Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman // A Powerful Sci-Fi Debut With Plot Twists That Will Wreck You!

I thought that I would be ready for the ending of The Infinity Courts.

But I thought wrong, because absolutely nothing prepared me for the final twists during those last few pages! It’s been almost a week since I finished the book, and yet I still find myself in awe of them.

I’ve talked about how excited I was for The Infinity Courts before, and I was so excited when I was able to join this blog tour and read it early! I’m so glad to say that, aside from a few struggles I had, it lived up to my expectations. So today, I’m here with my review of The Infinity Courts as part of the blog tour hosted by Turn the Page Tours!

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The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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✧ Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: YA Fiction (Fantasy/Sci-Fi)

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.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Bookshop | IndieBound

✧ ♡ ✧ ♡ ✧

Representation: biracial (Japanese, white) mc, wlw sc

Click for Trigger Warnings.gun violence, shooting, death, murder, grief, torture, gore/injuries, harry potter reference

✧ ♡ ✧ ♡ ✧

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a spot on this blog tour! This did not affect my opinions in any way.

All quotes are from an advanced copy and may differ in final publication.

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About the Author

ADB HEADSHOT

Akemi Dawn Bowman is a critically-acclaimed author who writes across genres. Her novels have received multiple accolades and award nominations, and her debut novel, STARFISH, was a William C. Morris Award Finalist. She has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She overthinks everything, including this bio. You can find Akemi on Instagram @AkemiDawnBowman.

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My Review

The Infinity Courts follows Nami, a biracial teenager who is murdered within the first few chapters of the book on her way to her high-school graduation party. She wakes up to find that she is now an afterlife called Infinity, but realizes that something is very wrong. It turns out that Ophelia—the virtual assistant that Nami and so many other humans relied on to help them on Earth—has taken over as queen of Infinity, and is now planning to eradicate humans for good. Nami must join a group of humans who are leading a resistance against Ophelia and the other AI who also reside in Infinity in order to figure out a way to stop her.

This book promised to explore themes of what it really means to be human and who gets to decide that, and I while I appreciated how they were woven into the story, I am a little conflicted on their execution. On the one hand, there was a lot of powerful discussion about the gray area behind good and bad, and what the meaning of humanity truly is. Nami grapples with feeling guilt for killing the AI—called Residents—because even though they have been torturing humans in the afterlie, she doesn’t believe that killing an entire race of beings is the right thing to do. The other members of the human resistance, called the Colony, have the opposite mindset, as they have lived through the torture and just want to see the Residents gone. Nami’s discussions with the other humans provided a lot of depth to the novel and brought to light themes about the gray area between good and bad.

“I’m not sure destroying something we don’t understand is how we prove we deserve to survive.”

On the other hand, the themes also felt very preachy, such as the way Nami constantly asked herself questions about whether what she was doing was the right thing, and brought up the same problems every few pages. Her internal monologue got extremely repetitive, causing the themes to feel more forced rather than really allowing the reader to think about it themselves. I think that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the themes were more subtle.

Another thing I wasn’t a huge fan of were Nami’s motivations throughout the book, specificially how certain parts of her characterization were repeatedly told rather than shown. Don’t get me wrong: I liked how Nami was characterized for the most part. At her heart, she is just a girl who is trying to do the right thing, even though she’s unsure what the true meaning of “doing the right thing” is. However, there was a very specific problem I had with her thought process: how she always used her sister as a main motivator for doing the right thing. To explain, whenever Nami was unsure or worried about the danger she would be in, she told herself that she had to do it for her little sister Mei who was still alive, otherwise Mei wouldn’t get to experience a good afterlife once she died.

The main reason I had a problem with this was because we barely got to see Nami’s relationship with her sister in the first place. Nami was murdered only about 5% into the book, so there was only one scene of interaction between her and her sister, which did not strengthen their relationship. I found it hard to connect to how much she loved her sister, because it seemed as if we were being told about it rather than shown.

However, if you were looking forward to this  book, don’t worry! These problems didn’t take away a lot from my overall enjoyment; I still really liked many aspects of The Infinity Courts, especially the plot and worldbuilding. Infinity was crafted in a really unique way, and it was so interesting to learn more about it. I never felt as if there were too many info-dumps, as the author revealed information about the world throughout the book without it getting to be too much. The pacing of this book was also done well; I normally have a difficult time reading SFF over 400 pages. However, although this one was almost 500 pages, it felt like much less; I flew through the chapters in about a few days, eager to see what was going to happen.

This was definitely helped by the fact that the twists and turns throughout the story had me on my toes, breathlessly eager to know what would happen. I finished the book late at night because I was absolutely astonished by the last few chapters and couldn’t wait to see how it would end. And speaking of the ending… I just don’t know what to say, because that plot twist was so astonishing. The ending absolutely gutted me and I read the last 10 pages in shock over what was happening. Looking back, there was also a lot of foreshadowing sprinkled in throughout the book that makes me want to reread it, just to be able to catch things better the second time around!

“But maybe some of us are meant to break out of boxes instead of fitting inside them.”

To conclude, The Infinity Courts is a promising science fiction debut that I am glad I was able to read, because the world was built so creatively and I was constantly on my toes keeping up with the plot! Other than the problems I had with the overzealous messages and Nami’s unfleshed characterization, I was able to enjoy the novel and absolutely lost my mind over the ending. I cannot wait to read the sequel and see how the author pulls off that last plot twist!! 

★★★★☆ // 3.5 stars

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Tour Schedule:

April 4th

Turn the Page Tours – Welcome Post
DearRivarie – Review
Melancholic Blithe – Review

April 5th

Books. Libraries. Also, Cats. – Review
Bookish Brews – Review
Ruei’s Reading Corner – Review

April 6th

Rainstorm Reads – Review
Narratess – Review
Justice for Readers – Review

April 7th

Thindbooks Blog – Review
Bookshelf Life – Review
Wishing Upon a Star – Review

April 8th

My Honey Reads – Review
being.myshelf – Review
HerBookishObsession – Review

April 9th

Hammock of Books – Review
Damn Mysterious – Review
BookBriefs – Review

April 10th

Monogamist Reader – Review
Starlight Strands – Review
YALC – Review

April 11th

Windows to Worlds – Review
Books and Mate – Review
Love_Your_Shelf – Review

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Let's Chat

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11 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman // A Powerful Sci-Fi Debut With Plot Twists That Will Wreck You!”

  1. Great review, Ash! The world building and concept sounds really unique, but I’ve read some reviews mentioning how the internal monologue felt preachy and repetitive, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind since it seems to be something a lot of reviewers felt meh about. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  2. This was a great, thoughtful and balanced review, Ash! I’ve enjoyed all of the author’s previous contemporaries so am definitely curious about what this one will be like

    Like

  3. i was Very scared i wouldn’t like this (i 5-starred both Starfish and Summer Bird Blue) and i am still scared honestly LMAO. what you noted about her motivation being related to her sister makes me feel… nervous… because I DO NOT LIKE unsubstantial relationships that are developed weirdly. nevertheless, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and i will stare at it 5ever

    Like

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