Top critical review
Two stars for two reasons
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
It hurts my heart to have to write this review but like so many others before me have said, Infinity Son misses the mark in just about every aspect.
There are two positives:
1. The idea itself is great. I'm a lifelong lover of every shade of Fantasy and it is clear that Silvera is as well. He had all of the ingredients for greatness here, unfortunately the execution was lackluster.
2. QUEER POC LEAD CHARACTER. The majority of our cast of characters are POC and a good number of them are LBGTQIA+. It is unfortunate that the majority of the characters themselves were 2 dimensional carbon-copies of one another personality-wise.
The negatives (Or every other part of this book):
1. The plot is so insanely cliche that the only thing that could have made it bearable was if it were written brilliantly. It is not written brilliantly. Silvera lost himself in this world and it shows.
2. The world building goes from non-existent to info-dump central and never finds a happy medium. Things are either never explained or over-explained to the point of paragraph skippage. There are also huge gaps in logic within the world, the magic system, etc. It's such a mess that I am shocked this book made it to print without someone saying something about it.
3. The characters were AWFUL. My favorite thing about Silvera's writing is his way of getting you to like his characters--no matter their flaws--without you realizing it's happening. That was not the case with Infinity Son. Brighton is unlikable out the gate and remains so until the last page. His last act in the book, though I saw it coming from the beginning, is the only thing I found remotely interesting about him. Emil on the other end of the spectrum is wishy-washy AF and Silvera needs to sit down and do some serious character revision moving forward. This is your lead character, give him a personality, please. The supporting cast was the same person over and over again, just given a different name, physical description, and one alternating personality trait.
4. The writing is straight up bad. In an attempt to have his teenagers sound like actual teenagers Silvera loses everything about his writing style that makes his books worth reading.
5. After reading this book I feel like someone (literally any one of the dozens of published, NYT bestselling authors that Silvera thanks in his acknowledgements) should have sat down with Silvera and told him that this book was not how to start this series. The last chapter of this book was how to start this series. The events of this book are backstory that we can be given in small snippets throughout a story that follows the rising antagonism between these brothers. This book is the origin story of Brighton vs. Emil but I can't care about the origin story because I don't care about the characters or the world.
I hope Silvera redeems himself and this series with the second installment but I doubt it.