Alif the Unseen

G. Willow Wilson
Alif the Unseen Cover

Alif the Unseen


This is one of the best books that I've read so far this year. I can tell you that because I actually read every word. Now I don't know about you, but when the prose gets too convoluted, or the descriptions tedious, or there's no activity then I skip paragraphs and sometimes whole pages. I never did that with this book. So full marks for the writing.

The plot is pretty basic really: it's about a man who has woman trouble and we all know how those things turn out, don't we? The method of getting from start to end of the story isn't anything particularly special and it is let down by the ending and the amazing coincidences that occur to help move the action forward. The interesting part about the book is the location with a Middle-Eastern settng, a religious backdrop and djinn providing the fantasy element.

The characters sort of work. I'm not too convinced on "the convert", though as my knowledge of all things Middle-Eastern is pretty slim, this is another reason why this book worked for me. All I can assume is the sociology is correct.

All-in-all a solid book.