  ·  13,879 reviews
'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pai
...more
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company (first published October 27th 2016)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  105,200 ratings  ·  13,879 reviews


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Emily May
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 patriarc
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Laura
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended, adult
Wow.

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
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Benji
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.
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 supernatura
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karen
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOW AVAILABLE!!

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
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Elyse Walters
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, s
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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.)
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
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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
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
jessica
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
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Jenna
This was sort of like: Put some elements of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid's Tale, and Star Wars in a cocktail shaker, toast to The Imminent Apocalypse, pour neat and extra dirty and drink - which sounds AWESOME, and also very apropos of the 2017 zeitgeist...yet....

I didn't love it. I admired it, to be sure, and it def left me totes curious about inquiring into this author's other works. But as many other eloquent reviewers have already noted, it left me wanting in a few key areas.

I'm all for su
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Bradley
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
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Susanne  Strong
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
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Paul Bryant
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
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Thomas
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Belinda
Dec 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Justin Tate
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
Christina - Traveling Sister
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 i
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Simon
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
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Monica
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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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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Helene Jeppesen
A great thriller with a somewhat dissatisfying ending...
Paula Kalin
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dystopian and YA fans
Recommended to Paula by: Women’s Baileys prize
Okay The Power won the Women’s Baileys prize for fiction in 2017 so I recommended we read this in my bookclub which we will be discussing this week. A good bookclub read? Yes, plenty to talk about.

The world turns around when teenage girls develop a lightning strike physical power. There is a reversal in gender roles. Women are now in power, but do they start to solve the woes of the day? No. They turn into barbarians who rape, murder, enslave, etc. Women act the way some men do now. What’s too
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Edward Lorn
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A completely plausible and believable piece of fiction that suggests a world run by women would be no different than a world run by men. The swapped gender stereotypes and roles in society hurt as much as they ring true. Sometimes you can't see a thing until you get a full view of every side.

The final line before the author signs off is now my favorite last line of all time.

THE POWER is a brutal, rage-inducing, thought-provoking novel that should be require reading in schools. Especially for bo
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Tatiana
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, sci-fi
I thought this was riveting! A thrilling, scary, violent Atwood/Bacigalupi combo.
Carol (Bookaria)
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2018, sci-fi
This is an insightful, fictional exploration of shifts of power and the repercussions that a such sudden and dramatic change can have in society.

I am absolutely amazed by this work by Naomi Alderman, this is the first book I read from her and definitely won't be the last.

In the story, women in contemporary times develop the ability to emit electricity through their hands which can be used to physically hurt other people, they call this ability "the power". As you can imagine, some of them start
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Peter Boyle
"The power to hurt is a kind of wealth."

What if women suddenly became the dominant sex? What would the world look like? Would it be a better place? These are some of the questions Naomi Alderman asks in this thrilling Atwoodian tale. Get ready to hear a lot more about The Power - it's one of the favourites for this year's Baileys Prize and the TV rights have already been snapped up.

Teenage girls across the planet develop the ability to deliver electric shocks through their fingertips, by means o
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Hugh
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2018
So much has already been said about this book that nothing I say will count for much - it has been sitting on my to-read shelf since shortly after the paperback came out last year.

As always I will start with the positives. The concept is nothing if not bold, its sweep is all-encompassing, it undoubtedly made me think and it is not at all difficult to read. The Biblical and historical parallels are cleverly done and it does have plenty to say about real world problems.

So why am I not entirely sa
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Savidge Reads: The Power by Naomi Alderman (2017) 6 26 Jun 15, 2019 05:37AM  
Libri Labra Book ...: * The Power *SPOILERS* 4 5 Jun 14, 2019 08:38AM  
Libri Labra Book ...: Naomi Alderman 1 4 Jun 13, 2019 10:28AM  
AXO Book Club: "Mother" voice that speaks to Allie 1 6 Jun 09, 2019 08:34AM  
Libri Labra Book ...: The Power *SPOILERS* 1 5 Jun 07, 2019 08:19PM  
Ladies & Literature: Official April 2019 Book Discussion: The Power 15 18 Jun 01, 2019 09:24PM  

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1,953 followers
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.” 112 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.”
80 likes
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