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The Electric Kingdom

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  919 ratings  ·  306 reviews
When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published February 9th 2021 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  919 ratings  ·  306 reviews

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Jenny Lawson
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This book was weird as hell in a really good way. It stuck with me and now I want to read it again to see all the pieces I missed. Like if Walking Dead and Phantom Tollbooth had a baby.

Slightly off topic: I don't understand why YA books are so much cheaper than "adult" books when they're so often just as fascinating for any age.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest from David Arnold's seriously f*cking exciting brain (see: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, a personal favorite) is a postapocalyptic nesting doll of a tale, full of tricky resonances and moments of grace. It's luminously compassionate, ceaselessly inventive, and seriously ambitious, and it all just WORKS.

It also happens to be a really really good read for this particular time. Other times, also. Just saying I think it's Timely.
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
It's scary how I can just imagine pandemics and relate to them so easily nowadays 😅
In this story, if you venture outside and you're not careful - hordes of mutated flies will carry you off and eat you so yeah you do NOT wanna get caught up in that.

Discussed in my March Wrap Up video

What made this book for me was one of the characters, a 12 year old boy called Kit, who made me feel all the feelings - I FELT ALL THE THINGS; afraid, excited, confused. Especially wh
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-novels
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Penguin Teen) for promotional purposes.

I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5.

Wow. This was such an interesting book (in a good way)!

When I first started reading it, I was a little confused about what was going on. You get thrown into the world without much explanation. But as the book went on, it was all slowly revealed.

I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but I will say it is sort of circular and kind of trip
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book! I was drawn to this book both by its fabulous cover and its description. I just love a good end of the world story and this one sounded different than others I have read. I found this book to be engaging from the start and before long it became impossible to put down. I found this book to be quite entertaining as well as thought-provoking and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to give it a try.

This bo
Justin A Reynolds
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
LEMME BE REAL: this book MADE ME FEEL THE THINGS I love most in stories: afraid, seen, devastated, buoyed, & tbh wholly envious I didn't write it 1st, haha. This story is about connectedness and the resilience of even the most broken of people. This story is humanity at its most earnest, at its most vulnerable, at its most hopeful. I loved it. ...more
Celia McMahon
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Huge thanks to BookishFirst and Viking Books for their awesomeness in letting me read this book ahead of its release date.

If you're looking to get your mind blown, you've come to the right place. I'm not talking about my review (that may come off as rambling and full of run-on sentences because THIS BOOK MAKES ME SO EXCITED). I'm talking about David Arnold's latest release which very well may be his best book yet, and I am not lying. David, you cannot outdo this. This was your life's work and no
Angela Staudt
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Five brilliant stars for this absolutely amazing book. Honestly, I don’t know how Arnold continues to write such fascinating books but he did it again. The Electric Kingdom takes place post-apocalypse where swarms of flies killed off almost everyone and everything. Nico and her dog have set out to find a place called Manchester and maybe a secret portal. Nico on her journey finds more survivors, one of them be
Erin (erinevelynreads)
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When the catastrophic Fly Flu leaves the world in shambles, few survivors remain. Among the remaining, is eighteen-year-old Nico and her father in an old farmhouse in rural Northern New Hampshire. As Nico’s father’s mental state declines, he sends her and her dog Harry on a journey through the woods to Manchester to find and open a mythical portal. Nearby the farmhouse is someone known only as "the Deliverer" who has lived Life after Life in pursuit of changing the course of events that led to n ...more
Karen’s Library
My favorite genre is apocalyptic/post apocalyptic. I’d heard really good things about this book so knew I needed to have it.

Well, I just finished and as I turned that last page, my body exploded with goosebumps... Those wonderful emotional kind that lets you know your world was just rocked.

This book was haunting, beautiful, twisty, and very mind-blowing.

In the year 2025, the world basically ends because of a fly flu. Nico and her parents, Kit and his family, and Lennon and his adopted family al
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
If you’ve read David’s other stories, you know the characters come first and the plot next. And by characters I mean the the people and the world building, which plays a critical role in The Electric Kingdom. While most YA stories drop you in the middle of the action, The Electric Kingdom slowly unrolls the world through a variety of experiences.

You have the adults, who lived in the before. Before a deadly pandemic swept the world. The world we currently live in. You have the youth, Nico and Ki
Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
QUICK TAKE: I am huge fan of post-apocalyptic books, so I was biased heading into The Electric Kingdom. Still, having read a lot of books in the genre, TEK still manages to carve out its own space and feels unique and fresh enough to stand apart from other similar books. Arnold does a good job building a world ravaged by a pandemic brought on by ravenous and deadly flies (there's a truly scary scene in a church that had me on the edge of my seat). That being said, what really set the book apart ...more
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I know I’ve read a good book when I sit while the tears dry on my face unable to do anything but process what I just read. Wow...and I think it makes it better and yet more horrific how much I can see our current disasters lead us to a place at least similar to this imagined future. In this world 2025 leads to an almost life ending dual set of apocalypses. Humans attempted to mutant the fly with a disease to create a weapon and instead created something uncontrollable that would consume next to ...more
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
★★★★★ 4.5/5

thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc!

my initial thoughts after finishing this book were “...what the fuck” and i think that is a beautiful metaphor for the entire book

this was some weird shit and i loved it. it seems like one of those books that is just BEGGING to be reread because of all the easter eggs and clues you would pick up on that you hadn’t before. the whole thing is incredibly confusing but in that good way in which you know you’re gonna watch everything unf
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost: WOW. This book is lyrically gorgeous on par with "Station Eleven," exploring the beauty of humanity even in an abandoned world. Arnold's writing is a poetic, lush experience, populated with realistic and kind characters.

And then: the plot begins twisting and unfolding and doubling back on itself, and I realized how exquisitely structured the story is -- like Arnold's last novel, "The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik" (another favorite of mine), reality is what Arnold ma
Kylie Clark
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another book from my favorite author of all time? Miracles truly do exist. I already know this is going to be outstanding, as usual.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

This book was simply lovely! I was quite excited for it from the premise alone, but getting into it, I realized how very emotional of a story it would be. The main characters are alone- not just without family and loved ones, but without a WORLD. The author does a tremendous job of painting the landscape of this desolation, how empty it feels. It's haunting, and incredibly thought-provoking, as I was unable to refrain from considering how I would handle such a situation (not well, frankly).

Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not something I would have typically picked up but I fell in love with the cover and the story behind it blew me away.

This is the first book by this author that I have read and I would definitely be interested in more.

It is told from different perspectives in a post apoplectic world and the way everything comes full circle is fascinating.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
4.5 rounded up.

This book blew my mind! The Electric Kingdom is about eighteen-year-old Nico who is one of the last survivors of the Fly Flu (think COVID-19 but somehow even more frightening). I found the plot to be quite similar to another book I read recently (hint: it starts with “Re” and ends with “cursion”) but I thought The Electric Kingdom was easier to understand without all of the scientific terminologies. The story grabbed me from the very first page and I quickly finished it in just a
4.5/5 Stars

*I received a free ARC of this book from BookishFirst and the publisher, Viking Books, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.*

The Electric Kingdom tells the story of a world in the not-so-distant future ravaged by a deadly Fly Flu, leaving a shell of the world behind and few survivors doing everything in their power to stay alive. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog Harry, on a quest devised by Nico’s father
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story follows three points of view: a close third on Nico, a teenage girl; a close third on Kit, a twelve year old boy; and a first person narration of the Deliverer, a mysterious figure. I liked Nico's sections, and was intrigued, if not fully invested, in the Deliverer's. However, I found that KIt's sections really made the book drag and didn't quite fit with the story. I feel like the entire book would have flowed more smoothly if it had primarily been narrated by Nico with interludes fr ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you @PenguinTeen and @IAmDavidArnold for providing me with a free physical ARC of The Electric Kingdom to read and review! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TW: Harry Potter references.

I finished this book yesterday and my mind is still traveling down the rabbit hole. When I picked it up, I could not put it back down, inhaling it in its entirety as if it were air. This is one of those novels that will stick with you long after you read it. David Arnold has the ability to sweep you along
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
"The world was a sinking ship. Like it or not, we were going down together."

While reading The Electric Kingdom, I couldn't help but compare it to the world we are currently living in, and it left me feeling uneasy in a way I haven't experienced from a book in a long time.

People dying from an unexplained flu. (Covid.)
Murderous bee-mutants. (Murder hornets.)
A government that seemed to pacify its constituents instead of having their best interests at heart. (insert 😖 emoji here.)

But it also le
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it

The writing was beautiful.

I enjoyed the characters.

But I'll be honest, I prefer my YA a little more straight forward. This book was above my head, or above my desire to engage enough to understand and appreciate it.
Post apocalyptic + fantasy + scifi + circular timeline + a philosophical take on what makes life beautiful.

I love a lot of those things, but it was too much for me to swallow all together in what I thought would be a quick, easy YA read. Sometimes we want predictable.

Tomes And Textiles
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm done and I'm devastated. Full review coming this week. ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The earth is 4.54 billion years old,” said Kit. “Humans have been around for 200,000 years. The planet could blink and miss us. Our extinction would be a return to the status quo.”

Electric Kingdom by David Arnold is a bit of a mind-bender and I admit, there’s a few chapters that I went back to reread just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. This is a book that I’ll be reflecting on and thinking about for quite some time.

The entire world construct that Mr. Arnold developed is both be
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2/10/21: Now I'm listening to the audio to get the full effect


Outstanding. Arnold can write one heck of a book. I cannot wait to write my review.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is David Arnold's most beautifully written, high concept and ambitious book and I'm legit-no-hyperbole in awe of it. Finishing it actually left me speechless-twice. Hopefully, after the third time, I'll be more articulate. ...more
Mind-bending, time-twisty, heartbreaking, beautiful.
David Arnold’s novels are reminiscent of A. S. King’s: you never quite know where you’re going to end up, but it’s always worth the ride.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You can read my full review on my blog, We Write at Dawn

I won an ARC of The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold from BookishFirst, so thank you BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for sending me a copy! I was pulled in by the premise and the first few chapters and wow, this book only gets better from there! I absolutely loved this story and once I got halfway through I physically could not put this book down.

Heading into this book, we get to see the world as it ends. From two POVs, Nico and Kit, we see h
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David Arnold is the New York Times bestselling author of The Electric Kingdom, Mosquitoland, Kids of Appetite, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, which has been optioned for film by Paramount. He has won the Southern Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award, and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for his debut. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. He liv ...more

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