Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
Akemi Dawn Bowman is one of my favourite authors and an insta-buy author for me. I cannot lie to you and say I was completely calm about the switch between contemporary to sci-fi and fantasy genre for Akemi, even though I know the author is absolutely incredible. Contemporary is my favourite genre and I really struggle with fantasy novels, so going into this I did not know what to expect. I was blown away with how much I enjoyed this one though!
This book has such an amazing concept, which is what originally intrigued me to the story. I enjoy stories that show different versions of an ‘afterlife’ because they get me thinking. This ‘afterlife’ is so interesting due to it being run by a virtual assistant that humans used on Earth. It shows us as readers what it really means to be humans. I found the world building in this novel very easy to understand which helped me to enjoy the novel more.
I enjoyed the discussions that this book brings up. Such as, what it means to be human and who controls what in our lives. It really got me thinking about some philosophical questions which I loved. Akemi always touches on a few key themes in her books such as family, identity and grief. These topics play a huge part in the character development and inner conflict that Nami is facing. Akemi has such a way with writing these topics. You can tell she puts a lot of thought and consideration into how that are written, especially given that they are such difficult topics and it really makes for excellent reading.
Nami is a wonderful main character. She is curious, kind, considerate and she is going through a little bit of an identity crisis. Nami goes from struggling with her identity as she goes through graduation to someone who has to come to terms with dying and being in ‘Infinity’. I loved her character and how she went about making decisions, some of which were incredibly difficult. It is clear to see her heart is always in the right place.
The secondary characters in this book are also excellent. My personal favourites being the Princes of Infinity or more specifically, Caelan. There is also the band of characters from the resistance who I loved. Of course, there is also the villain Queen Ophelia who I like to think of as Alexa turned evil. The readers get to know certain characters more than others but I am sure we will learn more about the others in the next book in the series!
I have to admit that at times I struggled with the pacing of this book. The book starts out being all about action and then it slows down quite a lot. This took me out of enjoying the book for a while and made it so I struggled to want to pick it up again. But, very quickly, the pacing picks back up and then I found it to be unputdownable!
Overall, The Infinity Courts is packed full of twists and turns and it is a thought-provoking and all-round excellent read. I highly recommend giving this one a go if you are fan of fantasy and sci-fi novels. Also, if you have read Akemi’s previous novels and are looking to dive into different genres, this may just be the perfect route!