The Power- Review
Word of caution, there are some mild spoilers. Nothing major, but if you want to be completely surprised then skip to the bottom for my overall opinion.
The Power is set in the near future; teenage girls develop a power to conduct powerful electrical charges through some “twist of nature” and can awaken the same power in any woman they want. The book follows four main characters from vastly different backgrounds whose lives interconnect in surprising and meaningful ways as they navigate this new world.
First and foremost, a HUGE trigger warning for this book. This book can get pretty graphic at times when Alderman describes the scenes of violence and rape the characters witness, partake in, and sometimes are victims of. The spin here is that it’s not men doing most of the damage, but women. I have to say, there were some really tough things to read here. One scene in particular where a refugee camp was raided was really hard to read but that’s part of what made me like this book so much.
It’s a bit difficult to review and rate this book for a variety of reasons. There was a clearly defined plot and story arc but the book is very much more so a commentary on rape, rape culture, feminism, and society’s attitude towards women. So I wouldn’t go in expecting a typical “story” per se. I did find most of the characters very interesting and I was drawn into their own problems and issues. In the scene mentioned above I was on the edge of my seat and had to take a breather before I went to work, I was THAT drawn into the scene and Alderman’s writing alone has my hopes high for whatever her next release will be.
I hear Alderman’s message too, loud and clear. Throughout the book, you can’t help but think “Oh this is terrible. How could this happen?” but in many ways and in many places, it already has. At one point a “pro male” activist talks about men being afraid to walk down the street for fear of what a woman will do to them and how woman feel entitled to say what they want and do what they want because they have the power. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, I suggest you ask any group six women you meet. Statistics show at least one of them has been a victim of attempted or completed rape.
I gave this book five out of five stars because I could not put it down. It’s not a pretty world that Alderman paints, but it’s an enthralling one with very interesting characters and a powerful message. This isn’t “This is what would happen if women had this power” this is “Look at what horrible things happen when the balance of power is so unfairly shifted to one side, then look around you.” I have included an affiliate link if you’d like to purchase a copy yourself.