Alif the Unseen

Editorial reviews

Alif the Unseen

“Alif the Unseen” is true and scary — and ends on a note of well-earned hope. It doesn’t take magical powers to predict it will be one of the year’s best-loved books.

Alif the Unseen is a true chimera, combining magic and technology, fantasy and sci-fi, the secular and the mystical, literature and genre.

Alif the Unseen, an ambitious mashup of fantasy, techno-thriller, political drama and mythology that is as likely to frustrate and exhaust as it is to enchant.

Wilson displays an admirable Neil Gaiman-esque ambition that isn’t quite matched by this oft-plodding tale.

Still, as compelling as this is, "Alif the Unseen" has its problems, mostly involving the mechanisms of its own storytelling, which at times become melodramatic and contrived.

“Alif the Unseen” has a dynamic, savvy style. But it is also courtly in ways that bring it close to the realm of young-adult writing.