Alif the Unseen (mild spoilers)

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Often when reading a book, or when seeing a movie I try to decide is this going to be all love story, alternative love story, or surprise! something right at the end love story. I believe very strongly that just about everything is a love story. It is similar to the man v. nature, man v. man, man v. society (machine, god, etc), man v. self as a structure, just you know put love in there and that is my thought.

Anyway, with that thought in the back of my mind I found myself enjoying and then not enjoying and then enjoying again Alif The Unseen. The book about a hacker that finds himself in the middle of something much bigger than his small rebellion against the government is diverting at times and at other times very plodding.

When the book is Alif and Dina arguing about concepts, about ideas, about what it means to believe in something, what it means to have faith, the book is sharp and well written. When to book becomes more concrete and attempts to explain how the coding works with the secret book, the story becomes less enjoyable, it becomes less solid of a story.

I would like to say it is conceptual, I would like to say that story starts to shift when the reality shifts inside the story, because that would be fucking cool, that as the sands give way beneath Alif’s feet, the story makes less sense, and you as a reader follow him down into a world that makes less sense. I would like to say that, and I think that is kind of what the author is going for, but honestly the story just sort of drifts around and isn’t terribly good to me when it isn’t with Alif and Dina. When the story follows Alif and Dina, when it sticks to their story, their love, their evolution as people, I really dig how it progresses.

I think this book is totally worth reading; it isn’t all that long, it goes moderately quickly, and when the book is on course it is, like I said, fairly sharp and to the point. It has a great mood, and enjoyable characters, and except for a couple things that I could totally nitpick, the book was enjoyable. It was a sweet love story, and I love a love story – because you know they are all love stories.

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