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Alif the Unseen
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2014 Reads > AtU: Finished and Pleasantly Surprised?

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Buzz Park (buzzpark) | 347 comments I was very skeptical about this book, both because I am less a fan of fantasy than science fiction in general (I often skip the fantasy pics), and because of the religious and social nature of the story. I'm generally very wary of being "preached at" in the fiction I read.

HOWEVER, I downloaded the sample and become intrigued with this story, as it is more of an urban fantasy that what I expected. I finished it today and really enjoyed it, though there are times when one definitely have to make a concerted effort to press the "I Believe" key in order to continue with the plot. (view spoiler).

Also, while I have a radically different religious perspective and world-view than the author, I found much of the religious and social dialogue to be respectful and thought provoking. This is a difficult task for such subjects, so kudos to G. Willow Wilson.

All said and done, the book was a pleasant surprise and I gave this story a solid four stars. :-)

(BTW, I posted these comments in another discussion, but since I finished the book, I thought it might be a good seed for a new topic. Not sure if that is a faux pas or not...)

Amanda (amandaquotidianbooks) | 50 comments I, too, was pleasantly surprised by this book. I, in fact, loved it! I re-listened to podcast #112 where V & T interview G. Willow Wilson. I'm now ransacking my local library to catch up on her other works. She is now one of my be-on-the-lookout-for-new-stuff authors!

message 3: by Art (new) - rated it 5 stars

Art | 190 comments Though I expected to like this book going into it (it sounded right up my street) I was also surprised by it because it didn't end up being like I had expected it to be. I didn't expect it to focus so much on the current day middle east, but it was so well written and she handled all the subject matter extremely well. It got a full 5 stars from me.

kvon | 562 comments I enjoyed the mix of computers and jinn society. The intervals in the jinn world were lovely. The whole bit with the Book of Days, from the stories to the tower to the last chapter, was interesting. I'm glad I read it. (But I wouldn't give it to my hard sf friends.)

I've no idea how realistic the Muslim setting was, but I liked the varied religious views of the characters, and that it was a setting I don't see often.

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments I also found the book a bit preachy at times, but you're right I didn't mind it since it was preachy in an interesting thought-provoking way.

Scott | 312 comments The beginning was a real chore for me to get into. The whole coming of age feeling to it annoyed me. But, once I got to the main plot of the story, I really started to enjoy it and ended up giving it 4 stars on here

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments My enjoyment started going up right around the introduction of the character Sheik Belal.

message 8: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments It was refreshing to read something different for a change.

Jawohl I may be in the minority here but I couldn't disagree with this more.

I found the book forced and blunt. I was truly interested when I first started but towards the end I was reading just to finish.

Characters were just there. If there was character growth at all it was small at best (view spoiler)

I will say that I enjoyed the authors ability to convey the "feeling in the air" during different scenes. You can sense the anxiety or the awe of certain moments. unfortunately my praise has to end here.

Misti (spookster5) | 490 comments I was pleasantly surprised as well. If it hadn't been for the book club, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance at the bookstore. Swords and sorcery are the kind of fantasy books I usually crave but I'm glad that I read this book.

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