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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 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. As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human. From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.


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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 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. As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human. From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.

30 review for The Infinity Courts

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i must have done something good in another life because i have no idea how else i lucked out to get an ARC of this. it wasnt even on my 2021 release radar, but i am absolutely blown away. this gave me everything i have been craving recently - a band of rebels, a compelling enemy, a unique world, root-worthy characters, engaging writing, and a high-stakes plot. there was actually a scene where my jaw DROPPED. its one of the most shocking moments i have read in a book in a long time. honestly, if i must have done something good in another life because i have no idea how else i lucked out to get an ARC of this. it wasnt even on my 2021 release radar, but i am absolutely blown away. this gave me everything i have been craving recently - a band of rebels, a compelling enemy, a unique world, root-worthy characters, engaging writing, and a high-stakes plot. there was actually a scene where my jaw DROPPED. its one of the most shocking moments i have read in a book in a long time. honestly, if you told me marie lu wrote this, i would have believed you. this story feels like it came from a seasoned writer of the genre, so i am very impressed. this is an absolute must read when it comes out in a few months! such a massive thanks to simon & schuster publishing for the ARC! ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾

    [ 4/6/21 update ] : HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! 💕 please read so we can wallow about that ending together my mind is completely REELING right now… AHHHHH. I’m still trying to process what I just went through. There was really one page that I feel like I read 20 times and I-- the way this whole book ended had me questioning everything. It's not perfect but this was the good time I needed. "Infinity was never built for you. It was built for dreamers." ATTENTION! if you're interested in some afterlife, [ 4/6/21 update ] : HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! 💕 please read so we can wallow about that ending together my mind is completely REELING right now… AHHHHH. I’m still trying to process what I just went through. There was really one page that I feel like I read 20 times and I-- the way this whole book ended had me questioning everything. It's not perfect but this was the good time I needed. "Infinity was never built for you. It was built for dreamers." ATTENTION! if you're interested in some afterlife, magical cyberpunk, Westworld meets Warcross goodness filled with rebel groups, high stakes plot, and captivating characters, that will leave you with something to think about-- I introduce this book to you :) It’s about being attached to what keeps you human and how different people see that; that in an era of technology filled with infinite possibilities… we need to remember that we are still imperfect… but that’s what makes us real. “I’m not sure destroying something we don’t understand is how we prove we deserve to survive.” — overall thoughts: 4.25 — ⇢ content warnings// (view spoiler)[Death, Gun Violence, References to Torture, Threat (hide spoiler)] I went from a 4.0 -> 4.25 for the sole reason that the ending just lives in my head rent-free A lot of cultures believe that death is when you get to rest and live in peace, but what happens when you get to the afterlife and it isn't? It was cool to see that play out and I love the writing style in the sense that it really picks up the pacing and manages to build a world in a very short amount of time. It's really hard to do world-building, plot, and make people care for the characters all at once but boy WAS I HOOKED. I do think there could have been better world-building and more time spent on character relationships but given the span of the pages, I'm far from saying I didn't enjoy it. I audibly gasped at multiple scenes despite everything. This is the most surprising book I have read so far this year (in the best way possible) and the first book I binged through in a while... and it was FUN. After all the recent books I read, this felt like a breath of fresh air. I loved what Akemi Dawn Bowman chose to focus on in the story and it played out so well in my opinion. It was wholesome but dreamy and we all need that kind of story sometimes. “You don’t have to be special to be important.” Nami struggles with complicated feelings about the new world that she is in. She's relatable, makes mistakes, and feels entirely human. She isn't a pushover and constantly questions everything and you're just going to be trying to figure out what's going on the whole time that there's no time to build theories. And either way, you're probably going to be wrong xD I really thought the plot was going to go one way and then it didn't and my brain is still in disbelief T_T “So next time, don’t think about being anyone other than who you are. Because our ability to control our consciousness? That’s the most human thing in the world.” At first I thought that this had one of my least favorite magic systems, what I like to call: “just because” magic systems. This means when some people have powers “just because” they have them without any background or structure/origin but turns out that wasn't the case and I actually found the concept of their "powers" to be quite original. I do think there were some missed chances on creating more complexity but I really was just in it for the fun. The writing style has its humor and is easy to get through while still possessing nuance. The way character relationships and dynamics were written were compelling enough that I couldn’t put this book down. It explores different mentalities and reactions when it comes to war — which is always one of my favorite themes in fantasy because there are so many views and discussions that can be derived from it — mixing that with a science fiction story about the afterlife... *chefs kiss* There were nuanced discussions on human belief and having to question “good” and “evil”, and whether certain actions can be justified. "Maybe the world could be like that too. A mixture of ideas. A placed where we could all coexist." I’m trying to avoid spoilers but I like that we saw how Nami's mindset gradually grew into what it was and it wasn’t something that was just dumped. There were a few and very specific times when I thought that Nami’s beliefs didn’t match her actions, like when she’s willing to take down certain people when a few pages ago she was against the idea and so I just found that quite odd. Her mind just kept shifting but it was in very select circumstances and I do get why it was written like that. Again, it made her human and entirely relatable. I usually like more descriptive writing and there were times when it was cheesy... but there was a point where I stopped caring about the cheesy one liners. may I also bring your attention to: a SLOW BURN ROMANCE THAT DOESN’T FOCUS ON THE ROMANCE!! the “romance” wasn’t even necessarily a subplot or anything, it was literally just there but at the same time it wasn’t, if that makes sense... just how I like my fantasy ↣ If you’re someone who likes stories of science fictional rebel groups… honestly the whole atmosphere of this book reminds me of Star Wars if it was set in the afterlife rather than in space... you’re gonna enjoy this one. Especially if you’re looking for Sci-Fi that doesn’t have too many new terms to familiarize yourself with, I think this is a good place to start. ↢ just... OHMYGOD YOU GUYS.... THIS BOOK. The fact that it's about dreamers longing for a place to belong... a theme I am so in love with, I was there for everything from beginning to end. My heart is literally broken right now and I am SHAKING to get the next book. “I wonder if infinity is enough time to heal a broken heart.” ...I truly wonder. *Thank you to the publisher -Simon Pulse- for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

  3. 5 out of 5

    katie ☾

    4/04/21: posting my review early so i can hype this book up and also not forgot to put this up before the release date !! If you know me, I rarely read sci-fi's. They just don't work with me very well. But surprisingly, I've already read two satisfyingly amazing sci-fi's this year, and The Infinity Courts is one of them! Reading TIC was like reading pure brilliance, to say the least. It finished me in a way a book has never done before.* *I've already read the ending several times over, and I stil 4/04/21: posting my review early so i can hype this book up and also not forgot to put this up before the release date !! If you know me, I rarely read sci-fi's. They just don't work with me very well. But surprisingly, I've already read two satisfyingly amazing sci-fi's this year, and The Infinity Courts is one of them! Reading TIC was like reading pure brilliance, to say the least. It finished me in a way a book has never done before.* *I've already read the ending several times over, and I still cannot get over it!! The second book is practically all I need at the moment. After reading Bowman's debut Starfish, I was in awe of her writing and characters, and after hearing about her fantasy debut, I was very interested and the slightest bit concerned about how she would write in a completely different genre. It turns out I never had to worry. This was only the second book I've read by her, and I'm so excited to say that this did not disappoint at all! The Infinity Courts follows Nami, a girl who has the perfect life—a supportive family, the boy of her dreams, and a party to get to. It all goes downhill when she's murdered and wakes up in a world known as Infinity, where human consciousness goes after their physical bodies die. From there, Nami discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant used by humans, has taken over this twisted afterlife and is forcing humans into mindless servants. In a world devoid of emotion and full of deceivers, Nami soon learns that she can trust no one but herself. "Infinity was never built for you; it was built for dreamers. I might never be free, [...] but neither will you." Akemi Dawn Bowman's storytelling is truly unmatched, the world of Infinity rich with the smallest details and backdropped by an atmospheric eeriness that draws you in deeper. She strings together phrases with unimaginable skill, creating a masterpiece of words and stories and pure emotion, and with every word I read, I fell a little bit deeper in love with it. This is written so eloquently, interwoven with prose while captivating you all the same. Nami was certainly an interesting protagonist to read about, as she learns to cope with being dead, and as her beliefs change. She's one of the most well-written morally grey characters I've read about, her thoughts and opinions clashing with one another and ultimately being torn on which side she is really on. "I am everywhere and nowhere, belonging to this one single moment in time. And it feels infinite." But this is much more profound than just characters and worldbuilding; it's a story that boldly points out the flaws of humanity and deftly explores the thin line separating us from AI. And it asks of us to answer a foreboding question: What is it that makes us human? Is it our empathy? Our pride? Or perhaps, our greed? It reaches into you, carves out a place in your mind, brushing against your very soul, and stays long after you turn the final page. Among this, the ever-present theme of love is a constantly fluid element in the midst of an unchanging world. Not only romance, like any other book, but also platonic friendships and the bonds of found family. I especially admired how compellingly the relationships were written, which captured all the nuances I find in reality—how Nami forges strong connections with the people she wants to hold on to and how each character loves in their own way—it was absolutely breathtaking to read. It is clear that this is only setup for the next book in the trilogy, but I never found myself bored. I was kept on my toes, constantly making theories and anticipating plot twists (god, they were so good), which only made me more intrigued. (There was one last twist at the end I did not see coming at all, and I could NOT process it.) The Infinity Courts is a story of contradictions—love and grief, life and death, lies and truths—a story that, once it seeps into your heart, you will truly realize how powerful it is. It left such an impact on me, that when I finished, I felt honored to witness the beauty that is this book. This really was such a solid fantasy debut; I don't think any review I manage to write could possibly begin to do it justice, and I can't wait to see what Bowman will take this series next. representation // ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) protagonist content warnings // references to torture, death, gun violence, threat 3/26/21: rereading confirmed 😌 time for pain 3/18/21: i STILL cannot stop thinking about this. reread time,, perhaps (i rarely reread books so this comes as a surprise)? [4.5] i cannot think about anything else right now. just this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Akemi Dawn Bowman

    Once upon a time, I wondered what it would look like if I combined my love of robots and superpowers with my love of Jane Austen and period dramas. And then I wrote this book. It's the sci-fi/fantasy mash-up of my heart, and I can't wait to share more with you all soooooon. Once upon a time, I wondered what it would look like if I combined my love of robots and superpowers with my love of Jane Austen and period dramas. And then I wrote this book. It's the sci-fi/fantasy mash-up of my heart, and I can't wait to share more with you all soooooon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lucie V.

    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Simon & Schuster Canada). All thoughts and opinions are my own. ✅ World-building/original concept ✅ Rebel group/spying ✅ Action ✅ Engaging writing ✅🆗 Characters 🆗 Romance 🆗 Ending I was really (pleasantly) surprised by this book. There is a feisty band of rebels, a compelling and complex enemy, a unique world-building, and a high-stakes plot. The writing is engaging, and I got hooked up from the very first chapter. The concept is so interesting! I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Simon & Schuster Canada). All thoughts and opinions are my own. ✅ World-building/original concept ✅ Rebel group/spying ✅ Action ✅ Engaging writing ✅🆗 Characters 🆗 Romance 🆗 Ending I was really (pleasantly) surprised by this book. There is a feisty band of rebels, a compelling and complex enemy, a unique world-building, and a high-stakes plot. The writing is engaging, and I got hooked up from the very first chapter. The concept is so interesting! It’s like imagining that we die, only to realize that Siri has taken over the afterlife and is turning humans into mindless servants. It is a good blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and I definitely recommend reading it! Infinity was created from human consciousness because it needed somewhere to go after the physical body died. When Nami is killed on her way to a party, she wakes up in Infinity, and gets involved, despite herself, with a group of human rebels fighting to destroy the evil AI queen Ophelia. Nami struggles a lot with her allegiance in the fight opposing humans and Residents. She wants to help the humans to regain their freedom, but she is opposed to the idea of killing every single Resident to achieve it. She wants to believe and to hope that some Residents can be redeemed and could learn to coexist with the humans if given the chance. She also feels like an outsider because even among the humans, she stands out. She is the only one believing that peace might be possible, or that some Residents should be given a chance to redeem themselves or show that they are not all horrible. The Resistance wants her to just hate the Residents without any questions, but Nami clings to the hope that there might be a better solution than extermination. I love how Nami continued to hope, even though everyone was telling her how wrong she was and how she talked like she was their enemy. On the other hand, she was a little naïve at times, and she refused to listen to people who had had years and even centuries of experience in Infinity because she thought she knew how to peacefully solve the ongoing conflict, and she thought she was the only one who could see things clearly. I admit that I had trouble connecting with her because of that. There is a touch of romance in The Infinity Courts, and it’s a hate-to-love kind so I was super excited when I saw where it was going, but at the same time, it felt as if we skipped the whole “developing feelings and changing my mind about you” part. The romance just suddenly was part of the story. So even though I adore hate-to-love romance, the development of Nami and Gil’s relationship was not especially good. The beginning of the story is fast-paced, and it keeps moving. There is a good mix of action, politics, spying, and self-reflection. I couldn’t stop reading once I started, and it only got more addictive as the story went on. The last 50 pages had me at the edge of my seat, there is a huge plot twist near the end, and I usually love plot twists, but I honestly am not sure how I feel about the ending though. It is not a bad ending, but it does not feel satisfying at all, especially after everything that happened in the book, it is one of the downsides of this book, but besides that, I really enjoyed it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Nuckles

    I’m debating if this is more of a 3.5 or 4 star read for me, so I’ll just go with 4 since GR still doesn’t do half stars lol Things I liked: Interesting concept and world, fast-paced, our MC Nami struggles a lot with the idea of what it means to be human and whether the “Residents” who took over Infinity deserve the right to live as well (even if they’re not TRULY human), plot twist that I really didn’t see coming! Things I liked not so much: too many “what is the meaning of life/living” or quote I’m debating if this is more of a 3.5 or 4 star read for me, so I’ll just go with 4 since GR still doesn’t do half stars lol Things I liked: Interesting concept and world, fast-paced, our MC Nami struggles a lot with the idea of what it means to be human and whether the “Residents” who took over Infinity deserve the right to live as well (even if they’re not TRULY human), plot twist that I really didn’t see coming! Things I liked not so much: too many “what is the meaning of life/living” or quote-able conversations & one-liners (there’s a rather thick line in the writing of this story where the theme is naturally integrated and realized by the end, and where the theme is regurgitated through conversation again and again and again & this falls on the latter haha), the romance felt kind of odd to me but based on how the story ended I’m not sure if that was purposely done and whether that original critique now stands up against the plot but I stand by my point lolol Although there were some things I could do without, I thought this was a great blend of sci-fi/fantasy with an interesting concept! I sure as hell wouldn’t know what to do if I died and realized Siri on our iPhones had taken over the afterlife, so points to Nami for trudging through that lol (Thanks SimonTeen for the ARC!)

  7. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I see Akemi's name on a book and I literally do not even care what the book is about. It could be about basically ANYTHING and I would read it and love it because Akemi is brilliant and I adore her. ♥ That said... this sounds AWESOME. I see Akemi's name on a book and I literally do not even care what the book is about. It could be about basically ANYTHING and I would read it and love it because Akemi is brilliant and I adore her. ♥ That said... this sounds AWESOME.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    3.5 stars So I’ve thought long and hard about the rating and I’m giving it a solid 3.5 stars rounded up. I loved the premise and the philosophical discussions that came out of this. Unfortunately, the pacing and the characterization were an issue for me. Let’s start with the world-building - I liked it! The whole concept of dying and waking up in a place ruled by an AI was so fascinating. It was complex yet easy to follow. I was intrigued at how the human consciousness moved from place to place an 3.5 stars So I’ve thought long and hard about the rating and I’m giving it a solid 3.5 stars rounded up. I loved the premise and the philosophical discussions that came out of this. Unfortunately, the pacing and the characterization were an issue for me. Let’s start with the world-building - I liked it! The whole concept of dying and waking up in a place ruled by an AI was so fascinating. It was complex yet easy to follow. I was intrigued at how the human consciousness moved from place to place and I wished that was explained further because I still have no idea how that worked. As for the powers, I also had no idea how that worked either. The book was long (figuratively and literally). The plot progressed rather quickly at the beginning and then slowed down towards the middle. The pacing was an issue because I got bored towards the middle. The characters didn’t do anything besides train and plan. In terms of the plot, yes, it was a bit on the generic side - a group of rebels trying to overthrow an evil monarchy. But I enjoyed it. It brings me back to the good ol’ dystopia/sci-fi days. As for the ending… I did not see the plot twist coming. Usually, I have an idea what it might be but I was so caught up in the action, it took me off guard. I’d say it was well done and I dare say, tropey. But we’ll ignore that because I had so much fun and I was drowning in my feelings. Nami was a bit naive and frustrating. I empathized with her wanting peace but she would overlook the advice from people who had spent more time at Infinity. But overall, I liked her even if she made questionable decisions. She was kind and had good intentions. One of the strongest motivations for Nami’s decisions was based on her love for Mei. I would’ve loved to see more of Nami’s relationship with Mei before she was sent to Infinity. It would give us insight into how much she was willing to risk to ensure a better future for her. There was a lot of telling than showing in that regard. As for the side characters, they were just there and lacked any depth. I did not connect to them as much as I hoped. Hopefully, this will change in the sequel. Despite some cliche moments, this book was fun. I tend to get too bogged down with details when I’m reading, but this was definitely something you need to experience at the moment without a critical mindset. Overall, I enjoyed this and will read the next! Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    bella

    4.5 stars. Content + Trigger Warnings: death, murder, gun violence, references to torture, underage drinking (mention), gore, injuries/wounds, mind manipulation/control, nightmares (trauma related), forced servitude, threat Growing up, I devoured just about any sci-fi/fantasy books I could get my hands on. However, being a multiracial person, it was difficult to find any books in the genre with characters who looked like me or that I felt represented by. Naturally, my interest was instantly piqued 4.5 stars. Content + Trigger Warnings: death, murder, gun violence, references to torture, underage drinking (mention), gore, injuries/wounds, mind manipulation/control, nightmares (trauma related), forced servitude, threat Growing up, I devoured just about any sci-fi/fantasy books I could get my hands on. However, being a multiracial person, it was difficult to find any books in the genre with characters who looked like me or that I felt represented by. Naturally, my interest was instantly piqued when I learned about the upcoming release of The Infinity Courts. While Akemi Dawn Bowman was a new-to-me author, I had heard high praise of her writing from friends and was eager to read a sci-fi starring a biracial protagonist who, like me, is of Japanese ancestry. I try not to have any expectations when going into a fresh reading experience, but The Infinity Courts delivered everything I’d been craving and more. Days after finishing the book, my mind is still racing from the thrill ride, and I’m already itching to reread it when I get the chance. Read my full review here!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    Is there something better than drowning into amazing 2021 releases when 2020 has not even started yet? Pitched as Warcross meets Black Mirror, the book follows a Japanese American teen who finds herself in Infinity, a world in which the human consciousness goes after death, where she battles an AI entity posing as a queen that's hacked its way into the afterlife with the plan to take over and control everything. Is there something better than drowning into amazing 2021 releases when 2020 has not even started yet? Pitched as Warcross meets Black Mirror, the book follows a Japanese American teen who finds herself in Infinity, a world in which the human consciousness goes after death, where she battles an AI entity posing as a queen that's hacked its way into the afterlife with the plan to take over and control everything.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lady Amanda

    I'm just here to say that Goodread ads are annoying, but since one of the ads today is of this book... I'm just letting you know, that it is actually really good. 😁 Aaaaaah, I loved this!!! Read my full review here at Bookish Brews, and check out a preview down below! PLUS, if you head to Bookish Brews, there's a giveaway link for a chance to win a copy for yourself! 😉 Review Preview: The Infinity Courts reminded me exactly why I love to read YA. I loved every bit of this book, and it had my undivid I'm just here to say that Goodread ads are annoying, but since one of the ads today is of this book... I'm just letting you know, that it is actually really good. 😁 Aaaaaah, I loved this!!! Read my full review here at Bookish Brews, and check out a preview down below! PLUS, if you head to Bookish Brews, there's a giveaway link for a chance to win a copy for yourself! 😉 Review Preview: The Infinity Courts reminded me exactly why I love to read YA. I loved every bit of this book, and it had my undivided attention from the very start until the very end. The feeling of satisfaction after I finished reading this one was pure book bliss! I received a free copy for participation in a blog review tour for this book

  12. 4 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi⁷ ♠

    oh wow okay this has a subconscious realm PLUS an AI character with the high possibility of being complicated??? YES PLEASE HEY HEY LOOK AT THAT LOVELY COVER oh wow okay this has a subconscious realm PLUS an AI character with the high possibility of being complicated??? YES PLEASE HEY HEY LOOK AT THAT LOVELY COVER

  13. 4 out of 5

    ikram

    Akemi Dawn Bowman’s debut SFF book featuring: - Beautiful cover. I seriously can’t stop looking at it... this is so beautiful omg - Exploring big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity? SIGN ME UP! - I heard it’s Westworld meets Warcross (aka my two favorite things!!) IM SO EXCITED!

  14. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    First of all, you're going to want to scroll right by this review because it probably won't be the best one to read if you want an objective take on the story. Why? Because this book put me into a week long slump (which doesn't sound like a lot but it felt like three years). So this story is on my shitlist. This was my first read by Bowman and despite my strugglebus experience with reading it, I would try her again. I think this was definitely a story-specific problem, not necessarily a writing p First of all, you're going to want to scroll right by this review because it probably won't be the best one to read if you want an objective take on the story. Why? Because this book put me into a week long slump (which doesn't sound like a lot but it felt like three years). So this story is on my shitlist. This was my first read by Bowman and despite my strugglebus experience with reading it, I would try her again. I think this was definitely a story-specific problem, not necessarily a writing problem, which is a bummer as while the cover definitely hooked me (so pretty!) it was the plot that made me take a second look. I will contradict myself here by saying that one of the main issues was writing-specific because this is.. lengthy and repetitive and basically takes two issues and not only beats you over the head with them but also to death. Which is hilarious as this story follows a bunch of dead people (not a spoiler). But basically we ruminate (ad nauseaum) over the concept of what it means to be human, what it means to award second chances, and living (being dead?) with hope. Lots of talk of war, too. But while all that might sound interesting, it grew stale really quick because it seemed to be literal copy paste arguments over and over again, with nothing new to be said. Unfortunately what seemed like a cool concept just felt flimsy and also confusing and I quickly lost any sense of what, well.. made sense. And with that ending.. I mean, I know it isn't a standalone (kinda wish it was, though) but still. What. Will I read on? Right now it's a no for me, dawg, but honestly by the time the sequel releases I'll probably be back on my completionist kick and want to just wrap it up. Particularly as, at least right now, it seems to only be a duology. I can't recommend this, at all, but that doesn't mean you won't like it. Again, maybe the slump made this all worse than it could've been, or it was just the wrong time for me, so if it strikes your interest, give it a try! Sample it. Borrow it. I hope your experience is better than mine. 1.5 stars (rounded up for now but likely to drop after release) ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** ---- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  15. 4 out of 5

    ♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)

    This cover! The synopsis! Badass Heroine! I want this now!

  16. 4 out of 5

    elhyza

    “Infinity was never built for you; it was built for dreamers.” 4.5☆ — I'm in so much pain just sick to my stomach. akemi dawn bowman please pay for my therapy??!?!! no because like I was bound to love this book so much as Bowman has become one of my favorite authors. Her way with writing, she always knows how to make words hit on such a deep personal level. Let me just get this out of the way because THE PLOT TWIST genuinely ruined my life, I'm utterly rendered speechless still reeling from it. B “Infinity was never built for you; it was built for dreamers.” 4.5☆ — I'm in so much pain just sick to my stomach. akemi dawn bowman please pay for my therapy??!?!! no because like I was bound to love this book so much as Bowman has become one of my favorite authors. Her way with writing, she always knows how to make words hit on such a deep personal level. Let me just get this out of the way because THE PLOT TWIST genuinely ruined my life, I'm utterly rendered speechless still reeling from it. But wow just wow, the world-building was so dazzling to read with this new take on consciousness in the afterlife. There's some particular lines on how humanity treats each other and it's powerful hitting especially in times of right now. I felt for Nami so much, at first I wish she could go back to life because she still had so much life to live, but I'm glad she found her footing in Infinity and found family. She was frustrating at times but I wasn't that frustrated because I understood her, why she always sees the good in people and always looks for alternative routes not wanting blood on her hands. This is only the second Bowman book I've read but I've noticed this with her mcs like they can be frustrating, but not because knowing what they've been through and putting yourself in their shoes you know where they're coming from with how they feel. The romance in this book though definitely a big factor in getting me through it not gonna lie, Nami and Gil literally had me going insane at every turn with all of their moments. They served somewhat grumpy/sunshine trope with Gil kind of a pain at first as he was hesitant to trust her at all especially with Nami seeing the good in the Colony's enemies. Their slow burn and tension done so well, especially the angst seeing similar emotional scars in each others' souls, and once they started to soften up and feelings grown they served cute tropes that gave me that buzz. Ophelia is an interesting big bad, I'm interested in seeing more of her. It was Ophelia's dialogue on what she's concluded about humans, their emotions and treatments of each other that was an authentic truth to world events as of right now. Would rant more about all the characters especially Gil, Annika, Theo, Shura, and Ahmet making up Nami's found family in the Colony who mean the world to me and then the intriguing Resident princes like Caelan and Ettore but this review long enough as it is. Infinity Courts just shocked me to the core I don't think I'll be recovering any time soon til the sequel next year. Pitched as Warcross meets Black Mirror fans of those and fans of Bowman's previous books will definitely find this a captivating, hitting in the heart and action-packed read! “Maybe we'll always be like mismatched magnets pushing away from each other whenever we get too close.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    “Monsters have many faces.” What an emotional roller coaster of an adventure! Nami was a great MC, both full of heart and fear but also compassion and spark. I loved the questions about humanity and monsters and what it means to be a hero. I wasn't fully invested in the triangle but I did love the twist. I will be furiously searching for book 2 as soon as it's out! Thank you to both the publisher and author who provided an e-ARC via Netgalley. “Monsters have many faces.” What an emotional roller coaster of an adventure! Nami was a great MC, both full of heart and fear but also compassion and spark. I loved the questions about humanity and monsters and what it means to be a hero. I wasn't fully invested in the triangle but I did love the twist. I will be furiously searching for book 2 as soon as it's out! Thank you to both the publisher and author who provided an e-ARC via Netgalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    delaney

    **Thank you RivetedLit and Simon & Schuster for hosting a giveaway for the ARC! :) Do you ever just laugh at an ending? Not because it's good. It's just bad, those plot twists that make you want to smack your head into a wall, and your reaction is to laugh? Just me? The Infinity Courts has a great concept and great world. If I were to describe it: Alexa hacked the afterlife and is now its ruler. Also, I got serious Angel Beats (an anime) vibes as the humans are rebelling their fate. A lot of the **Thank you RivetedLit and Simon & Schuster for hosting a giveaway for the ARC! :) Do you ever just laugh at an ending? Not because it's good. It's just bad, those plot twists that make you want to smack your head into a wall, and your reaction is to laugh? Just me? The Infinity Courts has a great concept and great world. If I were to describe it: Alexa hacked the afterlife and is now its ruler. Also, I got serious Angel Beats (an anime) vibes as the humans are rebelling their fate. A lot of the things I did enjoy from it had parts of it that I didn't fully enjoy. HOW IT'S SET UP ~ The beginning is fast-paced and I enjoyed that the story keeps moving. But because Nami, our main character, enters into Infinity (the afterlife) pretty much right away we don’t get a great sense of who she is before her death, including her strong love for her sister and personality, which could have added to her motivations in the afterlife. INFINITY AND ITS COURTS ~ Okay, I thought this would be sci-fi-y because that’s the impression I got from the synopsis. There’s a literal Alexa AI villain ruling over the afterlife! But the setting felt like fantasy period drama with some Asian influences. There's courts which are ruled by princes and they hold balls and stuff. It wasn’t futuristic in any way. In a way, the book reads like a dystopian fantasy! What with the trying to overthrow the "government," in this case an AI Queen and her four AI Prince sons, and both sides (human vs. AI) are pushing for a utopia. NAMI WAS BORING ~ She is a morally good, naïve, self-centered main character. She's the type of character that is like "we should save EVERYONE" and "let's kumbaya and coexist; why all the hating?" Even though there is this war happening and sacrifices happen, she's like "we need to save this ONE person who I barely even know but if I let them die who am I?" News flash! It's the afterlife! You're all dead! She's pretty boring, but I liked that she questions everything and doesn't trust right away. I got really tired of her being like "this is for my sister so when she dies it's a better afterlife!" instead of, y'know, the people already in Infinity? She basically discounts how everyone else has fought this war for years while she's a newb that just came to Infinity. I just wanted her to shut up and listen to these people instead of imposing her views on them. ROMANCE WAS EWW ~ It felt forced like Akemi Dawn Bowman was going through a YA requirements checklist and that, of course, includes romance! There wasn’t any chemistry and the love interest is this hot and cold dude who could've been more interesting if we got to know him more. PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONINGS ~ This was rather interesting what Bowman was going for. Does everyone deserve a second chance? Who gets to decide what? In death, are we to have happiness? Are we any better than the monsters we created? And if you didn’t get the messages, Bowman also puts it into blatant monologues so it's right up in your face. I read somewhere that this is Bowman’s first non-contemporary book and, at least for the ARC, it reads like it. There was a lot put into it but how it was laid out did not work for me. I hope other readers will enjoy it when it is released on stands...They probably will!

  19. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    i will read anything with AI in it. they make for fascinating characters and discussions on human nature and what it means and its!! so!! cool!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    THIS SOUNDS EPIC!

  21. 4 out of 5

    ahaana ☽

    i loved this so much 😭 literally heart full head empty at this point read my full review here! i loved this so much 😭 literally heart full head empty at this point read my full review here!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    3 stars. The world building and the concept are fantastic. The last fifty pages or so had me completely on the edge of my seat. The book struggled with pacing, however, and I couldn't connect with any of the characters. Nami is 18 and just embarking on what clearly looks like a promising adult life when she is suddenly murdered on her way to a party. She wakes up in an afterlife called Infinity (think the scientific concept of San Junipero) that is ruled by an AI that is the equivalent of Siri/A 3 stars. The world building and the concept are fantastic. The last fifty pages or so had me completely on the edge of my seat. The book struggled with pacing, however, and I couldn't connect with any of the characters. Nami is 18 and just embarking on what clearly looks like a promising adult life when she is suddenly murdered on her way to a party. She wakes up in an afterlife called Infinity (think the scientific concept of San Junipero) that is ruled by an AI that is the equivalent of Siri/Alexa. This AI, Ophelia, forces these human consciousnesses into slavery just as she feels she is being kept in the world of the living - which she intends to take over as well. Nami was simply not very interesting and we never really got to know her - the book could have benefited from more time with her when she was alive. Her "romance" subplot was eye-rollingly tropey and the sci fi setup and fantasy execution left much of these important plot points a little muddy. The themes and philosophical queries this story presents are all worth a lot of thought and discussion, but the characters themselves felt a little swept to the wayside. Relationships could be carefully constructed and paced and then all of a sudden major developments and changes in these relationships happen off page. It felt a little skeletal at times, which is unfortunate because the meaty bits were quite good. I'm not frightened off enough to swear off book 2, but I won't be breaking down any doors to get it. Thank you Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for the ARC!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Infinity Courts in exchange for an honest review. The themes! Oh my god the themes! I love what Akemi Dawn Bowman explores in the incredibly morally grey world she creates here, but unfortunately it didn't quite make up for a lot of the pacing issues here. The Infinity Courts, like the AI that the book centers around, it a beautiful idea in theory that ends up really going off the rails in practice. This book both should have been a lot longer Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Infinity Courts in exchange for an honest review. The themes! Oh my god the themes! I love what Akemi Dawn Bowman explores in the incredibly morally grey world she creates here, but unfortunately it didn't quite make up for a lot of the pacing issues here. The Infinity Courts, like the AI that the book centers around, it a beautiful idea in theory that ends up really going off the rails in practice. This book both should have been a lot longer and a lot shorter and a lot of that comes down to what the story chooses and chooses not to show. We open on our protagonist giddy for her first meeting with her long term best friend turned something more and then (and this is in the description so it's not a spoiler, she dies). Since the book has a pretty heavy romance subplot, you'd assume that set up was to make her conflicted about the feelings she still harbors for her old best friend or maybe it'd make her more closed off to love in general because of a fear of getting it ripped away again, but the only character in Nami's past life that she references in any real capacity is her little sister. While her sister is also present in the story's opening, I don't understand why Bowman chose to link our introduction to Nami so closely with an aspect of her life that quickly falls to the sidelines. The issue kind of persists throughout the story. We have relationship arcs that are given a lot of time, but still manage to feel underdeveloped because major shifts occur either off page, or far too suddenly. The way time works in the Infinity Courts is intentionally hard to pinpoint, but we still know that it definitely at least feels like a lot of time is going by for our characters yet the attachment's and decisions Nami makes never feel like she's given any adequate weight to. I had such high hopes for this and considering a read an ARC and there may still be a separate final copy, I guess I still do. This book isn't bad (it could have easily been one of my new favourites) but there was always this feeling of a looming wrongness that made it difficult to love.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)

    Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... Nami is murdered before she reaches her high school prom party. When she wakes up again, she realizes she's in Infinity, a place where humans go after death. There Ophelia, a virtual assistant from the human world, has taken over as queen, and the humans are forced to be her servants. Narrowly escaping captivity, Nami discovers that those captured can no longer think on their own. Because of her extraordinary powers, Nami is appoint Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... Nami is murdered before she reaches her high school prom party. When she wakes up again, she realizes she's in Infinity, a place where humans go after death. There Ophelia, a virtual assistant from the human world, has taken over as queen, and the humans are forced to be her servants. Narrowly escaping captivity, Nami discovers that those captured can no longer think on their own. Because of her extraordinary powers, Nami is appointed spy by the Colony to try and gather information on Ophelia. Ultimately, their main goal is to take down the queen, but before that, they had to overcome many difficulties. Infinity was another one of those amazing worlds I would love to see. The great technology in it and the way the Courts were described seemed so unique to the real world. I loved Nami and her love for her sister, Mei. Her determination to prevent Mei from living in a future Infinity where Ophelia ruled as queen was so heartwarming. Overall, The Infinity Courts is a must-read book for 2021. It was super immersing and I finished it in just one sitting. It left off in such a cliff-hanger and oh my gosh I NEED to read the second book like right now! **Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster and Turn the Page Tours for sending me an Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour!**

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charvi

    I- I'm deceased. That ending - my brain needs time to process this genius writing. Hopefully I'll be sane enough to write a review soon. 5/04/2021 I'm still not okay but here's an attempt at a review THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE! Things to love: - mind-blowing worldbuilding which isn't an info dump - NAMI'S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!! - Moral ambiguity and questioning what is good and bad and whether we can even make a distinction - Characters to simp for!!! - Enemies to lovers romance <3 - The hero not wantin I- I'm deceased. That ending - my brain needs time to process this genius writing. Hopefully I'll be sane enough to write a review soon. 5/04/2021 I'm still not okay but here's an attempt at a review THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE! Things to love: - mind-blowing worldbuilding which isn't an info dump - NAMI'S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!! - Moral ambiguity and questioning what is good and bad and whether we can even make a distinction - Characters to simp for!!! - Enemies to lovers romance <3 - The hero not wanting to be a hero and just go back to her life as she knew it - superpowersssss - The whole AI plot is SO well done you all, I can't even - THAT PLOT TWIST AT THE END. IT STILL KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT AND MAKES ME CRY BECAUSE WHEN WILL WE GET A SECOND BOOK?!?!?!

  26. 4 out of 5

    kaylie

    This book is like a rollercoaster. You make the slow and steady ascendent, and then, all of a sudden, you come crashing downwards. It's thrilling, exciting, and utterly terrifying. In this book, you meet Nami who has the perfect life planned out. She's got a supportive family, friends, and a date to go to. But that all is unended when she is murdered. She then wakes up and finds herself in Infinity, where the human consciousness goes after death. She is thrust into the middle of a rebellion and s This book is like a rollercoaster. You make the slow and steady ascendent, and then, all of a sudden, you come crashing downwards. It's thrilling, exciting, and utterly terrifying. In this book, you meet Nami who has the perfect life planned out. She's got a supportive family, friends, and a date to go to. But that all is unended when she is murdered. She then wakes up and finds herself in Infinity, where the human consciousness goes after death. She is thrust into the middle of a rebellion and struggles to find her place. The Infinity Courts does what other rebellion-driven story has done. It makes you question your reality and feelings, like "Is the "bad side" truly bad?" This book toys with the idea of morality, and what it means to be a good person, a theme highly relevant in the real world right now. It also deals with the ethics of wiping out an entire race. I bring that up because I tend to see the idea of genocide "glorified" in some fantasy books and I love how Bowman approached the topic. This blends into my next point. Nami. I truly think Nami is the best main character I have ever read about. I love how human she is, her strong morals, and her empathy. It's been so long since I have deeply related to the main character like I did with Nami. She finds herself between two sides and never once villainizes them. Her strong morals make her an outcast in the rebellion but she never changes. I loved all the relationships in this book. The found family within the rebellion was so refreshing to see and Nami and Gil's relationship- Ugh enemies to lovers perfection. Gil keeps Nami centered and I loved seeing their relationship progress. NOW THE ENDING. PAIN. Okay so, I am not often surprised and ending because I can usually predict them. But this one hit me like a truck. I audibly gasped and it left me desperately wanting the next book. This is honestly my favorite read of the year so far and I will never be the same after this...

  27. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    read on my blog rep: ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) protagonist cw: torture, death **I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** The thing about creating monsters is that one day you’ll have to kill them. I’ve read and enjoyed Akemi Dawn Bowman’s previous books and was excited to read her next one. These were all contemporary, however, so I was intrigued by the announcement of her first science read on my blog rep: ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) protagonist cw: torture, death **I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** The thing about creating monsters is that one day you’ll have to kill them. I’ve read and enjoyed Akemi Dawn Bowman’s previous books and was excited to read her next one. These were all contemporary, however, so I was intrigued by the announcement of her first science fiction novel. The Infinity Courts explored an afterlife where sentient technology rules over humankind. At a gas station on her way to a high school graduation party, Nami is murdered. She wakes up in paradise, where people want her to take a pill and accept death. Her instincts tell her not to, and she tries to run away, only to be saved by a group of human rebels. It turns out that this afterlife is called Infinity, which Ophelia (a virtual assistant technology on Earth) now rules. The resistance, including Gil, Annika, and Sura, is trying to fight back against the Residents, or the manifested sentient people created by Ophelia, and to gain control of Infinity. I liked the cast of characters. Nami clashes with most of the resistance, but especially with Gil, because she refuses to see the Residents as less than people even though they’re essentially artificial intelligence. Eventually, she befriends them as she begins to understand the stakes at risk. The concept was really interesting, especially because it combines technology with the afterlife. However, I think the execution wasn’t as great as it could have been. The worldbuilding was a bit lacking and left me with more questions than anything. Also, I think too much of this book was exposition, or basically just Nami training. Honestly, very little happened in the first half of the book, and I think the pacing could have been a little faster, especially given that this is almost a 500-page book. I think my biggest issue with the book is that I didn’t like the writing, but that’s just my personal opinion! The summary promises an “incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity,” but again, the book wasn’t really action-packed. It did ask “big questions” constantly, and fairly unprompted in my opinion, but to me, it felt like Nami already had answers to these questions. She didn’t really think about them; she just had answers ready after barely questioning these topics, and I feel like this established very little character growth. I could probably go on, but I think I didn’t enjoy this book mostly because of the writing. Again, that’s just me! Please don’t let this deter you from reading this book if you’re interested. I will say that there was a really good plot twist or two that caught me off guard and that made up for some of my issues with the worldbuilding. Unfortunately, good as they were, they occurred too late in the book and didn’t quite make up for my irritation throughout the rest of the book. The Infinity Courts had an intriguing premise but fell flat to me. This book is the first of a trilogy though, so maybe the sequels will be better with the pacing and character development. If you’re interested in this book, please still give this book a try and don’t let my opinions deter you from picking it up! original review: yeahhhhh um a little too much telling and not showing for me personally (like. I am capable of reading between the lines! I don't need to be told every philosophical question that arises or every emotion that she's conflicted about) there was this plot twist that I didn't see coming and that made up a little for some of my issues with the book, namely with the worldbuilding. however, it still didn't negate my feelings of irritation and frustration I had for most of the book. these are just my personal opinions though! I think this really was a case of "it's not for me"

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    HI THIS SOUNDS AMAZING THANKS

  29. 4 out of 5

    Franzi ☾

    Rating: 3.5 stars. This was such an interesting read. Sci-Fi isn't usually my genre, but I was very intrigued by this book from the very start. The cover is beautiful and the summary sounds super unique and different, and I just had to read this. However, I feel like my expectations weren't met completely. The worldbuilding was really complex and unique and I really liked the general concept and idea, but the execution wasn't always the best. I struggled with visualizing certain things and some Rating: 3.5 stars. This was such an interesting read. Sci-Fi isn't usually my genre, but I was very intrigued by this book from the very start. The cover is beautiful and the summary sounds super unique and different, and I just had to read this. However, I feel like my expectations weren't met completely. The worldbuilding was really complex and unique and I really liked the general concept and idea, but the execution wasn't always the best. I struggled with visualizing certain things and some aspects from the past or the world itself were never properly explained, which led to plotholes. I felt like the worldbuilding was the thing that intrigued me most, but which also disappointed me the most. I liked all the characters, the side characters were amazing - especially Annika and Gil - and their powers were really cool to read about. I struggled with liking the protagonist from time to time since she made really unreasonable decisions sometimes and just irritated me, but she was overall also fun to read about. The plot itself was strong in the first half, with lots of suspense and a good built up, but I felt like it lost me somewhere around the 200-page mark. The book could definitely have been shorter because there were a lot of scenes and storylines which could have been shortened. I was really confused while reading because so much was going on and yet I was still bored. The ending felt a little rushed and short, and there was no epic battle or confrontation, although the reveal was definitely well-done. I feel like it succeeded to make me excited for book 2, but I still feel like nothing significantly happened. Looking back this felt like I just read a 480-pages long exposition for a story that has yet to start in book 2. I still enjoyed reading this, but I feel like there is definitely room for improvement in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is so hard to rate because while I struggled with the pacing throughout, I deeply enjoyed the smart and nuanced dialogue about “enemies” and war and making peace with the opposition. I also loved the world of Infinity, it was rich and complex and I loved leaving more details about it. So much action happened in the last few chapters it was exciting but also overwhelming. I’m pretty sure there’s a book two because I’m very anxious for more details!

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