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Infinity Cycle #1

Infinity Son

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Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

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.

368 pages, Paperback

First published January 14, 2020

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About the author

Adam Silvera

23 books31.3k followers
Adam Silvera is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at the End and More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me and Infinity Son and Infinity Reaper and with Becky Albertalli, What If It's Us and Here's to Us.

His next book The First to Die at the End releases October 4th, 2022, with the final Infinity Cycle book to follow soon after.

He was born in New York and now lives in Los Angeles where he writes full-time.

He is tall for no reason.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,496 reviews
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 5 books13.5k followers
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April 25, 2021
A phoenix might live forever but my hopes just died with this book.

You might be shaking your head, thinking One star, for real? Bit of a dramatic move. Well, that makes two of us. I didn’t have high expectations when I started this book – both What If It's Us and They Both Die at the End were disappointing – and I thought I’d rate this with two stars, maybe three. The first few chapters were rocky but then I started to enjoy myself. And around the 100-page mark, it all went downhill again. So much that I can’t justify giving more than one star. Never in my life did I think I’d rate a Silvera book so low.

Let’s start with something positive. I’m glad that a fantasy book with a gay main character written by a gay Latinx author receives such a hype. That would not have been possible ten or even five years ago. In addition, Infinity Son has lots of queer characters and people of colour, so the representation is there. Infinity Son also touches on the subject of body image, which seems to be a very important topic for the author. Now I wish all of this had been received a good plot and characters too but that’s not the case.

The world-building is non-existent. You are thrown into this world without any information and you have to make all the pieces fit somehow. Specters, Blood Casters, Spell Walkers, Celestials…I still have no idea what the latter is. There is no mention of the history of magical creatures such as phoenixes, how they came to be, what their relationship with humans is/was like.
The biggest problem though is the pacing. Attention to detail is crucial when you build any fantasy world. I’m not a fan of Cassandra Clare’s but what can be said for her is that she took her time introducing the characters, the magical object, the legends and lore. And we do get a glimpse of that at the beginning of the book when we learn about all the different sorts of phoenixes that exist. But with Silvera it’s mostly dialogue and then we dive straight into the action. There is no room for the magical world to unfold, for us to wonder about certain characters as we slowly get to know them.
That’s another major problem: Silvera hands you all the solutions to what could have been exciting mysteries on a silver platter approximately two pages after the mystery was created. When he doesn’t, the reveal or plot twist is easily predictable. And as I mentioned before, we don’t get to know the characters. There are loads of them. They’re from different backgrounds, different sides of the war, with different abilities and complicated relationships with one another. But then why do they so entirely interchangeable? The only person who has a distinct voice is Brighton, one of the two main characters. He may be annoying and self-centred and fame-hungry, but he totally has that down. It makes him unique, which is more than I can say for every other character. They don’t have depth, and as a result, I didn’t care whether they lived or died.

Let’s also talk about clichés. And the fact that they’re really not that bad when they’re a) gay and b) executed well enough. The thing is though, being “the Chosen One” doesn’t all of a sudden seem less realistic because you start pointing out how much of a cliché it is. It just makes it ridiculous. Then we of course have the tortured main character torn between fighting the good cause and not wanting to hurt and kill people. Which is a valid struggle but then make me feel it!

What I’ll never understand is why authors won’t just call magic & superpowers “magic” & “superpowers”. Instead, we get “gleamcraft”. This is not the first time Adam used weird synonyms in his books to reference concepts (or fandoms) that already exist in fiction. But just because Rainbow Rowell did it doesn’t mean we all have to. It didn’t work for her, and it sure didn’t work for Adam.

If someone had given me this book ten years ago I would have eaten it up as twelve-year-olds tend to do. But this is Adam’s 5th book and I don’t understand how it turned out to be so amateurish. This was worse than everything he’s published before. Yes, I didn’t have high hopes for Infinity Son. I wanted to love it. But I’m disappointed to say that I was right.

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Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
459 reviews162k followers
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January 7, 2020
I still need to sit on this one for a bit to know how I really feel. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed. I loved Emil's storyline, I loved all the celestials that we got to know, & I love all the twists this story brought on. On the other hand I found issue in the world building and the pacing. This felt like a very in and out book for me when it comes to enjoyment. I do think it sets up nicely for the sequel & I'm looking forward to seeing where book two takes us. (especially because of that ending..:o)


ALSO BRIGHTON CAN CHOKE. :D
Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,656 followers
January 17, 2020
"Times passes, and the agony doesn’t go away. The faintest phoenix song begs me to survive, but I’m tired of the music and wish someone would put out my fire for good."

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Adam Silvera is keeping his crown on making people cry with his books. This book definitely made me want to cry.
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Having all the ingredients and not following any recipe.

I'm going to start everything by saying if this is your first AS book (or if it will be and you end up sharing my feelings about it) then please do not give up on him. His contemporaries are so heartbreakingly beautiful and lyrical, it felt like this was a different author. Secondly, if you end up loving this book, wait till you get a load of his previous work, chief. Just saying.

When I finished this book, the main problem I had was that I couldn't remember half the story. I had read this on and off for a while because I kept getting bored, but then something interesting™ would happen and I would keep reading. Rinse, repeat. It truly sucks that I have to write this review because I wanted to love this so much. I wanted to rave all about it and get excited when I see people reading it on my feed. *sigh*

This book is not without merit. It has fantastic representation and whilst the LGBT romance didn't take the main stage, having a queer writer writing queer characters is always a win (plus, even though it was very poorly executed - it was a hero+villain romance so double win). There was cast diversity and plenty of it!! Had the plot been more captivating, reading about phoenixes?? Hell yes! My fantasy world has seen vampires, werewolves, trolls, sirens etc etc. but this is the first book I have ever read that MC's phoenixes (Fawkes will always be my OG, don't you even worry). I enjoyed reading about Emil and Brighton's bond, that was the one thing that felt "real" to me, even though a lot of their dialogue and arc's were cliché.

Which brings me to my first (but not biggest) problem, there were way too many clichés. The dialogue, the relationship dynamics, the development of the story. I don't know how this book managed to be worse than Zenith but it did... We even got this line;

"It’s time to connect the stars in my constellation."


I have said this before but I'll say it again; in my opinion, the biggest win in a fantasy novel is accomplishing your world-building alongside the story. I often come across great plots and awesome characters but paragraphs and chapters of flashbacks or info-dumps that just make reading intolerable. Was this the case with Infinity Son?

Absolutely not.

Infinity Son was the complete opposite. There was no world-building or introduction to the magic system. You enter Silvera's world and all it is, is whiplash after whiplash. It was like walking into an advanced calculus lecture when you're supposed to be in Philosophy 101. The literal embodiment of that confused math lady meme (See Fig. 1). To make matters worse, it wasn't even the good type of confused. What is the good type of confused, Alex? Well... remember when you first watched Shutter Island or Inception and you ended up in the same math lady confused meme vibe but you actually want to be thinking about it and piecing it together??? Not this book, this book needs to come with a manual and some advil.

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^ incase I didn't articulate myself. (Fig 1. "I googled math lady confused meme")

Now for the characters. I didn't "like" a single character in this book. First of all, there were so many that I could hardly keep count outside of the POV's but the one's I did remember, I couldn't stand half the time. Brighton was your usual reckless tantrum-throwing kid and Emil was predictable and dull. It didn't help that Silvera's style of writing is narrative and not descriptive. Maybe if the characters were fleshed out more, it would have been a different story altogether. Everything felt underdeveloped.

The magic system in this is a mess at the best of times. Blood Alchemy?? Wands?? Specters?? It felt like I was reading the fourth book of a series because I was so clueless. Then, the pacing. The pacing was odd because it drew out the irrelevant scenes and then flew by the interesting ones. I was waiting for a really big bang at the end after all of the build-up but I got a deflating balloon. To be honest, it kinda felt like that the entire book.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,480 reviews29.7k followers
February 16, 2020
OH NO! WHY, ADAM!? WHYYYYYY?? WHAT HAPPENED?!?

can we please make a pact and just agree that we are all suffering from collective amnesia and this book never happened? because i love adam silvera, hes a sweetheart, and i really dont want to drag him and his new book, but its really the only thing i can do.

many reviews do a great job with going in depth as to why this book is such disappointment, so let me just leave this brief list:
- no world building. none. zilch. zero. nil. nada. its a contemporary story with a couple of sentences thrown in to hint at a fantasy aspect, but with no explanations, no details, no background. it makes no sense whatsoever.

- cliché after cliché after cliché. such a major eye roll. especially with the dialogue, which is unfortunate because AS narratives arent descriptive and tend to be heavy on the dialogue.

- poor characterisation. dull, boring, two dimensional, easily forgettable narrators. i honestly kept mixing the two brothers up each time the POV shifted.

how AS got a three book deal with this hot mess is the biggest mystery of the 21st century. sorry adam, but its true. i appreciate you trying something outside your comfort zone, but maybe stay in your lane? 🙈

1.5 stars
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
April 7, 2021
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A new BookTube Video is Up all about whether you should buy, borrow or burn 2020 YA books! Let me know what you think!
The Written Review
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20 pgs: THIS BOOK ROCKS MY SOCKS.

50 pgs: Let me get my rainbow flag and shout it from the rooftops.

100 pgs: I don't know why everyone is hating on this glorious superhero book.

150 pgs: Ohhhh...now I get it.

The Full Review :
The strongest power above all is a living heart. Humanity is what makes heroes, not powers. The strongest power is humanity.
Twins Emil and Brighton did everything together but now that they're approaching the end of senior year, all Brighton can think about is growing his YouTube channel and going to college.

Brighton chases after the super powered humans and creates viral videos. He hopes those will get him noticed and catapult him into fame and fortune.
I may not be throwing fire, but I'm just as much a hero as anyone else.
And just when his latest video kind of flops, he discovers that his very own brother, Emil, is among the superhumans.

Now, things are getting interesting.

But Emil has no interest in being a chosen one.
I can’t know who I want to be when I’m still struggling with who I am.
Well, Brighton can fix that. Hopefully in time to prevent the end of the world.

So.

Sooo.

Sooooooo....


Despite Goodreads telling me the opposite - I still had high hopes for this book and picked it up from the library (thank goodness I didn't buy it).

And it started really, really well.

Within the first few pages, we are thrown into an interesting world of celestials (people who get powers from the stars), phoenixes (that need to be protected) and Spell Walkers (who are normals who obtain powers by consuming phoenixes and other magical items).

The lore was unique and I was super excited to watch it develop.

I absolutely loved that Emil was gay in this book but being gay had wasn't part of the story. It was a complete nonissue.

Which is fabulous and we honestly NEED more books where being gay is about as interesting as being straight to the other main characters.

But, as the book wore on (and yes, it truly wore on) it became apparent that...it wasn't well thought out.

It had all of the elements of a good superhero story, they just weren't put together decently.

It felt like a cliche of a comic book (right down to being switched at birth chosen one) - which, come on. Really now?

The world building and magic system (or whatever they bothered called it in this book - how hard is it to just call it magic?) became a huge mess by the end of the book.

It was just so convoluted and there was a convenient exception for every plot point.

But I think what was the worst bit was that...I really can't remember any of this book. Other than the vague plot points that you find on the back of the book.

The characters didn't feel distinct, I still can't tell you who did what and which ones died cause they all blended together so horribly well.

The only character that really had a personality was Brighton, and the only reason I remembered him was cause he was awful.

In short, the first hundred pages or so were great - when the book was more like a contemporary romance with a slight nod towards fantasy.

But as soon as the author shifted to full fantasy the book tanked.

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Profile Image for zuza_zaksiazkowane.
316 reviews28.9k followers
January 11, 2021
Nie bez wad, momentami bardzo chaotyczna, ale moim zdaniem naprawdę interesująca. Zdecydowanie najmocniejszym jej punktem są bohaterowie i relacje między nimi, które Silvera w świetny sposób przedstawia i rozwija. Świat fantastyczny - ciekawy, choć widać, że jeszcze nie do końca rozpracowany i poukładany. Jeśli lubicie urban fantasy, myślę, że może wam się bardzo spodobać ✨
Profile Image for Hamad.
974 reviews1,284 followers
January 17, 2020
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“I didn’t grow up with powers, but I’ve been a brother for eighteen years. No fire burns brighter than that.”

🌟 I am going to be the villain in this story and say that maybe Adam should stick to writing contemporary novels and I am going to explain why. I initially gave the book 3 stars as I felt pressured to do so in support of Adam but that would not be honest. I think 2 stars is a rating I feel more comfortable with.

🌟You see, there is an idea and it sounds kind of good but the execution was not that brilliant. The world building was bad and I am not happy to say this. I think there was no world building to begin with. For the first half of the book, I felt like I was reading one of Adam's contemporaries. I did not feel that it was fantasy, it read more like a contemporary set in a fantasy world.

🌟 There was a lot of mention of the Blackout which is supposed to be an important event that happened in the past. The elaboration of that event was so minimal that I thought I missed something and I went back and searched the world, and literally what it says about the blackout is (The worst attack New York has seen in my life time) and that's it, make what you can of that sentence but that does not make it sound like something terrible as it should be.

🌟 I am embarrassed to say that I have already forgotten the names of the characters but that does not surprise me, they were kind of flat and I really did not care about them the way I usually do in Adam's novels. One of them was annoying and I knew where the story was going after a few pages when we learnt a few things about them.

🌟 I also remembered readers reviews of Again but Better by Christine Riccio because many readers felt they were reading her story and it felt uncomfortable for them to pry on her life and at first I had the same thoughts about this book because I thought the MC was like Adam, both of them are from the Bronx for example.

🌟 The plot was okay, I was not that surprised by the twists but I liked the idea of phoenixes and the re-incarnation aspect. There was another thing I was salty about which is the wands that I felt are supposed to give me the HP vibes but all they did was adding into the mess that is called world building.

🌟 I was excited for this book and I saw readers saying that it gave them tears and heartache and I felt the same but for obviously different reasons (aka disappointment). And I think this book can use some of the phoenix abilities, for example burning and reliving in a different form!

🌟 Summary: OMG, I am certainly upset by my experience reading this book and I won't be continuing the series unless a miracle happen. The idea is not bad but it was not well executed on paper! I guess I will be waiting for his contemporary and until then, peace ✌️.

you can still get the book from here: Book Depository
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,070 reviews38.2k followers
June 5, 2020
NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! Did you hear me say NOPE! This is not my cup of latte, any kind of heavy liquor!

I was so excited as soon as I saw this amazing cover and reading a blurb introduces us a gay main character on the board! But I finally found out only thing I could enjoy about this book is LGBTQ representation with lots of queer characters! Unfortunately that’s the one and only thing I loved!

World-building-Nope! It collapses on your body in the middle of the book. You just jump into an ocean full with sharks and you swim as fast as you can do to save yourself! That’s how I felt to use my remaining grey cells to understand WTH is going on in this story.

Pacing: Yes, somebody grabs my body and throws me from the skyscraper and I kept on screaming! (This book made me feel like I am attacked by King Kong or having my worst ride experience at Universal Studios) Oh come on! I loved fast pacing stories but first we have to know more about the magic world, characters, their back stories, motives, passions to understand theirpaths but instead of that we’re urgently introduced Spell Walkers, Celestials, Blood Casters, Specters bla bla bla and then story declared its independence and flew away from our hands. Where did it go? Did we have a story ever?

Characters: There are lots of them but I feel like I read the same person over and over again. It was hard to differentiate them! None of them has a unique voice!

Cliffhanger: Oh please! That so easily predictable thing from the beginning shouldn’t be called like that. Let’s call it “cli” and yes it failed, too!

I though an epic Phoenix fantasy plus queer representation and freshly created alternative universe would be dreamy combination. Your dreams can be shattered in a second with wrong elements and bad choices of story-telling.

I don’t want to give one star. I only give the books which have offensive, vulgar language or too stupid for the reviewers’ attention (yes, it reminds me of my experience when I read “Mister”) so I will give my two frustration stars and search for better epic fantasies to devour!
Profile Image for sarah.
377 reviews396 followers
December 15, 2019
New York. Magic. Phoenixes. Gay. Adam Silvera.
An indestructible combination right?
Wrong.

L I K E S

- The idea
I will expand on this later, but I really thought I would love this book for a variety of reasons. The summary intrigued me, and my excitement was only increased because it was by one of my favourite authors. The bare bones idea of this book was amazing, but unfortunately the execution didn't do it justice. I think it could make a good movie if adapted right!

- Ness
A character only introduced towards the latter half of the book- but for some unknown reason I found myself being so much more excited when he entered a scene.

- The romance
Now this is both a like and dislike for me. This book has been largely marketed as a gay fantasy with phoenixes- and I was so excited! And while that is technically true, the romance is not a very big component at all. It was practically non-existent. I was so excited to see a traditionally conservative genre be more diverse, but we didn't really see much. Of course, the representation is still valid even if he isn't in a relationship, but it felt very safe to me and didn't push the bounds of fantasy. That being said, the small romantic moments were good, and I would love to see it develop over following books.

D I S L I K E S

- The writing style
This was surprising to me, as I have read Adam Silvera's book 'What if It's Us' cowritten with Becky Albertalli and loved it. Like one of my favourites of the year loved it. For some reason, this writing style did not gel with me one bit. From the beginning I found myself pulled out of the story because of strange sentence structure and weird slang. The writing felt emotionless (odd for someone almost infamous for writing emotional stories).

- The world building
New York. Magic. Phoenixes. For a world with so much possibility for magic, intrigue and atmosphere- this world just felt lifeless and 2D.

- TLI (aka Too Little Information)
What is the difference between a spell walker, blood caster, celestial, Spector, halo knight etc? Don't ask me because I sure don't know. I don't think this is just a me issue either, as many reviews I have read have this same complaint. We are simply thrown into the world with no explaination for anything. We are given page upon page descriptions of how Brighton's youtube videos and subscriber count are going (please don't get me started) but nothing about the stuff I actually cared about. I want to know more about the blackout, the politics, how powers work, phoenixes, what their relationship with humans is, what they can do (wow I just realised how little this book that supposedly centres around phoenixes includes about them). Anything except for Brighton and his viewer count. Ugh. Can you tell I'm a little bitter?

- half hearted attempts at addressing real world issues
This book seemed like it started to try and include real world issues, but backed out halfway through and just left little snippets without giving the time to properly address them.
(for example: wand violence. seemingly trying to address the problem of gun violence in a different context which I always appreciate. However, I searched the ARC document for mentions of it, and it was literally mentioned once then never again.)

- The.Cliches.
Cliches and tropes don't usually bother me- after all they have become popular because they work well and add something to the story. I can't really get into this without spoiling it but just think of any stereotypical rip off harry potter fantasy and you'll probably get the same in this book. My problem is that nothing new or different was added to the tropes to make them slightly new or different. I found myself full on rolling my eyes at some points because it was so outrageously tropey.


- The characters
and by the characters I mean Brighton. No, just kidding- but kind of not. All the characters felt like like carbon copies of each other but with one or two defining qualities. For example Brighton's was his need for popularity and power, Mirabella's was her thirst for vengeance, Luna's was being evil. Hopefully in the next books we can have a deeper look into each of the characters and their motivations- but in here they seemed drastically underdeveloped.

O V E R V I E W
I know I seem mostly negative in this review, but it is just that I was expecting so much more from it- and I believe it had so much potential to be an epic story. However, I did find myself enjoying the story more towards the end and it was very nice to see some different and diverse perspectives in fantasy. I will be continuing this series- I still have hope it will improve!

I would hate for it to seem as though I am contributing to boxing authors into one genre, but in this case I think Adam's writing style is simply suited better to his emotional contemporaries. That being said, I will continue this series and I have faith in him that they will be better once he has more experience and feedback from this first instalment.

thank you so much to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book!
Profile Image for Claire ✨.
271 reviews46 followers
January 16, 2020
An amateurish first draft of a book, INFINITY SON drags itself through juvenile writing and lifeless characters in a poorly-built world.

Yikes. I had never read an Adam Silvera book before INFINITY SON... and safe to say I'll probably not read anything else by him again.

His contemporaries, the premises of which don't interest me, are praised to the moon and back, so naturally when I heard he was writing a fantasy I was immediately piqued. INFINITY SON is about sixteen-year-old Emil, a regular wallflower teen in modern New York who is thrust into a magical war when powers of his surface, the likes of which no one has ever seen.

Then it takes the awesome premise and kicks it to the kerb, spits on its mother, and leaves it to die in the cold.

How can I describe how shallow this novel felt? How lifeless? Even though it's set in contemporary New York, there's no attempt to slowly draw you into the magical elements of this alternate world. So many terms are dropped around so fast that you aren't given any breathing room to digest the information. I still can't tell my Spell Walkers and Halo Knights and Blood Casters and reincarnations and phoenix breeds from one and the other. It expects you to know everything as it blazes along, no thought to the poor reader who has no idea what's going on. I suspect Silvera is so used to writing contemporary that actually having to weave fantasy elements into the real world escaped him, but it's no excuse for such awful world-building.

INFINITY SON also swaps guns for wands with... absurd results. "Wand violence" is a thing mentioned. Need I say more?

Likewise, character introductions are not given the time they deserve, and as such the myriad of superheroes meld together to form a faceless, forgettable cast. I can't stress enough that the characters are poorly written. There! Are! So! Many! And half of them are unnecessary, including the POVs. Let's run them down, because let's be honest, no one's gonna' remember them come INFINITY SON #2.

Emil, the protagonist. Awkward teen who doesn't want the powers foisted onto him. Didn't care for him.
Brighton, Emil's twin brother and deuteragonist. He runs a vlog that stalks the magical people of this world. Worst character in the entire novel, and I'll explain why below.
Ma, Emil and Brighton's mother and just there for some reason? Her only purpose is to whine at Emil and Brighton for going out and doing things.
Prudencia, Emil and Brighton's best friend... who ties with Ma in uselessness.

Maribelle, the leader of the Good Guys and the third POV. She's obsessed with revenge and... that's it. That's her only personality trait.
Iris, Maribelle's sister (maybe? I literally can't tell). Iris resents Maribelle for some reason and again, that's her only personality trait.
Atlas, Maribelle's boyfriend. That's all.
Wesley, speedster... who was just there.
Eva, a healer who is also just there. Iris' girlfriend.

Ness, the fourth POV, a shapeshifter that works for the Bad Guys. When he's captured by the Good Guys, Emil instantly trusts him for some reason?
Dione, big, buff bad lady who does stuff.
Stanton, who... er... who is this guy again?
June, a mute baddie who possesses people? Walks through walls? I don't know. Everyone in the novel is obsessed with her.
Orton, a drug dealer.
Luna, the Biggest Bad, who has zero personality besides "always two steps ahead".

Senator Iron, generic corrupt politician.
Councilwoman Sunstar, the only rival to Senator Iron who appears for one scene and one scene only.

Then there's a bunch of dead people who are name-dropped all the time: Bautista, Keon, Leon(??), Sera...

I'll be the first to say that all of these characters had roles in some way or another (except you, Ma), but they could have been easily cut or condensed into other characters so that the cast that I am being forced to care about isn't so egregiously large.

That's INFINITY SON's biggest problem. Because the characters are given no development time aside from shallow "here's my tragic past" moments, I don't care about a single one of them. I don't care when one is betrayed. I don't shed a tear when one dies. I don't fear for their lives when they're hurt, and I don't swoon when they're romancing their love interests. In fact, the only thing INFINITY SON does right by its characters is diversity, having a cast from all backgrounds of all varieties, but Gay isn't a personality trait. If I don't care about the characters, I don't care what they're fighting for, and ultimately I don't care about the book.

Brighton, in particular, is The Worst, even though the book tries to force empathy for him several times. In the beginning, he's reckless to the point of endangering his friends and family all for the sake of getting those sweet, sweet views, and entirely lacks common sense (because you know, I want to film this war between magical people who will not hesitate to kill me, and who cares if I'm a burden to the Good Guys who are forced to protect me, right? ).



He's horrible, but not in a way that's unlikeable, because even the unlikeable protagonist has some trait of theirs that makes me want to root for them. Brighton has absolutely nothing going for him and, worse, he doesn't learn squat by the end of the book. He's still shallow. He still lacks common sense. He's still reckless. He's still madly obsessed with YouTube and views. I rolled my eyes multiple times at his utter foolishness.

And god, the writing is just awful. There are constant hollow attempts to be hip and cool as it drops cringe references to modern culture left and right, like to Instagram and viral videos and YouTube and Tumblr and even freakin' Lyft... There's a way it can be done so that it doesn't seem like that the only thing that matters in this world, but here, it entirely overshadows the fantasy aspects. Heck, there's more focus on Brighton's vlog than there is the freakin' magical creatures! You know, the phoenix on the cover? The thing that defines this book as fantasy???



Aside from that, the writing itself is juvenile and not what I'd expect from an established author. The metaphor usage is so jarring; it could be an intense scene with the weirdest comparisons that immediately break immersion.

She lands and kicks me in the ribs so hard, like I owe her money or something.


You're telling me Emil's getting his ass kicked, and he has the time and mental space to compare it to "owing her money"? And then to weaken the whole metaphor anyway by adding in "or something"? Hwat???



What also annoyed me to heck and back is the constant summarising of EVERYTHING. Take this one scene that has Emil and co. fighting a bunch of Bad Guys. As his cohorts are knocked aside, Emil must take charge.

In no time, the fire is spreading. I brave through the gray and gold flames. Iris is running behind me, and Altas flies above. I shout for Atlas to get Brighton and Prudencia out of here. I can't believe I'm out here giving instructions, but time is wasting. The higher I get up the steps, the more my rib cage aches.


As a composition technique, summarising should be used for scenes that need to be mentioned but are not important overall in the narrative arc, and I'd say that Emil taking charge for the first time since becoming a Good Guy is extremely important to his development.

Here's another scene. Someone spills Tragic Backstory to Emil...

I tell him I'm sorry for his loss, even though it's too many years too late.


Why not just have him say, "I'm sorry for your loss"? Especially when the other character ends up replying in dialogue anyway? This sort of writing is all over the book, and it's no wonder that the characters feel like hollow, lifeless plot devices when they're not afforded opportunities to become characters. It absolutely demolished the pacing, as it sped through anything and everything that could have fleshed out the characters and made me care for them more.

Let's not forget Silvera's tendency to create suspense... only for it to be solved two pages later with summary. Sigh.

There's no distinguishing trait between the voices in this book aside from the slang dropped in every other paragraph.

The Blood Casters have got me straight scared with how still they are.


Compare this writing to Angie Thomas. Thomas absolutely nails voice who happens to use slang, but here, dear god, I just want to shrivel with every 'straight up [blank]', '[blank] as hell', 'legit', 'go off' and 'no lie'. Here, there's just something really cringe about the execution, rather than a neat quirk of the POV's voices.

Also:

[…] so I got to be quick with fire if he comes for me.


No, this wasn't dialogue. Yes, this happens a handful of times. I suspect this was intentional but only comes across, like the plethora of slang, as irritating.

Finally I want to talk about the use of the Chosen One trope. Listen, I love this trope to heck and back, but if you're going to lampshade about how Emil is the Chosen One personified "just like in those comics" you have to at least subvert the trope and my expectations somehow, otherwise it comes off as campy. Which it did. Of course, Emil and co. getting powers when they most needed it was just so convenient for the plot.

Unfortunately, INFINITY SON is beleaguered with terrible writing, terrible world-building, and terrible characters. Just... terrible terrible terrible, all around. This has easily landed in my worst books of 2019. Like I said in my summary, this reads like a first draft that needs a huge structural edit. Not something I'll be able to buy in a few months.

If you want a book about phoenixes with great world-building? See CROWN OF FEATHERS instead.

WILL I READ ON? You know, despite everything, I didn't hate INFINITY SON. It's more disappointed anger than frustrated anger that I wanted to channel into this 1.4k review. It had it's so-bad-it's-good moments, you know? I guess if anyone's willing to give me a copy of the sequel to review I'd read it.

But otherwise, heck no.

(But I bet this'll still hit the NYT.)

eArc received from Simon and Schuster UK Children's in exchange for an honest review. This book releases 14th January 2020.

LAST REVIEW
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
673 reviews1,028 followers
December 1, 2020
Ok, so this wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. But it wasn’t great either 🤷‍♀️

I really enjoyed They Both Die at the End and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, i was excited to give this a go but I went in with trepidation as the reviews are pretty bad.

Emil and Brighton are twin brothers, and they have always dreamed that when they turn 18 they will gain the powers to become ‘celestials.’

But when Emil gets powers and Brighton doesn’t it tests their brotherhood to the max.

Main gripes were - I genuinely don’t know the difference between all the different magical beings Celestials, Spectres, Blood Walkers honestly not a clue. The world building is kind of just thrown at you and you have to pick up the pieces and figure out what’s what.

Also didn’t really like Emil’s character - very whiny. But then Brighton wasn’t much better, he was an ass. The secondary characters were better, but not very fleshed out.

If I take it at face value, it was action packed, but the twist at the end was obvious.

Might read the sequel when it comes out, will see.
August 23, 2021
”Like we’re both stars in the sky that aren’t close enough to shine brightly together”.

Ehmm.. En mi opinión, Adam Silvera debería seguir escribiendo libros contemporáneos porque creo que la fantasía no se le da muy bien.

En Infinity Son nos encontramos con un mundo futurista en el que hay personas con poderes, los celestials y los Spell Walkers, y personas que les han robado sus poderes a criaturas míticas, los specters. Emil y Brighton son dos gemelos que han crecido toda su vida admirando a los celestials y esperando que, de un momento a otro, quizá ellos mismos despierten sus poderes. Si bien Emil le sigue muchísimo el juego a su hermano, quien realmente está obsesionado con todo esto es Brighton. Incluso tiene un canal de YouTube sobre el tema. Sin embargo, en medio de un incidente, Emil despierta sus poderes y se ve arrastrado al mundo de los Spell Walkers y de una conspiración que pone en riesgo sus vidas. Y Brighton… bueno, él se queda un poco mirando desde las bancas y, en el fondo, envidiando muchísimo a su hermano.

¿Cuál fue mi problema con este libro? Que fue demasiado corto, todo sucedía obscenamente rápido y no tenía tiempo de entender absolutamente nada. Es decir, Adam Silvera escribe todo el libro prácticamente pretendiendo que nosotros, como lectores, ya sepamos cómo funciona este nuevo mundo con celestials, Spell Walkers y specters porque no hay prácticamente nada de worldbuilding. Es como si nos tiraran en medio de una arena de duelo sin que sepamos las reglas del juego. Eso me molestó muchísimo e hizo que no me conectara tanto con la historia.

Y es que tampoco conecté mucho con los personajes por esa misma razón de que no hay tiempo para conocerlos, para entender sus motivaciones… joder, es que incluso me costaba diferenciar a Emil y a Brighton por lo acelerado que era todo, de verdad.

Y es una lástima porque creo que Infinity Son tiene una premisa bastante interesante, que bebe muchísimo de los X-Men y cuya acción podría llegar a ser muy inmersiva. Pero los pasos acelerados a los que sucede todo hacen imposible disfrutar de la trama. ¡Y mucho menos del conflicto y las motivaciones de los enemigos! Ay, de verdad, la diferencia que hace un buen worldbuilding en los libros de fantasía.

Más allá de todo e incluso reconociendo que la última línea del libro es tremenda, creo que no me quedan ganas de seguir leyendo esta trilogía.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,336 reviews1,822 followers
January 18, 2020
Here's the thing. I didn't really want to be here, posting a review for a much hyped book that I clearly didn't like, but up until the 60% mark I was at least hoping to have one or two good things to say to warrant a two star "hey man, you tried, good on you" rating.

But no. I can't round up on this.

A combination of mostly annoying (oh god I wanted Brighton to go DIAF times infinity) and or doing-nothing-for-me characters, so little world building that I honestly only understood maybe like 15% of the structure of this universe (and literally, after everything, still don't know the difference between some of the classification/terms), and the weirdest prophecy or, like, Three Step Apocalypse plan ever? I just can't.

I pushed on just to finish this because I was sorta hoping there'd be something worth looking forward to in book two and, again, because for the most part it was mostly meh with just a little frustrating.. until we got near the end and it became mostly frustrating, with lots of meh, and two handfuls of added what-the-fuck-ery.

We flip from action scene to action scene and half the time these kids are bouncing back like they just didn't get their asses handed to them, while spouting the weirdest cheesey action drama dialogue, and.. yeah, I can't. Sorry. I don't even want to be writing this review anymore.

There's lots of rep in here, which is great, and I'm glad Silvera was able to realize his dreams to write a fantasy with the representation that not only all books deserve but also where he can see himself, and others in, but. But. This just wasn't a win for me in any way shape or form.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

---

This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,335 reviews120 followers
September 21, 2019
*Record scratch, freeze frame* So you're probably wondering how I got in this situation.

A couple days ago:
Friend: Hey I got an arc of Infinity Son do you want to borrow?
Me, knowing damn well I don't like Adam Silvera's writing: Sure!

And another 1 star book is born.

***

In other news: for as much as I've heard Adam Silvera talk about this book and how excited he was to write it, I really thought this would be a high fantasy but no. This is an urban fantasy with a magic system that never really makes any sense. Everything has tons of confusing and interchangeable names for things that aren't even explained either. Things are just dropped and we're just supposed to go, ah yes wands, specters, celestials, spell walkers, enforcers, cool cool.

This is a me thing but I hate books that never shut up about social media and this book really wouldn't stop. One of the MCs, Brighton, is a youtuber and besides being an annoying and awful person, that is his main personality trait. "Oh danger?? Better get my camera and check youtube! Oh my god 100k followers? I'm a hero!" Dude shut up I don't give a single shit about your follower count, think of something else for one second.

Emil is super whiny and annoying and he is also a little bit too self-inserty seeming to me. I don't know the author obviously but what I know of him and from the other books he's written? Yeah... interesting how they all seem to be the same kind of MC from him. Write what you know huh?

If the characters and the world-building weren't bad enough, this plot is yikes. While it had a lot of action, it was all so uninteresting and there kept being random twists that would come out of nowhere to be shocking but were just annoying. Plus out of nowhere there was random POV switches of people we didn't even know and that got me laughing. Everyone was super dramatic and cheesy too.

This book is literally a weird mashup fanfiction of Harry Potter and X-men. He also tries to shove a bunch of real world topics and commentary in here that was just so cringy it actually hurt. Wand violence y'all. Think before you reload your wand.

The writing was just... stop. The narration was SO bad. It was all such weird and cringe dialogue with strange slang like an adult trying to talk like a "cool" teenage while also probably being like how the author talks now. It's like writing a book and they don't just talk in awkward hipster meme language, they also think it. I had to stop a lot to screech, really.

To add to literally everything else, this book ends on a huge cliffhanger literally mid scene. Just... no. I'm happy that Adam Silvera has finally gotten to write the book of his dreams and I know this will have an audience who loves his style of writing, bizarreness, and attempts at humor but that isn't me. Best of luck, I want to pretend I never read this now.
Profile Image for Ashley Nuckles.
190 reviews7,300 followers
January 22, 2020
This was a decent first fantasy story! I liked Emil and Ness, but I couldn’t truly get into the fantasy part of this book, and some of the other characters felt a little rushed. Probably won’t read the sequel, but I still enjoyed my time reading this one! I’ll probably think of more to say later in my wrap up video but that’s all I’ve got now!
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
665 reviews5,333 followers
July 28, 2020
The Problems With Infinity Son Are ∞

Are we surprised? At least it's *slightly* better than What If It's Us. If you’d like to see me talk about this book, I have a bit of a scathing review on my booktube channel explaining why I gave this 1 star: https://youtu.be/spVsIQQLFws
Profile Image for Sol ~ TheBookishKing.
302 reviews177 followers
August 3, 2019
This book had so many elements that would have made me It's Bitch.

~ queer Latino main characters
~ a beautiful cover
~ magic and magical birds
~ Latinx families and upbringing

but this felt like I was reading a little kids third-grade free time essay ,,, it's messy, the writing isn't good at all, the storyline is so jumbled it just doesn't make sense, and on top of that this magic system isn't explained at ALL and it just throws you in expecting you to just know what all these terms mean. After making it 30% in, I still for the life of me could not be able to explain to you in full what a Celestial is, does, or how they get their powers. I wouldn't be able to explain to you where these Phoenixes' come from or their importance cause all of their info is just dumped into two little paragraphs for you to HEAVILY decipher in order to remember all these birds.

I'm so heavily disappointed but oh well, July just hated me. Oh, I did DNF this but like, there's no possible way this could have got better so I wasn't going to torture myself.

BR w/ my homie, Kels

Profile Image for Nataliya.
714 reviews11.4k followers
October 29, 2020
I usually quite like Adam Silvera’s books, so it actually hurts me to be this disappointed.

But this book was simply a mess. A poorly paced disjointed story with shoddy worldbuilding, indistinct almost interchangeable and poorly developed characters, an abundance of cliches, and therefore overall amateur feel. It rushes past you without ever becoming atmospheric, without ever making you care about the world and the people it depicts, and because of that is easily forgettable.

I’m glad this was not my first Silvera book. Had it been so, I would have not picked up any of his other stories. At least I know that this is just a disappointing misstep for quite a decent writer.

To sum up: Meh.
Profile Image for Cody Roecker.
792 reviews
February 21, 2021
update: 2/21/21

finished my reread just under two weeks before the release of INFINITY REAPER and there are so many genius moments in this book like daaaaaamn

UPDATE 7/20:

Dreams have come true. I have finished this brutal book, and am so incredibly in love with each and every character.









Update: 7/13/19

Hell. Fucking. Yes. I. Need. This. Now.

Update: 12/2/18
Honestly it doesnt matter what this is, I'm sure to love it, and its sure to burn me to ashes so...I'm ready for.it
update 5/26/17: I have a theory that probably isn't true but would be cool.

what if this is the Scorpius Hawthorne series that are mentioned in his other books? I would die, tbh.



I am assuming we are going to be getting some sort of gay fantasy with epic magic systems and political intrigue; and that it will be one of the most amazing things ever because duh, it's Adam.
Profile Image for Linaria.
696 reviews43 followers
August 5, 2019
Wow. Well, that will be my last Adam Silvera novel. I hope he finds his audience, but it is not me. The whole narration style is written as if by a 15-year-old boy, 5 years in the past. So the whole book is stuffed with what feels antiquated slang. Coupled with the super casual narration that uses absurd comparisons, and I just couldn't. The writing style will work for someone, that someone is not me.

The plot is a mash-up of x-men and Harry Potter with much better diversity. Unfortunately, I think the author crammed about 5 seasons worth of material in this book. I found the pace to be quite fast, with no real narrative structure. Once the action started on page 50 or so, it was full speed ahead until the end of the book. Every second sentence had some absurd revelation that was used as a cheap trick to keep the reader hooked. I would certainly have appreciated more time for a breather because people changed their minds and motives so quickly I might as well have been watching a game of pong.
Profile Image for Xandra (StarrySkyBooks).
116 reviews147 followers
Want to read
July 30, 2019
UPDATE #2: It happened. I received the notice this morning! I got an eARC! 😭

//

UPDATE: ADAM JUST RELEASED THE TITLE - It’s called “Infinity Son” !!!! - AND ITS GOING TO BE A SERIES?? I AM NOT OKAY
SOMEONE HOLD ME


✨(PS I also made a blog post!) ✨

//

Fantasy AND Adam Silvera? Count me 110% in.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,039 reviews348 followers
November 14, 2019
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Infinity Son is the story of two brothers, power wars and phoenixes as a vigilante group rises up against those who seek to steal magic for themselves.

Although I liked the premise for this, I unfortunately think it was poorly executed. For one, there are too many perspectives, making the story unnecessarily confusing and convoluted. The world building is also none existent, with the magical system hardly explained at all leaving too many unexplained elements and unanswered questions. On finishing, I still couldn’t tell you exactly what Spell Walkers can really do, or why. It feels almost as thought the author tried to ground the fantasy world within our own and then add bits of magic to it as an afterthought, and it just all felt a bit messy as a result.

I also found the main characters unlikeable, or boring. Brighton is single minded, self centred and condescending - especially to his brother, who he’s suppose to love unconditionally. That love didn’t really come across to me, and felt forced. However, at least he was memorable. Emil by comparison is just a bit weak willed, and boring. He wants a quiet life, and it shows. He’s rather lack lustre, one dimensional and completely forgettable. I will say that I liked his diversity, and felt that this aspect of his personality was a breath of fresh air to the genre. I just wish he was a better, full rounded character to represent the LGBTQ community more positively within the fantasy genre. All the other characters are also forgettable and bland. I feel like the author should have concentrated on building the personality of the brothers more, instead of diluting their personalities by adding in all these different (uninteresting) perspectives.

I also found the plot predictable, full of tropes and cliches and painfully slow paced. There was nothing exciting about it, and when combined with my dislike for the characters I ended up not caring at all about the story. Full of promise, but this one failed to deliver.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
475 reviews243 followers
August 26, 2019
I can't fucking believe that I got a ARC of this book.

This had a unique concept (that I think wasn't executed as well as it could have been), multiple pov, a okay writing and LGBT representation.

-----

ARC received from publishers via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review


Official release date: 14th January 2020.
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