I wanted to love Infinity Son so much more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Silvera’s characters. In every one of his books, I’ve been impressed with how vulnerable and endearing his characters are. But in Infinity Son I had a lot of questions about the world building.
Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.
Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.
Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.
Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Infinity Son explores themes of ambition, revenge, and obsession. What would we do if we craved power enough? If the desire for it hummed beneath our skin keeping us awake at night? In the world of Infinity Son, those without magic would ingest the magical blood of creatures and become Specters. I loved this idea, but unfortunately I didn’t feel it was really explored or explained enough. I ended up with more questions than answers.
Throughout this story of brotherhood and obsession is a political battleground. Spell Walkers versus Specters, those with magic against those without. There are questions of what we should do with the power that is in the world. How can we exert control over something wild and fierce? Over people who could easily hold our lives in their hands. This aspect of the story was intriguing, and I feel like it will develop further in book two, but I felt like it was spread a little too thin in the story.
However, I loved the characters and diversity in Infinity Son. Not only are there tons of POC and queer characters, even featuring a side f/f pairing which demands a whole book please, but I liked the dual POVs of Emil and Brighton. Emil desperately wants peace in this conflict that leaves innocents caught in the cross fire. At the same time he adores magical creatures and hates the specters who hunt them. (I adored this aspect of the story, I would love more emphasis on animals in fantasy)! So basically he was precious and is definitely my favorite of the two.
Brighton was more complex, if more predictable in my mind. He’s motivated by his growing ambition, his desire for more followers, more fame, and power. Throughout Infinity Son, we have to ask ourselves if Brighton will let his obsession consume him? We can have big dreams of fame, but sometimes they don’t play out the way we want. It can leave a well of desperation which can lead us to grasping at straws.
In many ways, each Brighton and Emil feel like they’re the runner up. Their relationship was complex and I enjoyed witnessing it from both perspectives and seeing it develop. How resentment can breed in silence. One brother who would do anything for peace versus another who would do anything for power. You have to believe that is going to cause conflicts.
Infinity Son tackles issues of power, sacrifice, and our expectations of heroes. How do we refuse the mistakes of the past to avoid them? Does war twist us into something more akin to our enemies? What’s the difference between a blood thirsty killer and one out for vengeance? I wanted to love Infinity Son so much more than I did. In fantasy books, world building is essential. It’s what drives your suspension of disbelief and my enjoyment. While the foundation was there, Infinity Son lacked deeper world building that I needed to fall in love. The characters, especially Emil and Brighton, were fascinating so I would definitely read the next book!