Book Review: The Power, a novel by Nancy Alderman

Arts & Culture Book Review

By Jess Ward, Staff Writer

Naomi Alderman’s The Power offers an alternate future reality in which matriarchy has overthrown patriarchy in a violent struggle for power. Alderman prefaces the book with fictitious correspondence between herself and male historian “Neil Adam Armon,” which is an anagram of Alderman’s full name. The letter outlines that the following book is a historical account of the reader’s time, detailing the events in the ten years leading up to the revolution.

The book itself follows four accounts, three women and one man, and the miraculous discovery of the skein, an unnoticed muscle found in girls’ collarbones. The skein allows for girls, at first only fifteen years old, to electrocute and painfully shock those around them. As time passes, the ability is awakened in older women and is developed in younger girls. Before long, every woman in the world is found capable of this power, each to varying degrees.

Alderman’s reality explores role reversal and the ways we all wield power. It asks us to reflect upon ourselves and our roles in feeding into patriarchy, and the harsh realities of extreme subversion. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves science fiction, fantasy or female-driven adventure.

If you have any books you want to see reviewed, suggestions can be sent to [email protected] For those who want to read along, I will be reviewing a graphic novel by Pamela Ribbon and Cat Farrisl, My Boyfriend is a Bear.

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