Book Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

the-powerWhat’s it about?

In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.



My thoughts

This was recommended to me as a good book club read that would provoke an interesting discussion, so I took the plunge and chose it as our read for January.  The group met last week and well let’s just say you can’t will them all, well not even 2 or 3 as it turns out.  I was somewhat wary of picking it as it was nearly £10.00 to buy as a hardback and at the time all the library copies were on loan but I went ahead anyway.

The book’s premise held such promise, intrigue and ultimately something very different which is predominantly why I went with it.  As a group we’d never read anything like that, picking considerably safer choices, so this was really out of all our comfort zones.

You only really get a small taste of what the book is about from the blurb, in this world the women hold all the physical power and therefore times and circumstance are very different.  Men are on curfew, allowed out only with a female sponsor, women are taking over the world and nothing now can stop them.  Stop and think for a minute, if this could actually happen, how would you react differently in your day to day life?  Would you go out and beat up and rape men just because you could?  It is complete role reversal! It’s a struggle for women in reality and it’s still a struggle for women in this fictionalised world where they have all the power.

There were some really interesting points raised in this book and my ramblings are just that, incoherence at its finest I’m afraid.  I just can’t get my head round this book at all.  I didn’t really like it that much, and neither did my group, I didn’t like one of the violent scenes and felt the author could have made her point just as clearly without it.  Thinking about it now, the only bits that stick in my mind are the negative parts, it was brutal and cruel and I haven’t come away from it with any positivity.

The ending was also confusing and a bit rushed, it read like the author had had this amazing idea, wrote what she could but then struggled to finish it within a word count – hence the letters scenario at the start and end.  Some of the group members mentioned they thought this was a targeted YA read and would younger people question these kinds of things or just lap up the violence and girls running the world (I think they should give them more credit but hey ho).

I could ramble on some more but I’ve had enough now, definitely one of those books you need to have a chat with someone after though, even just to try and detangle everything in your head.  Overall, this is one of those books that you have to read and decide for yourself because everyone will have different thoughts and feelings about its content and outcome.  Final word – bizarre!

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 352
Publisher:  Viking


  1. 28th February 2017 / 10:58 am

    Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t work for you or your book club! It’s such a brilliant role reversal book. I still think about it every now and then. But no, it’s not a very “enjoyable” book because it’s very violent and graphic in places.
    At least you can all say you gave something different a try, I guess!

    • 28th February 2017 / 7:48 pm

      Well I took a chance and it didn’t pay off this time, some you win some you lose 🙂

  2. 3rd March 2017 / 7:49 am

    The idea is intriguing though… the role reversal.

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