A review by librovert
Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson

3.0

Alif the Unseen is nothing if not unique. In part a fantasy world where The Thousand and One Days is a book that belongs to the jinn, the book has an urban fantasy flair to it. But it is also part sociopolitical commentary in the form of Alif, a hacktivist who finds himself caught in the middle of a rising rebellion against his state in the Middle East.

The books prologue started off with a strong fantasy vibe and then it backed off when it jumps to the present. It seemed a little odd with the way the book was set up and I would have liked to get more in depth into the fantasy aspect of the book.

I thought the character were well crafted (except Intisar, Alif's love interest - I could have done without her entirely) and believable. The story was entertaining and eye-opening all at once. The novel explores aspects of the Arabic world from religion to their views on Americans (though I did feel some of this was stereotypically contrived) and the effect of social media on the ability to organize and rebel against a goverment.

Definitely an interesting read. I'm glad I read it, but I'm wasn't completely enamored by it.