Alif the Unseen

G. Willow Wilson
Alif the Unseen Cover

Alif the Unseen


Alif the Unseen - G. Willow Wilson

Alif the Unseen is not quite a coming of age story as the main character, Alif, is in his twenties. He seems to personify the typical hacker stereotype - a young adult living at home, in this case with his mother. The setting reminds me very much of that of Palace Walk, the first novel in the Cairo trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz. Adult children live at home until they are married. Men seem to have little to do and women aren't allowed to do much that doesn't involve taking care of the house. This book is a cross between cyberpunk and fantasy as the djinn play a major role in the story. The plot is pretty simple - boy has girl problems and can't see the perfect one right in front of his face. The story gets a bit bogged down at the end when the action doesn't seem to want to stop, i.e. how many times can the bad guy come after you in the span of an hour. Overall, this book isn't a bad one, but it did not live up to the hype that comes with an award winning book.