LiVe YoUr DrEaM…

Alif the unseen

Posted on: November 4, 2013

aliftheunseenName: Alif the Unseen

Author: G. Willow Wilson

Genre : techno-thriller/fantasy/cyberpunk

Pages : 448

Publication Year: September 1, 2012

Is Review Spoiler: No

Rating: 4/5

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Alif the unseen by G. Willow Wilson is part techno-thriller, part fantasy and part cyberpunk. Alif the unseen set in near future in a middle eastern fictional city. This fictional city is ruled by dictator who is watching closely all the internet activities and throwing all dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups in a prison for talking against the state.

The protagonist a young Arab-Indian hacker shields these groups from State’s electronic security force. He goes by the alias Alif – the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. Then one day his computer is breached by someone in State’s electronic force who in hacker circles is knows as ‘The Hand’ putting all Alif’s clients at risk.

Next day Intisar sends him a book titled ‘The Thousand and One Days’ which is the book of Jinns and suddenly Alif is exposed to the hidden world of Jinns – who are living with us in parallel reality unseen by human eyes. Alif must find out in time to save his hacker buddies, clients and himself from the State – why ‘The Hand’ and the evil Jinns are after the book?

In this book you will find the shades of Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and The Thousand and One Nights, Alif the Unseen is a tour de force debut—a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, religion, technology and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.

G. Willow Wilson did an excellent job in developing both the male and female lead characters as well as raising philosophical, metaphysical and religious topic for debate. Technical aspects in the book is describe very neatly that you don’t have to be a geek to understand the topics discussed in this book.

Wilson has beautifully portrayed the world of Jinn’s and also the legendary city Irem – which is known as ‘City of Pillars’ or ‘Iram of the Pillars’ in Holy Quran and in the early 1990s a team lead by amateur archaeologist and film maker Nicholas Clapp and adventurer Ranulph Fiennes, archaeologist Juris Zarins and lawyer George Hedges announced that they had found Ubar.The conclusion they reached, based on site excavations at the site of a Bedouin well at Shisr in Dhofar province, Oman, and an inspection of NASA satellite photographs, was that this was the site of Ubar, or Iram of the Pillars, the name for an ancient city destroyed by a natural disaster.

Overall a very good techno-thriller come fantasy come cyberpunk novel. A must read for all fantasy/techno-thriller fans.

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