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The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

av Akemi Dawn Bowman

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563368,882 (3.58)Ingen/inga
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Visar 3 av 3
teen science fiction/fantasy (artificial intelligence in the afterlife)

Great debut novel; I liked the diverse representation (not really part of the story, but there if you look for it). If you are into AI, then you'll love this--if you're not really into AI, it maybe drags a little bit in the middle, but picks up, actionwise, again at the end.

Not sure what to think about the ending. Surprising, certainly. It does seem to want a sequel... and I probably wouldn't mind reading that.

Parental notes: there is fantasy violence and real violence (the shooting at the beginning, plus the stabbing of souls is real enough); there is a kissing scene that leads to cuddling (what happens in between is left up to reader). ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
There is no doubt that The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman has an interesting premise. After all, for as long as progress occurs, humans harbor a fear that the technology we crave could prove to be our downfall. So, when the Alexa surrogate known as Ophelia turns out to be real and has found a way to take over Ms. Bowman’s version of an afterlife, she simply feeds into that fear.

Unfortunately, what The Infinity Courts has in potential because of its premise, it lacks in execution. Frankly, the main character, Nami, is insufferable. She spends ten percent of her afterlife worrying about her loved ones still alive and lamenting her death, which I can get. Her death is a tragedy, and she has every right to mourn the end of her life just as she was on the cusp of adulthood. It is how she spends the rest of her time that causes all the problems.

Nami spends 80 percent of her afterlife repeatedly asking herself the same questions about humanity and mankind’s inherent goodness. Once again, I can sort of understand why this is an obsession for her. After all, Ophelia takes over Infinity because she deems humans unworthy and too evil to create an environment in which electronic minds can coexist with human minds. Yet, almost every other page has her asking the same damn questions. After four hundred pages, I cannot stress the tediousness of her lamentations enough.

To make matters even worse, Nami spends the rest of her time ignoring all the well-meant advice and plans of her fellow colonists because she determined that her ideas are the only ones with merit. Maybe it is my age showing, but Nami ignoring the experiences of others rubbed me the wrong way. She professes to be so mature and yet so scared to do anything, but she is way too quick to ignore hard-won lessons and plans. She espouses the importance of seeing all sides, but she turns a blind eye to everything the colonists tell her. The hypocrisy, however unintentional, really bothered me.

Combine that with a completely predictable and unnecessary love story, and The Infinity Courts becomes another lackluster fantasy story. In truth, it is at least 100 pages too long and requires some major editing to limit the number of times Nami agonizes over whether humans can be good, the not-so-veiled analogy between the Residents instead of BIPOC or LBGTQ+ notwithstanding. ( )
  jmchshannon | Apr 21, 2021 |
Fans of the author will already know that she has the most beautiful writing style and the prose is as stunning as always in this offering. This is the first sci-fi from Akemi, a departure from her usual contemporary genre, but it’s just as beautiful and full of emotional moments.

The action begins with eighteen-year-old Nami being murdered and waking up in Infinity, an afterlife created from human consciousness. She quickly finds herself part of a rebellion of aware humans who are trying to destroy the AIs that control Infinity. Technology and the potential of AI is used to explore what makes us human and it’s hard to decide where the line is between human consciousness and advanced AI.

The world-building is layered, rich and extensive, utterly engrossing the reader and I can’t wait to explore more of this world in the next book. Nami is a captivating main character and her inner conflict and questioning are so relatable. She understands there are different types of prisons and that the urge for freedom is shared by both humans and AI. Her main strength though is her huge capacity for hope and fervent belief in the possibility of change.

As is to be expected of a book by Akemi, this is a thought-provoking and complex tale. The well-paced plot is elevated by a number of memorable characters and you’ll be begging for the next book by the end. THE INFINITY COURTS is a beautifully written and captivating tale set in an inventive world and anchored by a sympathetic protagonist. Exploring questions of freedom, grief, and humanity, this is definitely not one to miss. ( )
  ScorpioBookDreams | Apr 7, 2021 |
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This one is for the readers. Thank you for following me into Infinity.
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