Book Review: Alif the Unseen

Alif the UnseenI really enjoyed this story. It begins with Alif, who helps people hide from the government on the Internet, suffer from woman problems — a rich girl he fell in love with is marrying another man. When she says it’s best if she never sees him again, he takes this to heart — he writes a computer program designed to keep her from ever being able to get in contact with him again. This leads to interesting complications and suddenly the government takes an unhealthy interest in what he’s been doing.

This book had philosophy, religion, magic, stories that are not just stories, and even a little romance. It is set in the Middle East, and it was refreshing to read something that wasn’t American-centric.

This is a stand-alone fantasy, which is rare in this genre. I haven’t read it and then immediately needed to go track down another book, although I will be checking out other books by this author because it was well-written and well-characterized.

The only reason I went with four stars instead of five is that there were parts of this book that I had trouble following. There was a sort of fine line between computer programming and magic that I had a hard time identifying, and that at moments didn’t quite ring true. But these moments didn’t define the story, and I mostly really enjoyed this.

I recommend to any fantasy fan who wants to try something a little bit different — this is unique!

Rating 4/5

Title: Alif the Unseen

Author: G. Willow Wilson

Published June 2012

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy and tagged , , , , .