Spoiler-free Reviews: Books

The Power by Naomi Alderman

What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?
Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed. 



I have got kind of into female revenge lately, so I was keen to give this a go. I was also interested in the electric-based powers. It seemed like a really strong concept.

Unfortunately, as I think is the case for most high concept novels, the book fell down for me. I mean, it kept me reading, I was vaguely interested in the characters, but I was expecting to be blown away, and instead it kind of fell flat.

Characters: The characters were interesting and I enjoyed being along for their journeys. I was mildly invested in them, but as a reader, I’m a fan of strong characters that pop off the page and grab my heart. The characters in The Power didn’t do that.

Worldbuilding: The worldbuilding was ok. It had a distinct feel of a dystopic society, but I felt that the change in the way the world and society worked could have been focused on more. There was a lot of potential to develop that and make the book stronger, and it wasn’t done.

Story: It didn’t feel like there was a plot, as such. It was more a snapshot of a few peoples’ lives. It was very individually focused and less about the over-arching big world plot. If this style is something you’re into, then I’d recommend The Power, but it didn’t work for me.

Format: The Power has a cool archivist format. It’s set up as a book someone has written about the history of the world with regards to the change in women and society. There are archival illustrations and emails between the author of the fictional book and a friend/advisor (who I think is the actual author). It’s pretty cool.

Content and Triggers: There is a lot of rape, male rape, assault, torture and gore in this.

Rating: 3/5




The Quick Start Guide to Your Writing Life

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

andrew-gudgelby Andrew Gudgel

Thank you for purchasing our product, which we hope will give you many years of use and satisfaction.

  1. Power up your Writing Life by pressing the button marked “Birth” and holding it for nine months.
  2. The “Childhood” screen should now appear. Adjust the sliders for “Precocious Scribbling,” “Teenage Angst,” “Voracious Reading,” and “Feeling Different From Everyone Else” to your desired levels. Remove the orange plastic cover from the vulnerability port and discard. Press continue when done.
  3. The “Genre” screen should appear next. Select one or more of the “Poetry,” “Translation,” “Fiction,” “Nonfiction,” “Hybrid,” or “What the hell is this thing?” check boxes. Press refresh to begin download of the appropriate skill libraries. This may take some time, especially over a slow connection. The optional modules “MFA,” “Workshop,” and “Writing Book” are available for purchase separately. See our website for details. Press continue when done.
  4. The “Obstacles” screen…

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The Cost of Kindness

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

“I’m so excited about your new draft,” I say to my dear writer friend.

“Could you just look over my pages?” she asks.

I am delighted to help. She’s a good writer, I like reading her work, she’s read my work and she’ll read it again. I dive into the document and realize there’s a problem—not with her writing, which is solid, but with the dramatic structure. The book starts in the wrong place. I work through the first couple chapters, commenting as I go, editing a few errant sentences along the way, then think through ideas and questions and put them in an order I think will best help her. Everything gets typed up and emailed back.

In my inbox are four people who need information or a connection. I like them all, they all deserve my time. Send-send-send-send.

My husband asks if I’ll tape a voiceover for his…

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