- Infinity Son by Adam Silvera
Silvera, Adam Infinity Son. HarperTeen, 2020 [368p] (Infinity Cycle) Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-245782-0 $18.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-245784-4 $11.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 9-12
Magic shapes the streets of New York City, wielded by both naturally gifted celestials and sinister specters, whose powers come from consuming the blood of a magical creature. Eighteen-year-old Brighton, an ambitious social media influencer, films the magic users to bask in their viral glow; Emil, his twin, is quiet, gay, and shy of the spotlight. Yet it's Emil who inexplicably displays spectral phoenix powers, thrusting both brothers into fame and conflict for which they're underprepared. Narration shifts among the brothers and two other characters: Maribelle, a celestial determined to clear the names of her dead parents, and Ness, a specter working for the vicious Blood Casters who uses shapeshifting powers to hide his true identity. With the crowded stage set, the plot takes off at double time, pulling off a few genuine twists but many others fall flat, unable to keep up with the rapid tempo. The pacing also strains the world building, but Silvera's take on magic carries its weight, creatively applying a fantasy filter to internet celebrity culture. LGBTQ+ identities abound but are not a source of conflict; it's magical abilities that prompt discussion about marginalization and political oppression. Despite the plot fumbles, readers looking for a fast-paced modern fantasy series may find it here, as the novel's final cliffhanger sets up for an intense second act.